Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Richer You Are, The More Tax Breaks You Get

A central premise of Mitt Romney’s now infamous speech to a room full of wealthy donors is that nearly half of the country relies heavily on the government for assistance with housing, food, and health care. Despite widespread criticism, Romney has stood by his claim that 47 percent of the country are “victims” who are “dependent upon the government.”

But while Romney decries the direct government programs that benefit lower and middle class Americans, he is silent about the plethora of government tax breaks that richer Americans enjoy. As an independent study by the Tax Policy Center found, the other 53 percent receive their own form government assistance: they disproportionately benefit from the federal government’s $1.08 trillion annual allocation for tax breaks:

The top 1 percent of income earners, those who take home in excess of $400,000 a year, account for almost a quarter all tax breaks, saving more than $250 billion a year in taxes. Meanwhile, the bottom 60 percent of wage earners — a group of people that encompasses 99 percent of the “victims” that Mitt Romney describes — are given just over 20 percent of annual tax breaks, or approximately $217 billion in breaks each year.

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