Free Ride: Most Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax

A shrinking number of Americans are bearing the nation's tax burden. The Tax Policy Center reports that in 2020, nearly 107 million U.S. households, about 61 percent, either paid no federal income tax or got a net tax credit. Those numbers surged due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, as the annual share of non-taxpayers was typically around 45 percent prior to last year.

Six out of ten Americans not paying taxes is not only detrimental to the long-term health of the economy, but it also allows politicians to use the tax code to manipulate voters, according to Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Joe Biden could not have gotten elected president, nor could Barack Obama, nor could Bill Clinton, unless they told the lie that they were only going to tax other people," he says. "Once they were in office, they turned around and raised taxes on everyone."

In Biden's case, his policies like eliminating the 401(k) deduction would indirectly raise taxes on the middle class. He's also raising everyone's prices. "The decisions Joe Biden is making will cause inflation," says Norquist. "And inflation, of course, is very damaging to middle income and low income people."

Norquist favors a more equitable system that is less exploitable by those in power. "By dividing people into groups---some pay nothing, some pay little, some pay more---then you can go after people and raise taxes one group at a time," he tells KTRH. "I like the flat tax, because if you're going to raise people's taxes, you have to look at the whole country and say I've got a great idea and you're all gonna pay for it. And then people would focus."

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