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Read time: 4 minutes

Hannity And His Panel Have Themselves A Whine-Fest Over The Rich Paying More Taxes

If anyone thought Bill O'Reilly's carping about having his taxes raised was bad, just get a load of these three Fox contributors who I'm fairly sure are all making a boatload of money just like O'Reilly for propagandizing the American public day
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If anyone thought Bill O'Reilly's carping about having his taxes raised was bad, just get a load of these three Fox contributors who I'm fairly sure are all making a boatload of money just like O'Reilly for propagandizing the American public day after day for Fox. Sean Hannity decided to have himself a little whine-fest with his panel members, former Bush spokesperson Dana Perino and Fox's sorry excuse for a business channel host, Stuart Varney.

Par for the course Hannity and his friends threw out the usual distortions about what the rich compared to everyone else actually pays in taxes.

As I linked to in my post back in April on Joshua Holland and his appearance on C-SPAN's Book TV, Holland laid out some much more realistic stats than Hannity and his crew did here on who's paying what and how much in taxes these days. And as to their argument that the rich are paying a bigger percentage in taxes than anyone else, well, that might just be because the rich are controlling more of that wealth as well, so of course they're going to be paying more.

And as Media Matters noted -- Right-Wing Media Defend The Rich Unless The Rich Person Is Named Warren Buffett.

Here's more from Holland's column at AlterNet that it would really be nice if Hannity's viewers had a chance to read, but I figure that will happen when hell warms over -- Tax Day Question: Who's Paying What?:

The right's anti-tax crusade has been so successful that in 2010 the federal government collected a smaller share of our economic output in taxes than it had in 60 years. That's created a large deficit, which is now being used to justify cuts to popular social programs.

Taxes have decreased dramatically for most American households since Ronald Reagan came to offcie 30 years ago. But our overall level of taxation, on average, obscures who's paying how much.

So, on this tax day, let's take a look at the way federal tax rates for different income levels have changed since 1981 (using this handy calculator and adjusted for inflation to 2010 dollars).

The federal income tax bill for a person making $15,000 is 51 percent higher today than it was 30 years ago -- a big jump.

If you make $20,000, your federal income taxes have gone up only slightly. You would have paid $2,498 in 1981, and this year you would pay $2,575.

If you make $50,000, your federal income taxes would have declined by 19 percent, from $10,710 to $8,625.

If you make $100,000, you'd be paying 33 percent less today than in 1981.

Someone making a really good living that brought in $250,000 would pay 47 percent less – that person's federal income tax bill dropped from $126,953 in 1981 to $67,398 today.

If you brought in a half-million dollars, your tab would have dropped by 49.5 percent, saving you around $150,000. It's about the same decrease for someone making a cool million.

These figures only consider taxable income, and the super-wealthy avoid paying their share of taxes through a variety of loopholes that decrease their adjusted income – the amount subject to taxes. But looking just at the rate-changes, a person making $10 million would have seen his or her tax bill drop by 50.4 percent.

And what about corporate income taxes? Unlike most countries that have one flat corporate tax rate, we tax corporations progressively. Effective tax rates for all corporations have declined since 1981, but the little guys didn't do as well as the big players. The effective tax rate for the most successful 5 percent of American companies declined by 42 percent since 1981, while effective rates for all companies dropped by just 10 percent (Excel).

There's an important caveat to all this, which is that it looks at federal income taxes in isolation. The problem with that is the federal income tax is among the most progressive taxes in this country, and yet it makes up only 20 percent of the overall taxes collected. The right has long used the progressive nature of the federal income tax to argue that only the rich pay taxes, which is miles and miles from the truth. Read on...

Somehow I have a feeling that we might be able to chart a direct correlation between the amount of feigned outrage by Fox contributors and their paychecks being directly affected by these supposed tax hikes that aren't ever going to happen as long as Republicans are controlling the House and we've got enough Conserva-Dems and Republicans blocking any action in the Senate to how large their salaries are that might actually be taxed more if we heaven forbid got us back to a more fair tax structure.

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