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Nina Totenberg Falsely Claims People Making Between $60K and $125K Pay the Most Taxes

Noel Sheppard's picture

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday said President Obama wins the budget debate if the electorate is as gullible as people like NPR's Nina Totenberg.

Just three minutes later on PBS's Inside Washington, as if on cue, Totenberg said people making between $60,000 and $125,000 pay the most in taxes (video follows with transcript and commentary):

NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: And if you look at, if you look at the taxes paid today in brackets of about 20 thousand, you see that actually the people who pay the most are between $60,000 and $125,000. And then, and they pay about 30 percent in income, taxes across the board. It then starts to go down for people who make more than that. And, and this proposed budget would give all of the benies so to speaked to unearned income. Salaried people would be paying more and more, and unearned, and people who made a lot of money would be paying less and less.


If you look at this strictly from a federal income tax perspective, folks with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 pay between 7.7 percent and 11.9 percent.

Those making above this pay considerably more.

As for total taxes including state, local, and excise fees, an April 2011 report by Citizens for Tax Justice also refutes Totenberg's point.

Isn't it wonderful that such a "gullible" person has so many platforms to misinform the public from?


#1 There was a piece in the NYT yesterday

talking about how dems are planning to go all in for the Buffett Rule proposed tax increase as a political maneuver designed to show republicans as unserious on "fair share" and beholden to the rich. Schumer's heading this thing up. From the piece:

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, told reporters this would be the first of many votes on the issue. The vote on April 16 is on stand-alone legislation that would devote the estimated $47 billion in added tax revenue over 10 years to deficit reduction. Future votes would use the Buffett Rule to offset the cost of job-creation measures like infrastructure spending, student loan relief or tax breaks to encourage hiring.

The reason for "future votes" is beacuse dems know it won't pass, so they'll keep throwing it out there with minor variations in an effort to keep making the GOP vote it down.

Yesterday I linked this graph which images the vast savings on the federal deficit we'd realize from this dem tax plan. Yep, that's 0.35% there. Awesome.

Looking at infrastructure spending, a WaPo piece from last July indicated that infrastructure costs us $129 annually to effectively maintain the status quo. The $4.7B raised from the Buffett Rule, if entirely applied to infrastructure spending, would offset 3.5% of those costs.

Student loan relief? Hmmm. Over $1T in student loan debt this year. If we spread the entire $4.7B around to people with student loan debt, we'll help cover 0.47% of that problem. Problem solved, right?

Or, as Schumer suggests, we could just give it back to the people we took it from in tax breaks in order to help with job creation. This is called a shell-game. This is what the senior Senator from New York is trying to sell his base on. This is why people like Nina Totenburg are either lying to you or just the useful idiots Lenin Schumer relies upon to deceive the American people.

Dems aren't serious about defict reduction. There hasn't been one single plan put forth by democrats and endorsed by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, or Barack Obama that would reduce the federal deficit in any real terms, nor a plan to address non-descretionary spending and the path we're on to financial ruin. This is what republicans and the GOP candidates should be talking about -exclusively. Ignore all other questions; speak only about our financial future. The numbers don't lie and dems can't run from them.

#2 Entrenchment

We just need to keep reminding people that the Buffett Rule idea is merely in existence to entrench Warren Buffett and his pals as aristocrats.

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#3 They need to call their bluff

Let them bury us until November. Don't give them more BS talking points. Be very clear. State it simply. "I vote yes for this bill because it is irrelevant until we correct this sinking ship. We will not allow obvious political misdirection divert our focus of saving this country."

Watch how they vote it down themselves and once again demonstrate what fools and dishonest fools at that, they are.


#4 Good articles on student loans being the next debt bubble.

There have been some good articles recently on student loans being the next housing-type debt bubbles. One of the local pieces (I can't find it online!) from an economist from a local college had some statistics that were very startling, up to and including his assertion that fully 2/3rds of the student loans made after 2008 are essentially uncollectible because they went to students who have such diminished employment prospects that there will be an entire generation with bad credit.

Interesting stuff.

#5 Nitwitt Nina

How does this woman find her way home at night? This woman is dumber than Biden and that's say a lot.

#6 epic fail

when is this woman ever right?

#7 I've never expected much from Nina.

She's always come through.

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