Remember our discussion from way back before the election about Obama's tax tipping point? The nutshell of the idea is that when 51% of the nation pays no taxes, it will vote itself tax increase after tax increase from the 49% until the country plows its way into economic oblivion. I'd highly recommend reading that previous post to see who pays taxes (and how much), and a terrific example of our America's progressive tax system works. Once you've done that, continue with this outstanding post at Legal Insurrection, keeping in mind that in 2007 (the most recent year for which we have data) the number of people paying no income tax was already 40%:
Scrolling through the excellent TaxProf Blog reminded me of a fundamental dynamic in American politics. A large percentage of voters pay no federal income taxes: 47% Will Pay $0 Income Tax in 2009.
But that doesn't tell the full story. For whom do these non-tax paying voters vote? There will be no shock here. The lower the income, the more likely the person voted for Obama. And at the lowest tax brackets, these voters not only pay no taxes, they likely receive checks from the federal government. (Interestingly, at the highest income level Obama garnered a higher percentage of voters by a small margin, perhaps because people who already have made their fortunes are not as worried by marginal tax rates.)
Thischart linked by TaxProf Blog shows the dynamic:
We are witnessing an era where a near majority of voters have no incentive to hold down federal income taxes, and every incentive to increase federal spending on social programs and hand outs. Do not underestimate this dynamic; it is the bread and butter of the Democratic policy prescriptions and agenda.
A tyranny of those who pay no taxes.