Given the Republican Party's hyper-orthodoxy on taxes, and the Tea Party activists' cries that they are "Taxed Enough Already," it might be tempting to think the far-right enmity was driven by soaring tax rates that became so oppressive, they created an intense public backlash.
Congressional Budget Office
A nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report released yesterday reminds us that the opposite is true: Americans' federal tax burden keeps shrinking.
Americans paid the lowest tax rates in 30 years to the federal government in 2009, in part because of tax cuts President Obama sought to combat the Great Recession, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday. [...]
[A]t the very moment anti-tax protesters were emerging as the most powerful force in American politics, handing Republicans landslide control of the U.S. House, the data show that people were sending the smallest portion of their income to the federal government since 1979.
During Obama's first year in office, the average tax rate paid by all households fell to 17.4 percent, down from 19.9 percent in 2007, according to the CBO. The 2009 rate was significantly lower than the previous low of 19.4 percent in 2003 and well below the 30-year average of 21 percent.
The tax burden -- which includes all forms of federal levies, including income, payroll and corporate taxes -- lightened for households across the board, the result in part of Obama's signature "Making Work Pay" tax credit and other tax cuts passed as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package, the CBO said.
Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement late yesterday, "However much Republicans try to perpetuate false claims, the facts speak for themselves: tax rates have never been lower than under President Obama."
I suspect most Republican voters -- indeed, perhaps a significant chunk of voters overall -- are convinced that their federal taxes went up after Obama took office. The facts, however, are stubborn.
Just a little tidbit to keep in mind as the campaign rhetoric strays from reality.