This week’s charts use data from the Congressional Budget Office and Internal Revenue Service to display average estimated federal tax burdens in 2010 and EITC trends from 1975 to 2010. The data show that, contrary to popular belief, federal tax burdens are quite low—and sometimes negative—for the lowest quintiles of the income distribution. Trends in EITC spending and beneficiaries over the past four decades shed more light on the program’s growing prominence.
This week’s chart uses data from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center to update a chart on average effective federal rates. The chart compares the average effective rate at which earners in different income quintiles are taxed by the federal government using newly available numbers for 2011.
Income equality and social mobility are important issues for many Americans. While many have been pessimistic about income distribution trends in recent years, arguing that the rich have gotten richer while low- and middle-incomes have been stagnating, the data reveal a more nuanced story.
The large numbers that spill across Ex-Im balance sheets concern all US taxpayers. Although names like JP Morgan and TD Bank are listed on these records, taxpayers are ultimately responsible for these liabilities. The US government should not exploit taxpayers’ credit to funnel risk-protected assets to large private corporations. It is past time to put this cash cow for cronies out to pasture.
This week’s charts use data from the 2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Tax Database to update a previous chart on corporate income tax rates among OECD countries. The data show that the United States still leads the world in high corporate income tax rates.
Occupational licensing stifles competition and raises prices while limiting options for consumers. More important, it hurts low-income Americans who are most in need of gainful employment. It is time for states to end these regressive practices.
The first chart compares the differences in debt projections between the FY 2015 budget and the CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook for 2014 through 2024. While the president’s budget calls for higher debt levels as a percentage of GDP from 2013 to 2017 when compared to CBO current law numbers, the president’s budget plan projects that debt will drop below current trajectories by 2018.
The incentives to use political connections for personal gain grow as the power of government grows. Donating to political campaigns is one way that private interests try to win alliances of government authorities. Over the past 25 years, several of the top political contributors have sought political privilege largely under the radar, with some surprising names appearing among the top 25.
This week’s chart, which uses 2012 data from the Office of Management and Budget’s “High-Error Programs Report” to display improper payment amounts and improper payment rates of federal transfer programs, shows that over $100 billion in taxpayer funds were improperly spent in 2012.
This week’s chart uses data from the Department of Defense’s FY 2014 budget request and an analysis by Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments to display DoD outlays and personnel costs for 2014. If current trends hold, personnel costs on health care, income, and retirement may consume larger portions of the DoD budget with each succeeding year.