Hannity ignored payroll taxes to claim nearly 50% don't pay taxes

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Sean Hannity claimed that nearly "50 percent of Americans don't pay anything in taxes." In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, more than 88 percent of families and independent individuals will pay payroll or income taxes for 2009.

Broadcasting from a tea-party protest in Atlanta, Sean Hannity asked during the April 15 edition of his Fox News program, "When did we ever get to a point of America where we're nearly where the point where 50 percent of Americans don't pay anything in taxes? Nothing." In fact, according to an April 14 Tax Policy Center (TPC) analysis, under current law, more than 88 percent of families and independent individuals in the United States will pay payroll or income taxes for 2009. As Media Matters for America has noted, under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), workers who are not self-employed are required to pay 6.2 percent of all their wages up to a wage-adjusted yearly cap ($106,800 for 2009) for Social Security, and 1.45 percent of all their wages for Medicare. Those who are self-employed are required to pay 12.4 percent of all their wages up to the cap for Social Security, and 2.9 percent of all their wages for Medicare.

According to the TPC analysis, under current law, 11.6 percent of families and independent individuals will owe "[z]ero or [n]egative [i]ncome and [p]ayroll [t]ax" in 2009, and 43.4 percent of families and independent individuals will owe "[z]ero or [n]egative [i]ndividual [i]ncome [t]ax" in 2009.

Moreover, income and payroll taxes are not the only taxes paid by people in this country. In addition to, for example, sales and other state taxes, people in the United States are required to pay applicable federal excise taxes, including 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline in federal excise taxes.

From the April 15 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

BILL "BUBBA" BUSSEY (radio host): And Sean, the message is very simple: We want to reform the tax code, make it simple, make it fair, and then we want government to quit spending money that it belongs to our grandkids.

They're running the printing press, and you don't have to know anything more than eighth-grade civics and math to realize if they print $1.2 trillion, throw it in the economy, that means the money that we've worked hard for is worth less.

HANNITY: Listen, guys, that's a dead-on point. And I'm going to tell you one other thing. When did we ever get to a point of America where we're nearly where the point where 50 percent of Americans don't pay anything in taxes? Nothing.

BUSSEY: Sean, the latest numbers out are just astounding -- how much that the very few top taxpayers actually pay. I mean, I feel like these taxpayers are disenfranchised. I want them to have a share of the burden just like they wanted a share of the vote.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity
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