On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade falsely claimed “51% of the country [aren't] paying any taxes at all.” In fact, while the bottom 50 percent of wage earners pay little federal income tax, they still pay payroll and sales taxes, and in many cases, state and local taxes as well.
Kilmeade Falsely Claims “51% Of The Country [Aren't] Paying Any Taxes At All”
From the July 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
KILMEADE: I think the biggest story is what [Obama] did, he just said it again. That people have to pull their fair share, equal shared sacrifice. Fifty-one percent of the country isn't [sic] paying any taxes at all and you have the people who are paying the bulk of the taxes being called out for not paying more than they're supposed--than they're currently paying. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/26/11 via Media Matters]
But While Nearly Half Of U.S. Households Pay No Federal Income Taxes, "[V]ast Majority" Pay Other Taxes
AP: "[V]ast Majority Of People Who Escape Federal Income Taxes Still Pay Other Taxes." In an April 7, 2010, article, The Associated Press cited a Tax Policy Center (TPC) statistic finding that “47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009,” but went on to note: “The vast majority of people who escape federal income taxes still pay other taxes, including federal payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, and excise taxes on gasoline, aviation, alcohol and cigarettes. Many also pay state or local taxes on sales, income and property.” [Tax Policy Center, 6/29/09; The Associated Press, 4/7/10]
TPC: In 2006, Married Couples At Poverty Level Paid 7.7 Percent Of Wages In Payroll Taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center, married couples at the poverty threshold paid an average 7.7 percent of their wages in payroll taxes in 2006. [Tax Policy Center, accessed 4/12/11]