During a late session last night, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) made a stunning claim on the House floor:
Well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two children, you don’t pay any taxes. So you probably, if you don’t pay any taxes, you are not going to get a very big tax cut.
While someone with a $40,000 salary and a family of four paid little or no federal income taxes last year, Hastert ignores various other taxes paid by all Americans — payroll taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes, etc.
Consider payroll taxes, which go to paying for Social Security and Medicare. Assuming their entire $40,000 in salary came from wages, this family paid $3,060 (7.65 percent of $40,000) in federal payroll taxes last year. (Note: The employer also contributes this amount, but most economists “believe that the portion of the payroll tax paid by the employer is borne by the worker.”)
Hastert, who earns a hefty $212,010 a year salary, doesn’t seem to understand that families across America are facing higher health care costs, mortgage payments, and gas prices. And yes, they also have to pay their taxes.