You wouldn't know it from the clamor of anti-tax protests, but Americans turned over a lower share of their income to the taxman last year than at any time since the Truman administration, according to a USA Today analysis. State, local, and federal taxes took up 9.2% of income last year, the lowest proportion since 1950 and well below the average of 12% over the last 50 years.
The tax rate paid by all Americans has shrunk 26% since the recession began in 2007, largely because of tax cuts in the stimulus package and lower consumer spending reducing the amount of sales tax paid. Do the figures mean all those Tea Party tax protests are wrong-headed? Not so, says Adam Brandon at protest organizer FreedomWorks. The real problem, he says, is runaway spending and the huge deficit, which is going to have to be paid for by future taxes.