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Taxes and Spending Chapter 14. SECTION 1 Taxes Three Major Federal Taxes The government collects three major federal taxes: personal income tax, corporate.

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Presentation on theme: "Taxes and Spending Chapter 14. SECTION 1 Taxes Three Major Federal Taxes The government collects three major federal taxes: personal income tax, corporate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Taxes and Spending Chapter 14

2 SECTION 1 Taxes Three Major Federal Taxes The government collects three major federal taxes: personal income tax, corporate income tax, and Social Security tax. Personal income tax is a tax people pay on their income. Personal income tax is paid to both the federal government and most state governments. Corporate income tax is a tax corporations pay on their profits. Corporate income tax is also paid to both the federal government and most state governments. Social Security tax is a tax paid to the federal government on income generated from employment. Half is paid by employers, and the other half is paid by employees.


4 Three Other Taxes Sales tax is applied to the purchase of many goods. Sales tax is collected by states, not by the federal government. Sales taxes vary among states. Excise taxes are placed on the purchase of certain goods, such as tobacco and gasoline. The federal government, as well as many states, collects excise taxes. Property owners, such as homeowners, pay a property tax on the value of their property. This is a major revenue source for state and local governments.

5 The Alternative Minimum Tax The alternative minimum tax (AMT) is a tax that some people have to pay on top of their regular income tax. Here is how the AMT works: For a given income, a minimum tax is computed. If you make that income and are paying at least that amount of taxes, you don’t pay the alternative minimum tax. If you are paying less than that amount in taxes, you pay the difference in addition to your regular income tax. When the AMT was first put into place in 1969, fewer than 1 percent of all taxpayers were affected by it. Today, more than 3 percent pay AMT.

6 The number of people affected by AMT has increased because of two factors: inflation and tax cuts. Inflation has caused people’s dollar income to rise, although the AMT has not been adjusted for inflation. The income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 reduced the amount of regular income tax that people were responsible for in those years, exposing many to the AMT amount.

7 Proportional, Progressive, and Regressive Income Taxes Income taxes can be proportional, progressive, or regressive. With a proportional income tax, everyone pays at the same rate, whatever their income level. A flat tax is the same as a proportional tax. With progressive income tax, people pay higher rates as their incomes rise. Progressive income tax structures are usually capped at some rate. The United States has a progressive income tax structure. In 2005, the tax rates were 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent. A regressive income tax is a tax rate that decreases as income levels rise.

8 Income Taxes Three income tax structuresCountries with a flat tax structure

9 How Long Do You Have to Work to Pay All Your Taxes? It has been calculated that the average person works from January 1 to April 17 before earning enough to pay all taxes owed.

10 Who Pays What Percentage of Federal Income Taxes? Some polls show that most people think wealthy Americans do not pay their fair share of taxes. We need to consider several issues when we talk about the share of taxes paid by different income groups. 1.What do we mean by “wealthy Americans”? 2.What do we mean by “fair share” of taxes? 3.What do wealthy Americans pay in taxes compared with what they earn?

11 Let’s compare tax data for people in different income groups. How does each income group’s share of income compare with its share of taxes? Do you notice a pattern with regard to the average tax rates for the different groups? Do you think the wealthy pay a fair share of their taxes?

12 Who Pays the Most Tax in the United States?

13 SECTION 2 The Budget: Deficits and Debt How Does the Federal Government Spend Money? In 2005, the federal government spent about $2,451 billion. The following areas account for 75.8 percent of that amount: 21.5 percent on national defense 14 percent on income security, retirement, and disability 21 percent on Social Security 12.1 percent on Medicare 7.2 percent on paying interest on the national debt (The national debt is the sum total of what the federal government owes its creditors.)

14 The Costs and Benefits of Government Spending Programs According to economists, a government spending program is not worth pursuing unless the benefits of that program outweigh the costs. Spending programs that have greater costs than benefits sometimes get passed in Congress.

15 The Budget Process The president of the United States prepares the budget. The budget recommends to Congress how much should be spent for such things as national defense and income security programs. The Congressional Budget Office advises the members of the committees and subcommittees that review the president’s budget. Estimates are used to determine tax revenues. In the end, many details of the president’s budget are changed to reflect compromise between the president and Congress.

16 When the president submits the budget to Congress, the public gets a chance to hear about the budget proposal. The American people can write to or call their congresspersons and express their preferences on the president’s budget. Congress must pass a budget by the beginning of the fiscal year. The fiscal year for the federal government begins on October 1 and runs through September 30. Once Congress passes the budget, the details of spending outlined in the budget become law for that fiscal year.

17 What Is a Fair Share? The benefits-received principle holds that a person should pay in taxes an amount equal to the benefits she or he receives from government expenditures. Excise taxes help achieve this goal. The ability-to-pay principle states that people should pay taxes according to their abilities to pay. The more money you have, the more taxes you should pay.

18 Budgets: Balanced and in Deficit A budget deficit is a situation in which federal government expenditures are greater than federal government tax revenues. A budget surplus occurs when federal government expenditures are less than federal government revenues. The Great Depression (1929–1933) changed the way people felt about budget deficits. Until then, many people felt that a balanced budget was the best way for the government to operate. After the Depression, people began to accept budget deficits as a way of reducing unemployment.

19 Expansionary fiscal policy was necessary to increase government spending without increasing tax revenues, allowing employment to rise. Many people felt that it was better to balance the economy than to balance the budget. Every time the federal government runs a deficit, it is increasing the national debt. On October 24, 2005, the national debt was $8.009 trillion, or $25,950 per citizen. Economists argue that increased national debt will lead to higher tax rates in the future.

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