U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman Uses Tax Foundation Data in Denver Post Commentary

August 10, 2011

"Guest Commentary: A "no" vote on increasing taxes"

By U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman

I strongly believe that we have a federal government that is much larger than our economy will ever be able to support. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, total revenues to the federal government have never exceeded 21 percent of the gross domestic product in the best of economic times. In 2008, total spending by the federal government was at 20.7 percent of GDP and the national debt stood at 40.3 percent of GDP.

Spending under President Barack Obama has grown to nearly 25 percent of GDP, with the debt-to-GDP ratio estimated to hit 72 percent this year.


The president has called for "shared sacrifice," but the Tax Foundation reports that between 1986 and 2008, the share of federal income taxes paid by the top 5 percent of earners has gone from 43 percent to 59 percent, and between 1986 and 2009, the percentage of Americans who pay zero or negative federal income taxes (with the earned income tax credit) has increased to 51 percent from 18.5 percent. Most small businesses are structured as Subchapter S corporations and pay taxes based on the individual and not the corporate rate. Increasing the individual rate will have the unintended consequence of hurting small businesses in their ability to expand and to create jobs.

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