Taxes and the “Middle Class”

January 14, 2008

Over the weekend, Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge sat down with National Public Radio’s Tess Vigeland to discuss the impact of taxes on the fabled American “middle class.” The piece was part of a special edition of NPR’s Marketplace program dedicated to discussing what exactly the middle class is and where these individuals and families stand today.

From the piece:

Vigeland: Have you ever heard politicians talk about taxes without mentioning the middle class? Well, we wondered whether all those targeted breaks are working. Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation, do you think they are?

Scott Hodge: Over the last couple of years, we’ve tried to target the middle class with various sorts of tax deductions like the $1,000 Child Tax Credit and what we’ve done as a result is knocked millions of low to modest income people off the tax rolls and what that’s done is put greater stress on the top 20 percent of taxpayers. Those earning roughly over $80,000 a year pay about 85 percent of all the income taxes in America today.

You can hear the entire interview with Scott here. You can learn more about income distribution and taxes here and here.

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