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Thursday, August 04, 2011

"Average Wages Fell, Too"

David Cay Johnston looks through the latest tax data:

U.S. incomes fell sharply in 2009, by David Cay Johnston, Commentary, Reuters: U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007, new tax data showed on Wednesday.
The data showed an alarming drop in the number of taxpayers reporting any earnings from a job -- down by nearly 4.2 million from 2007...
Average income in 2009 fell to $54,283..., its lowest level since 1997 when it was $54,265 in 2009 dollars, just $18 less than in 2009. The data come from annual Statistics of Income tables that were updated Wednesday. ...
No income tax was paid by 1,470 of the 235,413 taxpayers earning $1 million or more in 2009, compared with the 959 taxpayers with million-dollar-plus incomes who paid no income taxes in 2007. ...
The data from tax returns showed a startling drop in the total number of taxpayers reporting any wages. A taxpayer, as defined by the IRS, can be an individual or a married couple. The data showed almost 4.2 million fewer taxpayers reported wages in 2009 than in 2007, with about 116.7 million taxpayers reporting wages and salaries in 2009 -- down from about 120.8 million in 2007.
Average wages fell, too, sliding $1,106 to $48,917 from $50,023 in 2007. ...

We need to do something about the employment problem. But if White House negotiations over job creation go as well as the negotiations over the debt ceiling, Obama will end up agreeing to more reductions in government spending and a full extension of the Bush tax cuts in return for a promise to perhaps look into job creation sometime next year.

    Posted by on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 12:33 AM in Economics, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (45)


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