A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that Americans paid the lowest tax rates in 30 years during President Obama’s first year in office, according to the Washington Post.
In 2009, households paid an average tax rate of 17.4 percent, down nearly two full percentage points from 2007 and nearly four points below a 30-year average of 21 percent. The lowest 20 percent of earners paid 1 percent of their before-tax income, an 80 percent decrease from 2007, when they paid 5.1 percent.
The report’s findings come out on the same day that Obama is scheduled to meet with Democratic leaders, the Wall Street Journal reports, as he seeks to extend tax cuts thru 2013 for most households while raising tax rates for families making more than $250,000 a year.
“Americans are still fighting to make ends meet after the worst recession since the Great Depression,” said Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman. “That’s why the President won’t rest until Congress acts to extend the tax rates for the middle class through next year.”
The report cited tax cuts and Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credit as factors behind the tax drop, but also mentioned a decline in income – an average of 12 percent between 2007 and 2009 – as a reason.
“Under President Obama and the Democrats who control Washington, Americans have lost their jobs, seen their wages decline and fallen into lower tax brackets,” said Michelle Dimarob, a spokeswoman for Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). “A weak economy and fewer jobs is nothing to cheer about.”
[Image via flickr user agrilifetoday, Creative Commons licensed]