income tax

Consumer Spending Increased 0.8%, Real Personal Income Minus Government Payments Decreased -0.1% for September 2012

Americans spent more than they earned. That's what's implied in the BEA's September personal income and outlay's report. Consumer spending increased 0.8% from last month, and when adjusted for inflation was a 0.4% increase for September. Consumer spending is another term for personal consumption expenditures or PCE.

Tax Day Less Painful For Top 400 Income Earners

In honor of tax day, we have quite the study on taxes. 45% of Americans pay zero tax. Then the top 400 income Americans pay just 17%, not 35%, in taxes. Why? In part, capital gains, which is taxed at a 15% rate. That's Wall Street profits folks.

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.

That said, watch out, Republicans are out to give more tax breaks to the wealthy. Bear in mind most of America is poor, with the median income being a little over $26,000 dollars.

So, statistics like the below disguise the fact the super-rich pretty much already have most of the money in the United States.

More than half of the nation's tax revenue came from the top 10 percent of earners in 2007. More than 44 percent came from the top 5 percent. Still, the wealthy have access to much more lucrative tax breaks than people with lower incomes.