Media Myth Debunked: 97 Percent of Americans Pay Less Tax Than Romney's 15 Percent

In the days following Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's admission that he pays around 15 percent in federal income taxes, the Obama-loving media have been in a full-court press claiming this is less than what most Americans pay.

According to last year's report from the Internal Revenue Service, as a function of Adjusted Gross Income, 97 percent of 2009 filers paid less than 15 percent:

This first chart shows the breakdown of all 140 million filers in 2009 and what their percentage tax was by income:


As you can see in the fourth column, folks making "$100,000 under $200,000" paid tax at an average of 11.9 percent of their AGI. Those making under that paid even less.

It's not until you get to $200,000 and above that anyone paid over 15 percent; "$200,000 under $500,000" paid 19.6 percent.

This next chart shows the number and percentage of tax returns filed at each income level:

If you add up all the percentages in the third column ending with "100,000 under $200,000," you get 97 percent.

That means as a function of AGI - which is typically how folks look at taxes - if Romney pays 15 percent as he stated, he's paying a higher rate than 97 percent of his fellow citizens.

This is a far cry from what media representatives have been saying since his admission.

Even measuring this by taxable income, Romney is still paying more than 87 percent of filers.

Something else to consider is the highlighted line in the first chart that shows the average filer in 2009 paid 12.8 percent of AGI.

So when Obama's sycophants including billionaire Warren Buffett carp and whine about Wall Streeters only paying 15 percent, remember that this is more than the tax burden of almost all Americans.

Associate Editor’s note: Speaking of tax burdens, here's a way to lower yours. As you are likely aware, since the financial collapse of 2008, charities and non-profit organizations have seen a sharp reduction in donations. Although the environment has improved, contributions are still nowhere near where they were prior to the recession. Unfortunately, the Media Research Center has not been immune. With this in mind, your support has become more important than ever. With a critical election approaching, the liberal media needs to be monitored 24/7. As we have been predicting for months, the press are willing to do anything to get their beloved politicians elected and/or reelected. As such, we need your help to fight this fight. Any contribution, even $10, is greatly appreciated. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to the Media Research Center to help us battle the liberal media. Thank you.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.