American tax payments cost more than food and clothing

American taxes (NL)

President Trump tells Congress to reduce tax burdens

Only ‘Housing’ exceeds ‘Taxes’ for average family costs

 

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American tax. During the last three years of the Obama presidency, the average tax bill for Americans increased 41.13 percent according to data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

On average, Americans spent more on taxes in 2016 than they did on food and clothing combined. The BLS said families spent $10,489 on local taxes while food was $7,203 and clothing, $1,803. Taxes = $10,489 vs. Food and clothing = $9,006.

The average “consumer unit” (defined by the BLS to include families, financially independent individuals, and people living in a single household who share expenses) tax bill increased from $7,423 in 2013 to $10,489 in 2016.

The tax-and-spending data was collected as part of the BLS’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, which is conducted for the BLS by the Census Bureau. The survey measures the expenditures and incomes of American consumers.

“If we want to renew our prosperity, and to restore opportunity, then we must reduce the tax burden on our companies and on our workers,” President Donald Trump told a crowd Springfield, Missouri Wednesday. “In the last 10 years, our economy has grown at only around two percent a year. If you look at other countries and you look at what their GDP is, they’re unhappy when it’s seven, eight, nine. And I speak to them — leaders of the countries — how are you doing? ‘Not well, not well.’ Why? ‘GDP is down to seven percent.’ And I’m saying, we were hitting one percent just a number of months ago. So we’re going to change that around, folks, that I can tell you. And we’re going change it around fast.”

Last year there were 129,549,000 “consumer units” in the United States. The average before-tax income of an American consumer unit was $74,664 for the year. The consumer unit then paid an average of $10,489 in personal taxes—including $8,367 in federal income taxes, $2,046 in state and local income taxes, and $75 in other taxes.

“And today — a very appropriate day that this should happen — we just announced that we hit three percent in GDP. It just came out. And on a yearly basis, as you know, the last administration, during an eight-year period, never hit three percent. So we’re really on our way.”

“If we achieve sustained three percent growth, that means 12 million new jobs and $10 trillion dollars of new economic activity over the next decade. That’s some numbers. And I happen to be one that thinks we can go much higher than three percent. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”

“So this is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform for everyday hardworking Americans, and I am fully committed to working with Congress to get this job done. And I don’t want to be disappointed by Congress…”

From 2013 to 2016, overall personal taxes climbed from $7,432 to $10,489—an increase of $3,057 or 41.13 percent. Federal income taxes climbed from $5,743 to $8,367—an increase of $2,624 or 45.7%.  State and local income taxes climbed from $1,629 to $2,046—an increase of $417 or 25.6 percent. Other taxes climbed from $60 to $75—an increase of $15 or 25 percent.

The largest expenditure by “consumer units” in 2016—and the only one that exceeded taxes—was “housing,” which cost the average consumer unit $18,886 during the year. That included $11,128 for the “shelter” itself, $3,884 for utilities fuel and public services, $1,384 for household operations, $160 for housekeeping supplies, and $1,829 for household furnishings and equipment.

The BLS publishes the itemized expenditures of what it refers to as “consumer units,” which include “all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangements,” or “a person living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent,” or “two or more persons living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.” The BLS said that a consumer unit generally refers to a family.

American “consumer units” only spent $1,803 on “apparel and services” (clothing) in 2016 and $7,203 on “food.”

 

The $1,803 that the average consumer unit spent on clothing included $427 for “men and boys,” $665 for “women and girls,” $66 for “children under 2,” $388 for “footwear,” and $257 for “other apparel and services.”

The $7,203 for food included $4,029 for “food at home” and $3,154 for “food away from home.”

Under the food at home category, the average consumer unit spent $890 on “meat, poultry, fish and eggs,” $783 on “fruits and vegetables,” $410 on “dairy products,” and $393 on “non-alcoholic beverages.”

The $10,489 that the average consumer unit spent on taxes in 2016 was 13.4 times as much as the $783 it spent on fruits and vegetables.

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