The problem with what passes for debate about American capitalism these days is that it's underpinned by lies and spin. Do you believe any of these tall tales?
Most people have no idea what's really going on in the economy. They're living on spin, myths and downright lies. And if we don't know the facts, how can we make intelligent decisions? There's just one problem: We're still living in a fantasyland.
Here are the three biggest economic myths -- the things everything thinks they know about the economy that just ain't so:
Taxes have been going up and are high compared to levels in other countries.
The first part is wrong; the second is also wrong but contains a grain of truth.
The percentage of income that Americans spend on taxes is the lowest it’s been since 1958, according an analysis by USA Today. And with the exception of five years after the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the highest marginal income and corporate tax rates are the lowest they’ve been since World War II.
The only tax increases passed during the Obama administration were part of the health-care reform bill, through which Congress, among other things, raised the Medicare payroll tax for high earners, said Curtis Dubay, a senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. The problem, he said, is the federal corporate tax rate, which stands at 35 percent.
While it’s true the official rate is high, few corporations pay it, said Robertson Williams of the Tax Policy Center.
“The effective tax rates that corporations pay actually goes down a lot with deductions and puts us closer to the middle of the pack,” he said. “It complicates the tax system substantially and makes it more difficult for corporations to figure out what their taxes are.”
Land of Homeowners
Land of Homeowners
The dream of owning a home is actually more the reality in other countries. In the book, the authors point to the most recent data, which show only 68% of Americans owned their home in 2002, compared with 92% in Hungry, 84% in Mexico, 72% in the U.K. and 71% in Australia.