U.S. total income “plummeted” 15% from 2007–2009

Via Matt Stoller, we get this from Reuters, which seems to be coming through like a champ these days (my emphasis):

U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007, new tax data showed on Wednesday.

The data showed an alarming drop in the number of taxpayers reporting any earnings from a job — down by nearly 4.2 million from 2007 — meaning every 33rd household that had work in 2007 had no work in 2009.

Average income in 2009 fell to $54,283, down $3,516, or 6.1 percent in real terms compared with 2008, the first Internal Revenue Service analysis of 2009 tax returns showed. Compared with 2007, average income was down $8,588 or 13.7 percent.

The article is stuffed with information like this, a veritable piñata of double-dip sandwich makings.

For example, for 2009:

  • Over 1400 taxpayers in the $1 million plus group paid no taxes at all (nice)
  • The number of actual tax returns fell by almost 2 million, compared with 2007
  • And this double hit: “While the number of people who earned enough income to file a tax return fell, the share of those filing who paid no income tax rose to 41.7 percent of tax returns, up from 36.4 percent in 2009.”

Actually, the only good news in the whole article is the byline — reporting and writing by David Cay Johnston in Singapore.

This is why we don’t have nice things, like jobs; we can’t afford to “ask” (bribe) Congress to give them to us.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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