A real look at America’s haves and have-nots that goes beyond partisan bickering:
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) released a report this past week stating that 64 percent of Americans cannot come up with $1,000 to cover an emergency situation.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax data for 2009 shows there were 235,413 taxpayers who earned $1 million or more that year.
According to the non-profit NFCC, of the 2,700 survey respondents, 17 percent of those who could not meet a $1,000 emergency expense said they would borrow money from friends or family. Another 17 percent said they would neglect other financial obligations, such as a credit card or mortgage payment, to meet the emergency.
The IRS data just released shows that in 2009, "incomes fell, unemployment claims rose and the U.S. economy shed nearly 2 million taxpayers."
A previous NFCC study found that “30 percent of Americans have zero dollars in non-retirement savings. A separate study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 50 percent of Americans would struggle to come up with $2,000 in a pinch.”
According to the IRS, of the 235,413 taxpayers who earned $1 million or more in 2009, 1,470 paid no taxes.
From a news report in The New York Times: Standard & Poor’s “based its downgrade and its negative outlook for America’s credit rating partly on the assumption that Bush-era tax cuts for high incomes would be extended past their 2012 expiration, ‘because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.’ S.& P. said it could change its outlook to stable if the tax cuts ended.”