Misery loves company. Multitudes are no doubt making the last-minute scramble to finish taxes today. If that's the case for you, perhaps you can take solace in the fact that this tax misery is a long-lived American tradition.
With the deadline for Americans to file their income taxes looming, there's a good chance you've heard or will hear from politicians, on cable news and on talk radio about those who pay little or no taxes.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said that we "have a situation in this country where you're nearing 50 percent of people who don't even pay income taxes." There are even those who say that there are nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no taxes at all.
The White House just posted word that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama filed 2011 tax returns showing an "adjusted gross income of $789,674" and that they paid "$162,074 in total [federal] tax." That works out to about 20.5 percent of the AGI.
About half of the first family's income was from the president's salary. The rest came from royalties generated by his books. According to the White House: