In 2010, total collections of federal income taxes from individuals, families and businesses equaled 7.5 percent of GDP. That was by far the lowest portion of the economy collected in income taxes in recent history by the way.
In that same year, the combined values to individuals, families and businesses of all deductions, credits, exemptions and other tax breaks equaled 7.4 percent of GDP.
So tax breaks basically equaled tax collections in 2010.
These facts are drawn from a graphic published today by the Washington Post as part its ongoing occasional series titled “Running in the Red” about the sources of the national debt.
If you go to the Post’s site you can see the graphic and also fool around with a more complicated graphic that includes all the tax breaks, what year they took effect and how much potential revenue each one cost the treasury.
I applaud the Post for doing this work and likewise anyone who has the patience and attention span to take it in and think it though.