Attempting to explain his continued push for higher taxes, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) made the following claim during an interview Thursday with ABC’s Jonathan Karl:
COBURN: “The fact is, we’re at the lowest tax rate this country’s been in a hundred years. Right now.”
In reality, the top marginal income tax rate for individuals is currently 35 percent. In 1987, after Reagan’s historic tax reform, the top marginal income tax rate for individuals was 28 percent.
“Attention Senator Coburn: 35 is a bigger number than 28,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
In the interview, Coburn then said:
COBURN: “We are also at the lowest historical level in a long time in terms of revenues coming in.”
Coburn ignores the fact that tax revenues as a percentage of GDP will climb back to or exceed historical levels by the end of this decade (well, unless Coburn raises taxes, that is). This is true even if all scheduled tax hikes are avoided.
“Both of these claims were put forward by Coburn to make the case that Americans were undertaxed and deserved an additional whuppin’ from the tax collector, said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. Sen. Coburn, we are not undertaxed. Washington is spending too much.”