As you assess whether some or all of the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire, bear in mind that the popular notion that Americans are suffering under a high and ever-increasing tax burden is nonsense. That's right: It's just not true. To the contrary, taxes are at historical lows. We have covered this issue over the last couple years, including here, here, and here.
Check out this New York Times article from last Thursday. The article focuses on the large gulf between popular perception (taxes are high and getting higher) and reality (taxes are low and have been getting lower). Here's an excerpt:
[A]cross the country, people …
are pained by the conviction that they are paying ever more to finance
the expansion of government. But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes —
federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago.
According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all
income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of
their income than it took from households with the same
inflation-adjusted income in 1980.