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For the week ahead of Tax Day 2011, Demos published daily writings, infographics, and illustrations that provided a fresh perspective on how we think about taxes.

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All work will be hosted at OurFiscalSecurity.org and is republishable with attribution.

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Entries in GDP (1)

Taxes Matter Top 10 Stats

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1. The government collected less in taxes in 2010 than it has in over three generations, and tax rates are at historic lows.

2. The Bush tax cuts added $1.7 trillion to the nation’s debt over 2001-2008, which is more than it would cost to send 24 million kids to four-year public universities.

3. Corporate income taxes totaled about 1 percent of GDP this year, 60% lower than 40 years ago.

4. General Electric, which reported $5 billion in US profits, paid ZERO taxes this year. Exxon Mobil, the most profitable corporation in history, paid ZERO federal taxes in 2009.

5. The Bush tax legacy means we currently tax wealth less than work: middle-income paychecks are taxed at 25% compared to stock dividends and capital gains for the wealthiest, which are taxed at a top rate of only 15%.

6. While most small businesses dream of making a killing, only 3 out of every 100 small business owners pay taxes at the highest rate.

7. A Wall Street transactions tax of only 0.50% on short-term speculation could raise up to $170 billion annually.

8. A middle class family with two young children receives on average $1,200 through the federal child care tax credit, yet the cost of their child care averages $18,000.

9. Upper income households save an average of $5,500 thanks to the mortgage interest tax deduction.

10. Only four OECD nations collect less revenue as a percentage of GDP than the United States: Chile, Korea, Mexico, and Turkey.

— By Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy & Programs at Demos