WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. tax burden has shrunk to its lowest level in 60 years, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.
Including state, federal and local taxes -- with sales tax and property tax thrown in -- the average tax bill came out to 9.2 percent of personal income in 2009, USA Today reported Tuesday.
That's down from an average of 12 percent over the past 50 years. The tax burden has not been this low since 1950, the newspaper said.
"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," said Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the Center for American Progress.
The tax rate has fallen 26 percent since 2007, a sharp drop that reflects progressive tax rates passed during the Clinton and Bush administrations and the 2009 federal stimulus bill that cut taxes by $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.
Despite the low numbers, the three things you can count on, death, taxes and complaints about taxes, remain a constant. Adam Brandon, press secretary of FreedomWorks, which is associated with the Tea Party movement, warned, "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future."