From USA Today via Drudge, with a really odd headline, accompanied by pathetic reporting:
IRS tax revenue falls along with taxpayers’ income
Federal tax revenue plunged $138 billion, or 34%, in April vs. a year ago — the biggest April drop since 1981, a study released Tuesday by the American Institute for Economic Research says.
When the economy slumps, so does tax revenue, and this recession has been no different, says Kerry Lynch, senior fellow at the AIER and author of the study. “It illustrates how severe the recession has been.”
For example, 6 million people lost jobs in the 12 months ended in April — and that means far fewer dollars from income taxes. Income tax revenue dropped 44% from a year ago.
Give me a break. There’s a lot more at work here than unemployment. Reporter John Waggoner wants readers to think that a roughly 4% increase in the unemployment rate (from 5.0% in April 2008 to the current 8.9%) leads to a 44% decrease in income tax revenue. Sure, John.
Memo to Mr. Waggoner: This factor is also at work, so to speak. Or, I should say, at non-work.
USA Today and Drudge didn’t have to wait for a “study” learn that tax receipts were dropping like a rock. I first flagged the 14% decline during the first six months of the fiscal year over 40 days ago on April 15 at Pajamas Media. On April 22, as current-month collections continued to be alarmingly slow, I asked “When Will the Press Catch On to Uncle Sam’s Collections Meltdown?”
I guess we have our answer.
For those in the press who want more current info, here’s what May looks like as of the second-last Friday of the month in 2009 and 2008 (from the May 22, 2009 and May 23, 2008 Daily Treasury Statements):
As you can see, the cliff dive continues.