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Almost half of American households don't pay any federal income tax, according to CNNMoney.

Almost half of American households may not be paying federal income tax, according to CNNMoney.

Before the recession, about 40 percent of households didn't pay any federal income tax, Robert Greenstein, president of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told CNNMoney. The Tax Policy Center predicted that number will rise to approximately 46 percent for 2011.

Whether Congress purposely set the tax code up this way or not is irrelevant, according to the article. Congress decreased the number of people who pay a federal income tax by adding tax breaks like tax credits for work, education and children, according to the article. More than 10 years ago, the Bush tax cuts made the number of tax contributors even smaller.

To stimulate the economy after the financial meltdown of 2008, Congress passed temporary tax breaks, and that drained the pool of federal income taxpayers even more, Greenstein told CNNMoney.

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