Rich Already Pay More than “Fair Share”

July 11, 2012

Via Hot Air and the Washington Times, a new report from the government’s own Congressional Budget Office shows that (as of 2008 and 2009) the top 20% of the population earn 50.8% of the income in the country, but pay 67.9% of the taxes.

Democrats (up to and including the president) are always calling for “the rich” to “pay their fair share”.  They must not mean the most obvious sense of “fair share”—i.e., a proportionate share; the rich already pay much more than that.  Yet what other sense they mean is never specified.

If you agree with them that tax rates should be even more “progressive” than they already are, I put the question to you:  How much is enough?  Unless you’re actually a Communist, you don’t want the wealthy just to be taxed until their income is brought down to the level of everyone else’s.  So, how much do you want them to be taxed?  What is their “fair share”?

Bonus topic:  In that story quoting President Obama, we’re told that (about a year ago, while president of the United States) he spoke before “a supportive crowd at a National Council of La Raza conference.”  Would a Republican president ever speak before “a supportive crowd” at some white-nationalist conference?  (Would there be anything left of him after the press was finished with him if he did?)

For a quick introduction to the organization whose name translates as the National Council of The Race, see (from National Review Online) Michelle Malkin, Mark Krikorian (two, three), Carol Iannone, and Liam Julian.  (The National Council of La Raza makes a valiant effort in the damage-control sections of its Web site, but then, so does the KKK.)

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14 Responses to “Rich Already Pay More than “Fair Share””

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    I think 50% should be the maximum threshold for the ultra-wealthy. If you make a million or more a year, I believe the tax rate should be 50%. That’s a take home of $500,000 if you make a million (in case anyone doesn’t have a calculator handy, $550,000 if you make $1,100,000), which is more than most Americans will take home over 15 years of labor at the current tax rates. Are you telling me that a CEO is so much more valuable to his company and our economy than the worker who does his labor for him that it is unfair that he take home in one year what the worker will take home in 15 or 20?

    • Snoodickle Says:

      In the interest of precision, I should qualify what I said with the following – under our current system, the tax rate would be 50% only for income 1,000,000 and beyond. The first 999,999, would be taxed at a lower rate – multiple lower rates to be precise. Thus, the take home would not be $500,000 for someone making a million, it would actually be more, thus making my proposal even more fair than I originally envisioned.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        How did you arrive at the 50% figure? Why is this the socially optimal marginal rate for incomes above $1,000,000?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        It’s simple: everyone knows that making money is at least 50% luck, and is 50% skill at best. Some would argue that the luck factor is even greater. So, based on the fact that, at the very least, 50% of income is derived through luck, 50% of it can justifiably be taken by the government to fund our government, and help those who are not so lucky. However, 50% would be far too high a rate for people who do not make a lot of money, and therefore they are taxed at a lower rate.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        Did you know that more than 85% of statistics are made up on the spot?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        I did not, mayhaps you could provide me a link?


    • By the way, Snoodickle, thank you for your honest answer. Your position is that the most productive members of our society should be compelled to spend half of every year laboring to enrich the government rather than themselves. Noted.

      I wish liberal politicians were so straightforward about it.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Are you alleging that some Wall Street Wizard who gambles on derivatives is more productive than an elite school teacher, police officer, or fire fighter?


  2. […] This is much more dramatic than the graph I showed in a post two weeks ago: […]

  3. eMatters Says:

    Does this include FICA? I am totally on board with the conclusion, but I want to be able to note how much total taxes each quartile pays, not just the federal income tax piece.


    • I’m glad you asked! See my more recent entry “Rich Pay Even More Disproportionate Share of Income Taxes than Previously Reported”. I didn’t understand it at the time that I posted this first entry, but yes, the data I was using (showing the top 20% of the population paying 68% of the taxes) include “All Federal Taxes”, while the other graph (showing the top 20% of the population paying 94% of the taxes) is considering only federal individual income taxes (table on page 12 of PDF, marked as page 7 on the page). This CBO document in several places (e.g., bottom of page 5 of the PDF, marked as roman numeral II on the page) defines its “all” taxes: “Federal taxes include individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance (or payroll) taxes, and excise taxes.” (FICA = payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, right?)

      I should add the caveats that I’m no expert on any of this stuff and that I haven’t read this whole document (the CBO’s thirty-page report), but it appears to me that the answer to your question is Yes.

  4. eMatters Says:

    thanks for the clarification!


  5. […] Booker of Newark, a platform committee chairman.]  ‘It’s patriotism.’”  (See “Rich Already Pay More than ‘Fair Share’” and “Rich Pay Even More Disproportionate Share of Income Taxes than Previously […]


  6. […] The top 20% earn 50.8% of the income but pay 67.9% of all federal taxes.  (“Federal taxes include… […]


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