by Kathleen McKinley | April 21, 2011 9:38 am
As you can see, the top-earning 1 percent of Americans (the 1.4 million returns making more than $380,000) paid 38 percent of federal personal income taxes while the Americans in the lower half of the income spectrum (or 70.0 million returns) paid 2.7 percent of the total. This chart also shows that roughly half of taxpayers pay for almost all of federal personal income taxes.
Based on this data, it is hard to say that top income earners are taxed unfairly lightly.
Mark Knoller, CBS White House Correspondent tweeted this today:
Obama calls for tax hike for wealthiest 2% of taxpayers. He says the economy needs it & just can’t let the rich “go count their money.”
It doesn’t look to me that the rich are “counting their money.” It looks to me like they are paying their fair share. The truth is this. When you tax those making $250,000 and above, you are also taxing small businesses that provide jobs. We all know we could tax these people 100% and it would only run the government for less than a year. The real money is the middle class, but Obama doesn’t dare raise taxes there. So, the whole thing is a fool’s game. For Obama, it’s just a good sound bite. He’s a smart guy. He knows that taxing the rich won’t solve our problem. But he also knows that when he injects class warfare, he gets votes. It’s shameful.
Update: Michael Baron has this excellent piece on why taxing the rich won’t increase revenue. It’s a must read.
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