Quote Of The Day: The Real Truth About Taxes Paid By The Rich

“Of course, the bulk of Bush’s 2003 tax cuts on dividends and capital gains will help people with the highest incomes, but they pay the most taxes in the first place. The tax cuts will also help the entire 100-million-strong investor class — about 50 percent of U.S. households. But when the new IRS income statistics for 2004 and 2005 are published, we will undoubtedly find that lower tax rates — particularly on investment — have again generated much higher tax collections for the so-called richest among us. Already, for the twelve months ending April 2005, non-withheld tax receipts (read capital gains and dividends) rose an astronomical 36 percent.

There’s nothing new here. Through 2001, a tiny one-tenth of 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers generated a hefty 16 percent of total tax collections. That’s brainpower plus initiative, aided and abetted by the incentive to keep more of what you earn and thus work with more intensity and purpose. Meanwhile the top 1 percent paid 34 percent of tax collections, the top 5 percent paid 53 percent, the top 10 percent paid 65 percent, the top 25 percent paid 83 percent, and the top 50 percent paid 96 percent. These “rich people” are government’s best friend.” — Larry Kudlow

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