Sorry, Obama: The tax code is already more progressive than pre-Reagan

Given the discussion about President Obama’s desire to raise taxes on “the rich” — i.e., families earning more than $250,000 a year — it’s rather convenient that the Congressional Budget Office yesterday published its latest look at earnings and taxes paid by income level. It tells us a couple of worthwhile things.

First, as I mentioned in a comment yesterday evening, it tells us the U.S. tax code is already rather progressive. Here are the numbers I posted yesterday in chart form; note that “federal taxes paid” includes not only income taxes but social-insurance taxes, corporate taxes (which, after all, are ultimately paid by individuals) and excise taxes for 2009, the most recent year the CBO has examined:

2009 CBO income vs. taxes

So, even when we include the payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, which disproportionately hit lower-income workers, the U.S. tax code is already sharply progressive. What liberal/progressivists have yet to tell us is exactly how much more progressive they think it should be.

Well, sort of. We do have an idea of what they think it should be, at least for starters, in the form of Obama’s raise-taxes-on-the-rich proposal. Part of his usual argument for raising taxes on the rich is that we’ve been going down the wrong path for the past three decades — which is shorthand for: since Ronald Reagan was elected and sharply lowered marginal income-tax rates.

Conveniently, the CBO’s report includes data going all the way back to 1979. So, how did things change over the course of 30 years?

One of the ways the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (or OECD, the Paris-based club of industrialized nations) measures tax-code progressivity is by calculating the ratio of the tax burden to income earned for each income group. For example, if one quintile earns 20% of the income and pays 10% of the taxes, its ratio would be 10/20, or 0.50. The higher the ratios for the upper-income groups, and the lower the ratios for the lower-income groups, the more progressive the tax code. By this measure, the OECD has determined the U.S. has the most progressive tax code in the industrialized world.

When we compare the 2009 ratios for these income groups to the 1979 ratios, this is what we get:

CBO Income vs. taxes, 1979 vs. 2009

So, by this measure used by the OECD, the U.S. tax code has gotten significantly more progressive, from top to bottom, since the days of Jimmy Carter.

For another comparison, I looked at 2000 (the peak of the Clinton years) and 2007 (the peak of the Bush years). Despite the Bush tax cuts, the ratios for 2007 were almost identical to those of 2000: just three-thousandths of a point less progressive for the top 1%, and more progressive for all the other income groups.

If there is a problem with income inequality in this country, it’s not the tax code’s fault.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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565 comments Add your comment

Jm

July 11th, 2012
7:18 am

Good one Kyle

But these facts have been laid out before

I expect the same result: liberals will ignore them or craft additional excuses

Liberals tend to ignore inconvenient facts

Jm

July 11th, 2012
7:20 am

Oh, and as this highlights, if liberals want to close the deficit with tax hikes, it would logically need to fall on those not paying their fair share historically speaking: the lower and middle class

Maybe they’ll gain a taste for cutting spending……

Nah….

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
7:29 am

So, even when we include the payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, which disproportionately hit lower-income workers, the U.S. tax code is already sharply progressive. What liberal/progressivists have yet to tell us is exactly how much more progressive they think it should be.

Good luck getting a straight answer to that question, Kyle. I’ve tried for years.

I’m sure someone from the Left side of the aisle will come along today and state that the cap on FICA taxes needs to be lifted, even though SSI was designed to be an independent, self-funded benefit, modeled after a pension plan with disability insurance thrown in. No amount of financial analysis or reasoning seems to make any difference to these folks. In their mind, it’s an issue of “fairness”.

Tim

July 11th, 2012
7:35 am

Of course the tax code is progressive. The real issue, to any lay who has read on the topic, is simply personal income tax rates are too low, as a percentage of GNP, to continue funding the major social projects which all Americans – no matter their station in life – should be entitled to as citizens of a powerful industrialized society. Stop living in the guilded age – we are a mixed-market economy that has the potential to deliver its citizens both liberty and equality, the two should NEVER be framed as mutually exclusive goals.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
7:36 am

the 2010 federal revenues were,

898.5 billion in individual income tax,
864.8 billion in payroll tax,
191.4 billion in corporate tax, and
207.9 billion in excise and other taxes.

That’s what we had to pay the bills with, Kyle. How do yo want to divide it up and how many more tax cuts will it take to get rid of our debt and deficit and who is responsible for paying off our debt and deficit. I know. Let’s give the wealthiest more tax cuts and take those payroll taxes and use them to fund the military and pay interest on the debt. What a brilliant plan that Romney and Ryan have laid out for us, isn’t it.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
7:39 am

Maybe they’ll gain a taste for cutting spending……

As I’m sure you’re well aware, Jm, we’ve been told repeatedly by another blog host at the AJC that $3.5 T is the new “baseline” federal budget amount, which therefore “proves” that Obama and the Congressional Dems are actually frugal spenders since they’ve “only” increased spending by 1% or so over Bush’s biggest spending year. The fact that a one-time $700 B charge for TARP was included in Bush’s last year in office along with $152 B of stimulus spending doesn’t seem to matter. Somehow, some way, we need to reel spending back to the $2.5 T range if we’re going to make any headway on the deficit/debt.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
7:43 am

Kyle,

Jm said “fair share”. What’s your take on that.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

July 11th, 2012
7:43 am

The dirty little secret is……..if you make 100,000 dollars or less…here in Amerika,
counting ALL taxes, the state seizes over 80% of your income.
.
The former USSR got away with confiscating 95% of wages before the people rebelled.
Maybe Obama/RomneyCare will get us to that magic number.
.
One can only hope.

sirwinston

July 11th, 2012
7:44 am

Taxes is a way that state and federal laws often hit US citizens with because they can! We will never face facts that we have been taxes to death that with all of this T-SPLOST, county, city, federal taxes you would think someone will say, enough is enough! These officials lies to the public on what they have to cut, or spend just to put themselves in line to raise taxes on poor citizens and to gain more money to top what they already have in reserve funding. Don’t let all of this taxes that is now at the forefront fool you. Counties, states and federal officials have been telling us what they want us to hear rather than telling us what we need to hear. There is and there will always be enough money in the system to run these cities for 10 years as it is recorded. Raising taxes on us is a way to keep those reserve funds in place where interest is added and they can pull those dollars out whenever they have an emergency! Stop bulling and pulling our legs. T-SPLOST is another way to get you to pay more in taxes………and that taxes never stop or ends over a period of time and it will be right back on the voting block again! Enough is enough.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
7:48 am

Should we eliminate the personal exemption and standard deduction for the 30% of filers making less than $25,000 per year. That should squeeze out enough to cover a piece of Ryan’s next round of proposed tax cuts for the 1%. What do you think, Kyle.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
7:49 am

The real issue, to any lay who has read on the topic, is simply personal income tax rates are too low, as a percentage of GNP, to continue funding the major social projects which all Americans – no matter their station in life – should be entitled to as citizens of a powerful industrialized society. Stop living in the guilded age – we are a mixed-market economy that has the potential to deliver its citizens both liberty and equality, the two should NEVER be framed as mutually exclusive goals.

Tim–Did you read your own post before hitting the “submit” button?? When your income is forcibly confiscated to pay for “major social projects”, that represents a real loss of liberty. You can’t have it both ways. While socialism certainly has its benefits, especially to those at the bottom of the economic heap, it also has its drawbacks in terms of economic freedom.

Our country was founded on the principle of self-reliance, which has somehow become a “dirty word” in the vocabulary of the Libs these days. IMO, the mindset of self-reliance has directly fostered the pioneer spirit which makes the USA far better than any socialistic country in almost every measure across the board.

A dad

July 11th, 2012
7:56 am

It’s all Bush’s fault! Huh? Oops. Sorry Kyle. Thought I was on Bookman’s blog. Must have more coffee….
BTW, good assertion of facts. Can’t wait to see Aquagirl, AmVet and the other libs who haunt these blogs try and dispute/debate. Happy Hump Day everyone.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
7:57 am

The dirty little secret is……..if you make 100,000 dollars or less…here in Amerika,
counting ALL taxes, the state seizes over 80% of your income.

TH–Can you flesh that out with some raw numbers?? Sounds a tad exaggerated to me. If we’re going to win the debate on taxes, no need to state obvious whoppers.

That should squeeze out enough to cover a piece of Ryan’s next round of proposed tax cuts for the 1%.

Differently from Ryan and Romney, I don’t see any need to further reduce taxes on the high earners right now. No additional “trickle-down” tax benefits are likely to result. Our economy is still correcting itself from the real estate/credit bubble bursting, which simply takes time. Tinkering with the tax code isn’t going to speed things up.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
7:58 am

Oops! 41% of returns had AGI’s of less than $25,000. Not 30%. My mistake. Anyway, if we collected another 10 percent from these 41 percenters earnings, that would give us another 69.6 billion dollars to use to fund more tax cuts for the wealthiest with.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
7:59 am

Oops! Not 69.6 billion. That should be 69.6 million more collected from that 41 percent. My mistake.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:02 am

Can’t wait to see Aquagirl, AmVet and the other libs who haunt these blogs try and dispute/debate.

I guess we’ll have to let them speak for themselves, but all I’ve ever heard is the “It’s not fair” meme repeated over and over, with no real analysis backing it up. Having said that, I hope more and more of the liberal posters find their way over to Kyle’s. No fun preaching to the choir, which is the primary reason I haven’t spent much time here in the past.

Happy Hump Day everyone.

Don’t tell me you’re one of those slackers who only works M-F, dad. ;-)

JF McNamara

July 11th, 2012
8:02 am

We should raise taxes on everyone and no one should receive negative tax. We should do that until we reach a breakeven budget. I would be fine with 1979 rates if that got the job done. No one seems to be on board with that plan. Not even the budget conscious Republicans…

The tax rate the top 1% paid in 1979 was 22.7%. In 2009, it was 21%. There is justification to raise tax on them too. I get the story, but the rich aren’t being taxed to death. They are paying a higher ratio but not a higher percentage. They aren’t being mistreated.

AU Liberal in ATL

July 11th, 2012
8:05 am

bruno, did you read your own post before hitting the submit button?
“Our country was founded on the principle of self reliance”. PLease, I have no interest in getting a history lesson from someone who makes up his own “facts”. Read a history book, get educated, and then get back to me.
Like it or not, Kyleen, the vast majority of the country agrees with the President on this issue of taxing the rich at a higher rate. Every poll I’ve seen indicates exactly that.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
8:07 am

Oops! It was 69.6 billion. My mistake. Anyway. That’s a lot more money that can be squeezed from that 41% of filers reporting less than $25,000 in AGI. What a bunch of moochers, right Kyle. There’s nothing holding any of them back from being billionaires, like all the rest of us are.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:11 am

PLease, I have no interest in getting a history lesson from someone who makes up his own “facts”. Read a history book, get educated, and then get back to me.

You might help your cause if you printed an actual rebuttal to my claim other than making some vague reference to history books. In case you were unaware, we had no federal income tax prior to 1862. It wasn’t until 1913 that we had a permanent income tax in place.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005921.html/

AmVet

July 11th, 2012
8:11 am

So I haunt this blog?

Too funny.

dad, do you run around this scared during your real life?

BOO!

As long as our perverse and pernicious tax system heavily taxes/penalizes human labor (earned income) in favor of rewarding/lightly taxing (in relative terms) wealth and “unearned income”, the middle class will keep getting decimated.

Exactly as they have for forty years now.

Throw in the fact that MANY corporations have become giant parasites who no longer pay in not just their fare share, but nothing at all, and then get mammoth “refund” checks (???!!!) and is it any wonder that Uncle Sam can’t pay for the basic services we the people would otherwise see?

Long live the plutocracy.

And all hail Donald Trump.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:14 am

Like it or not, Kyleen, the vast majority of the country agrees with the President on this issue of taxing the rich at a higher rate. Every poll I’ve seen indicates exactly that.

And the fact that we’re turning into a nation of freeloaders makes me sick to my stomach……

Out of curiosity, AU Liberal, do you have any pride in yourself whatsoever?? Do you feel good about someone else paying your way in life?? Do you somehow feel “entitled” to others earnings simply because you were born in the same country they were??

AmVet

July 11th, 2012
8:17 am

898.5 billion in individual income tax,
864.8 billion in payroll tax,
191.4 billion in corporate tax, and
207.9 billion in excise and other taxes.

These are the perverted numbers that blow the “Quit hurting the struggling super-wealthy and mega-corporations!” right out of the water.

Hat tip, How Inciteful Is That!

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
8:19 am

Kyle,

If we charged those making more than 200k an extra 3% of their AGI, we would collect another 58.7 billion and since it would be coming from the wealthiest, Ryan could give it back to the wealthiest and it would be a tax cut that actually paid for itself.

Del

July 11th, 2012
8:20 am

so that’s why the libs prefer to be called progressives.

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
8:22 am

Republicans unite and demand legislation making it illegal to earn less than $50,000 per year. Down with freeloaders.

stands for decibels

July 11th, 2012
8:23 am

One of the ways the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (or OECD, the Paris-based club of industrialized nations) measures tax-code progressivity is by calculating the ratio of the tax burden to income earned for each income group.

From what little I’ve managed to learn about the OECD, I suspect that’s not the only way they measure what is referred to as “progressivity.” In fact, I’ve been going through their site, and I’m not getting feeling the love for a flatter tax rate over there.

Actually though, I’m trying to find where the OECD makes Kyle’s case at all, because you cite a Feb. 2012 Atlantic opinion piece prior to publishing your chart, and I’m not seeing this information in the Atlantic piece, just references to some dispute a couple of other economics bloggers had.

But I’ll go ahead and assume the percentages in your charts are correct and up to date as of 2009. About all I can add is that such metrics are but one measure, and they seem tailor made to appeal to ye olde “47% pay no Federal income tax” talking point, and aren’t terribly constructive in assessing just why it is that wealth disparity is so grotesque in the US.

Put another way–the notion of what percentage of taxes are paid by a particular income group, to me, isn’t terribly instructive. It’s how that income group got to where they are, and what kind of shape the other quintiles are in relative to the top one, that should be of paramount concern.

@@

July 11th, 2012
8:24 am

What liberal/progressivists have yet to tell us is exactly how much more progressive they think it should be.

I can tell ‘ya…they want it to progress from someone else’s pocket into their own. They’re looking to gain success through osmosis. They’re permeable (full of holes).

schnirt

the red herring

July 11th, 2012
8:24 am

good job kyle… liberals will never admit to these facts however….they want the free stuff. we have reached the point that they can outvote us by pandering for votes via not enforcing laws, suing states that try to enforce them, etc. It really bodes poorly for the USA if we don’t achieve a change this November. a fair or flat tax would go a long way towards solving this —eliminate duplicate welfare (earned income tax credits)– eliminate all deducations (perhaps saving the home mortgage but limited to those under 500k/yr incomes)— i have no problems with removing the upper limit on income to pay into SS and forget means testing to receive it. These people have paid in all their lives into SS and they should be able to receive some benefit from that. With income tax, SS, medicare, state, property, sales, etc,etc I probably get to keep about 40% of my income. Now exactly how is that fair? A person I knew used to use his earned income tax credit money to take his family of 4 to Disney World every year —now while that stimulates Disney’s economy it doesn’t do much for mine. I would prefer to spend my money myself.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:25 am

Jam–A little off-topic tidbit for you. The origin of the “Pink Floyd” moniker:

http://news.yahoo.com/video/pink-floyd-name-traced-back-010416022.html

BTW, I saw that you punked out on the Ringo Starr/Todd Rundgren concert. How come?? I’d love to go to Doobie Bros/Chicago concert at Chastain on July 24, but money’s a little tight right now….

stands for decibels

July 11th, 2012
8:25 am

By the way, this is the sort of thing that the OECD does seem to care about:

http://www.oecd.org/document/51/0,3746,en_2649_33933_49147827_1_1_1_1,00.html

(quote of abstract follows.)

In the three decades prior to the recent economic downturn, wage gaps widened and household income inequality increased in a large majority of OECD countries. This occurred even when countries were going through a period of sustained economic and employment growth. This report analyses the major underlying forces behind these developments:

- An Overview of Growing Income Inequalities in OECD Countries (free .pdf)

- Special Focus: Inequality in Emerging Economies (free .pdf)

- Part I. How Globalisation, Technological Change and Policies Affect Wage and Earnings Inequalities

- Part II. How Inequalities in Labour Earnings Lead to Inequalities in Household Disposable Income

- Part III. How the Roles of Tax and Transfer Systems Have Changed

B. Thenet

July 11th, 2012
8:26 am

The graph comparing 1979 to 2009 is more indicative of the massive shift of wealth in resources to the

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
8:28 am

Kyle,

Did you know that 25% of the returns filed in 2009 had AGI’s of less than $15,000.

B. Thenet

July 11th, 2012
8:28 am

top end of the income bracket more than anything else. What was the max tax rate on the top 1% back then, well over 50% I think. It is far lower now, yet they are still paying a higher burden.

Del

July 11th, 2012
8:29 am

“Kyleen, the vast majority of the country agrees with the President on this issue of taxing the rich at a higher rate. Every poll I’ve seen indicates exactly that.”

Sorry, but Rasmussen has 44% favoring a candidate who proposes no tax increase regardless of income level and 43% favoring a candidate who would only increase tax on the wealthy.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

July 11th, 2012
8:30 am

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
7:57 am

The dirty little secret is……..if you make 100,000 dollars or less…here in Amerika,
counting ALL taxes, the state seizes over 80% of your income.

TH–Can you flesh that out with some raw numbers?? Sounds a tad exaggerated to me. If we’re going to win the debate on taxes, no need to state obvious whoppers.
——————————————————————————————————————–
.
I supposed that I gave you more intelectual credit than do.
Most Obama progressives can’t get their mind around the concept of “hidden” taxes.
Many Romney progressives prefer to hide this fact/concept.
.
The only obvious “whopper” would be a 20cent one(sans hidden tax)………….vice the 3dollar current one.It works that way with every consumer good.
.
You Must be a Romney supporter.

Don't Tread

July 11th, 2012
8:34 am

“What liberal/progressivists have yet to tell us is exactly how much more progressive they think it should be.”

We already know the answer to that, but they won’t come out and say it. Think “equality of outcome”, or the “Democrat two-question tax form” joke.

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:35 am

About all I can add is that such metrics are but one measure, and they seem tailor made to appeal to ye olde “47% pay no Federal income tax” talking point, and aren’t terribly constructive in assessing just why it is that wealth disparity is so grotesque in the US.

sfd–I’ve never seen a comprehensive answer to the question of why we have such a large income disparity from top to bottom in our country. As Kyle shows, it’s not primarily a tax issue. IMO, it has more to do with the nature of our increasingly sophisticated technology. More sophisticated workers = better compensated workers. If this is the case, then the only way to stop the trend would be to enact burdensome minimum wage laws which would artificially reward the less sophisticated workers. Either that, or artificially limit the top end by setting maximum salaries.

Do you see that as a viable solution??

[...] Barack Obama sought to combat the Great Recession, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.Sorry, Obama: The tax code is already more progressive than pre-ReaganAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 5 news [...]

How Inciteful Is That!

July 11th, 2012
8:39 am

As the world’s most powerful investment bank Goldman Sachs is no stranger to fighting all sorts of battles, but the city of Oakland, Cailf. is challenging the firm like no one ever has before.

Something to do with taking sides on which way interest rates will go at some point. They call them interest rate swaps. It must take a lot of LaBor to determine where interest rates will be at some point in the future. Then again. Can you just imagine if one party had an unfair advantage in such an arrangement.

What do you think, Kyle. Could such things contribute to income inequalities. We wouldn’t have any of these problems were it not for government meddling though, would we.

JohnnyReb

July 11th, 2012
8:40 am

Attaboy, Kyle!

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:41 am

The only obvious “whopper” would be a 20cent one(sans hidden tax)………….vice the 3dollar current one.It works that way with every consumer good.

Heyward–Can you prove your statement that 80% of all earned dollars from those making less than $100,000 per year ends up in the hands of the state or are you just flapping your gums??
.
You Must be a Romney supporter.

Not really, though I’ll vote for him every day of the week over Obama.

Just so you know, “conservatives” like you who can’t back up their wild assertions do far more harm to the conservative cause than any Lib could ever dream of doing.

AmVet

July 11th, 2012
8:42 am

so that’s why the libs prefer to be called progressives.

Del, does that mean the neocons are regressives? Or repressives?

Actually the best word I’ve ever found to describe the modern corporatist GOP is definitely NOT conservative. It is reactionary. (Look it up.)

Funny, that Jm talks about facts and never provides any.

B, I watched the youtubes and also talked with a friend who had been. Decided that for the smallish TR factor involved, it was not worth the money. However a little birdie told me that he may be coming here for a New Year’s Eve bash. (Keeping my fingers crossed!)

What happened on July 4???

Darwin

July 11th, 2012
8:44 am

Taxes taxes taxes….Do you ever talk about anything else? Besides trashing Obama? Please, tell me how Romney is going to boost the economy through lower taxes and regulation? What a crock. I think the economy is doing just fine thank you. After what Bush and the Repubs did for eight years. I have a job. I’ll take one from your cookbook and say – who cares about anyone else?

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:48 am

What happened on July 4???

Peachtree Road Race–Aquarium–Dinner–Fireworks. A great day all in all. We decided to spend a quiet day together following the histrionics of the prior weekend.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 11th, 2012
8:50 am

Wow! You’ve got the libs on the run with this article, Kyle! Good one!

40 comments since I started to form this post, and of the few libs who dared to come on board, Inciteful posts pure nonsense and deflection, AmVet posts his usual “plutocracy” one-note, and none of the rest have a single, solitary rebuttal to your column.

Of course our tax code is progressive. The libs are just not going to tell you it isn’t progressive enough after reading your latest round of facts.

AmVet

July 11th, 2012
8:51 am

B, look no further than Apple.

They have 43,000 employees in this country, 30,000 of whom make $12/hour or $25K/year. That is $1/hour above the poverty line.

They also have 9 (as in NINE) men who average $441 million/year.

The minimum wage is now worth less that it was in 1968!!!

For nearly three quarter of American workers, they earn less in adjusted inflation dollars than they did in 1973!!! Though their productivity has doubled.

That is 75% of ALL of us.

This is not some unfortunate accident. It is NOT because of technology or lack of qualified employees.

It is a systemic gaming of the system that slants virtually all of the advantages to the tiny minority at the very top. Look at how “payroll taxes’ are now as big a component of revenues as are federal withholding taxes!!!

That is insane.

And most middle and lower class Republicans don’t seem to care one iota. In fact though they are the ones footing the tab on behalf of the super-wealthy and the parasitic mega-corporations in this country, they perversely seem to think that this travesty is the natural and proper evolution of American capitalism.

IT IS NOT.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

July 11th, 2012
8:51 am

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:41 am

The only obvious “whopper” would be a 20cent one(sans hidden tax)………….vice the 3dollar current one.It works that way with every consumer good.

Heyward–Can you prove your statement that 80% of all earned dollars from those making less than $100,000 per year ends up in the hands of the state or are you just flapping your gums??
——————————————————————————————————————————
.
I’m not a “conservative” . At least in the definition that the Republican party claims.
And I don’t have to “prove” the concept of “hidden” taxes.
It’s self evident.
Some people just don’t have the intellectual capacity to grasp it.
I say this respectfully.
.
Trace the ingredients of every 3dollar Burger King whopper. From the tomato fields of south Florida to the chicken farms of Georgia for the special sauce.Factor in ALL taxes for every operation for every ingredient.You will arrive at a 3 dollar one vice a 20cent one.
.
counting the above mentioned “hidden” taxes,state,local,sales,property,excise,import,various mandates/ponzi schemes,insurance scams,etc………………………….it easy to see 80%+ of your income going to taxes.
.
I thought that you were some kind of math genius?

Bruno

July 11th, 2012
8:53 am

Please, tell me how Romney is going to boost the economy through lower taxes and regulation?

It may not work, but it sure beats the heck out of spending gobs and gobs of money we don’t have on ineffective “stimulus” plans which primarily reward Obama contributors. It’s about time the government got out of the economy business IMO.

JDW

July 11th, 2012
8:55 am

A couple of inferences here….

1) Clearly, as some like to tout, the rich don’t pay nearly all the taxes paid in this country.

2) Yippee, we have gotten better over the years, not good enough but better. People that make large sums should pay equitable taxes. The hedge fund managers making millions should pay standard income rates, capital gains taxes should be restructured to encourage long term (5+ years) and direct equity investments and those keeping offshore tax shelters should be exposed.

3) The distribution isn’t the real issue…the problem is that we have cut taxes to the 15% of GDP range and that’s not enough. It needs to go to 21% or so per the Simpson Bowles standard.