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Question to Obama: If rich aren't paying their "fair share," then what's fair?
Washington Examiner ^ | 04/20/2011 | Philip Klein

Posted on 04/20/2011 7:46:20 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Today, President Obama is kicking off a road show campaigning for raising taxes on higher income earners to help reduce the debt. We'll no doubt hear a lot about how the rich need to pay their “fair share.” Yet an analysis of tax data shows that wealthier taxpayers already pay a disproportionate amount of taxes and that their share under the current Bush rates is actually slightly higher than at the end of the Clinton era.

In 2008, the most recent year for which full data is available, the infamous top 1% – those earning over $380,354 – paid 38.02 percent of federal income taxes, according to an analysis of IRS data by the Tax Foundation. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of income earners – the group that, according to the liberal world view, is subsidizing tax handouts to the wealthy – shouldered just 2.7 percent of the federal income tax burden. And keep in mind, in 2008, the higher income earners share of taxes slipped from the previous year's 40.4 percent due to the economic downturn.

When you make this argument to liberals, they'll often respond that the only reason such a distribution exists is that there's a lot of income inequality in America. But even if you account for that, the wealthy are paying disproportionately. The top 1 percent, for instance, earned 20 percent of the nation's adjusted gross income in 2008 – yet their share of the tax burden was nearly twice that. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent earned 12.75 percent of the nation's income, while their share of the tax burden was about one-fifth of that.

Another way of looking at this is the average tax rates paid by each income level. As you see below, it's much higher at the higher income levels.

 

 Still, some might respond, surely the rich are now paying a smaller share under the Bush tax rates than they were back in the good old Clinton days? Actually, that's not true either. As you can see in the table below, the distribution of the tax burden across income levels was roughly similar in 2000 – the last year of the Clinton tax rates – then it was in 2008, after the Bush rates had been effect for years. In fact, the rich paid a slightly higher share in 2008.

 

How could this happen after the Bush administration spent a decade heaping benefits on the rich while squeezing the middle class? Mark Robyn, who co-authored the analysis for the Tax Foundation, noted that the Bush tax cuts were across the board. So when Democrats speak in aggregate dollar terms, they can make it seem as though wealthier Americans are getting a better deal. But that's only because they pay a lot more in taxes, so cutting taxes for all is going to result in a larger dollar figure for them. But if you analyze it as a share of taxes paid, the Bush tax cuts didn't change the distribution.

 

Of course, this doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't account for payroll taxes, for instance, which do hit middle and lower income levels. But much of the current debate has focused on the need to raise marginal income tax rates on higher earners while keeping them the same for everybody else. The question is, though, if a society in which the top 1 percent already pay nearly 40 percent of the nation's income taxes (and when combined, the top 10 percent pay nearly 70 percent), then what would it take for liberals to be satisfied that the rich are paying their fair share? Should the top 10 percent pay 90 percent of the taxes? Should the bottom 50 percent pay zero income taxes? President Obama's vision to subsidize the ballooning social safety net by shifting even more of the tax burden on the wealthy – while increasing the percentage of people who are net takers in society – is simply unsustainable.

 



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: bush; clinton; fairshare; obama; rich; taxes

1 posted on 04/20/2011 7:46:22 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

All of it.


2 posted on 04/20/2011 7:47:48 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: SeekAndFind

Someone ask Obomba how come he took the MORTGAGE deduction on his house....when he isn’t even listed as an owner....????


3 posted on 04/20/2011 7:48:01 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Unlike the West, the Islamic world is serious.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Someone ask Obomba how come he took the MORTGAGE deduction on his house....when he isn’t even listed as an owner...and doesn’t pay the taxes.????


4 posted on 04/20/2011 7:48:10 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Unlike the West, the Islamic world is serious.)
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To: goodnesswins

oops


5 posted on 04/20/2011 7:48:56 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Unlike the West, the Islamic world is serious.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Half the people in this country pay no income tax - how is that fair?


6 posted on 04/20/2011 7:50:34 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: SeekAndFind

That’s why Leftists love the phrase “fair.”

“Fair” is a term that has no legal meaning, because laws and contracts are supposed to be precise and exact. “Fair” is essentially an emotional term, and its amorphousness corrupts the law rather than enhances it.


7 posted on 04/20/2011 7:50:42 PM PDT by denydenydeny (Rage all you want, looters & moochers, but the gods of the copybook headings are your masters now.)
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To: SeekAndFind

If “the RICH” were paying a rate of 99.9%, the “Paul’s” would still be screaming higher taxes on the rich. (Rob Peter to pay Paul).


8 posted on 04/20/2011 7:52:47 PM PDT by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: SeekAndFind

When’s Obowmao going to insist that trust funds and foundations be taxed at the highest rate?


9 posted on 04/20/2011 7:53:43 PM PDT by Jane Long (2 Chron 7:14)
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To: SeekAndFind

0bama is in no place to complain that we are not paying our fair share as he paid only what, 26% of his income in federal taxes. Why didn’t he voluntarily pay the highest rate for his bracket?


10 posted on 04/20/2011 7:54:29 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: denydenydeny

So true. And fair has a very different meaning than ‘just’. People should pay ther just share, not ‘fair’ share.


11 posted on 04/20/2011 7:54:34 PM PDT by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis (Want to make $$$? It's easy! Use FR as a platform to pimp your blog for hits!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

No matter what rates are forced on the well-compensated, they will simply adjust their earnings platform so that they pay more or less the same fraction of earnings in taxes as ever. This should be the lesson of the Clinton/Bush table.


12 posted on 04/20/2011 7:57:41 PM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: SeekAndFind

What the hell is “fair” about the Earned Income Tax Credit. People being “refunded” big money that they never even put into the system. In Arizona, we call that bull****!


13 posted on 04/20/2011 8:05:30 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer ("Game on!" - Sarah Palin 2012)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

I did some figuring the other day. The 400 billionaires in the US have a net worth of $1.3 trillion. There are 3,000,000 millionaires. Assume each has $1,000,000 in net worth. Additionally there are 30,000 people worth over $30 million. Assuming the loser took all their net worth (putting millions of people employed by these people out of work) he would only get about $2 trillion.


14 posted on 04/20/2011 8:09:21 PM PDT by cyclotic (Boy Scouts-Developing Leaders in a World of Followers.)
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To: denydenydeny
“Fair” is essentially an emotional term

Yes, and in this instance that emotion is jealousy.

15 posted on 04/20/2011 8:11:24 PM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: cyclotic

Which is the whole fallacy of this taxing the rich nonsense. Taking everything would still not be enough to pay the bills the left racks up.


16 posted on 04/20/2011 8:13:50 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: FReepers
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17 posted on 04/20/2011 8:17:47 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: SeekAndFind
As long as Obama and the rest of his rich Liberal friends itemize on their Tax Forms, they should STFU.

Watching Obama with his “aw shucks” crap about looking at his Tax Form and having a WTF moment with all the money he was paying in Taxes made me want to throw up.

Obama is nothing more than a pencil necked liar manipulating the Useful Idiots who adore him.

18 posted on 04/20/2011 8:20:17 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (One man's Safety Net is another man's Hammock....)
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To: SeekAndFind

He and Jeff Immelt should come up with a joint presser about what is a “fair” share of income to pay in taxes.

Exactly how much money should the “rich” give the government to be left alone and in peace.


19 posted on 04/20/2011 8:20:28 PM PDT by silverleaf (All that is necessary for evil to succeed, is that good men do nothing)
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To: SeekAndFind
Fairness dicated through legal mechanism is a false concept based on the ability to take by those with less from those with more under statutory authority.

Fairness is incidental manifestation of justice. Justice is blind. The terror of those who preach fairness, because she is impartial.

Death centered culture, utilizing any controlled state mechanism and function available at any given point in space/time screaming for fairness is an unjust thing.

My vow to no longer use profanity when enuncinatig conceptual thought is killing me.

20 posted on 04/20/2011 8:22:47 PM PDT by mmercier (fear is not the end of this)
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To: SeekAndFind

There is something troubling about the way our side is using statistics in this. If the “top 1%” pay 38% of taxes but have, for argument’s sake 45% of the total aggregate income, then indeed it is reasonable to argue they are “not paying their fair share”. Of course, the other side isn’t trotting out the figures to make that case, so I suspect it’s not true.

Still, the fact that the wealthy are adept at finding and using tax shelters makes such a circumstance conceivable, if one includes tax exempt income in the aggregate income calculation, and even if the “rich” as a group are on any reasonable calculation paying “their fair share”, some, who have gone to the greatest effort to game the tax system, rather than putting their wealth to uses that maximize pre-tax profit and likely are more beneficial to the economy, arguably are not.

The cure is, of course, not to raise the top marginal rate, which harms capital formation, but to curtail tax shelters. I personally do not advocate abolishing any of them, simply limiting the amount of income that can be excluded from taxation by any combination of deductions, tax-exempt sourcing or credits (a credit functionally excludes an amount of income equal to the amount of the credit divided by the top marginal rate). I’d allow unlimited deductions for charitable contributions, as these support the function of civil society in doing things that are better left outside state control, but other than that, I’d limit the amount of income which could be excluded from taxation to $250,000 for individuals, $500,000 for married couples, and $100,000 for those who can be claimed as dependents, with the unused portion of a dependent’s un-taxed allowance transferring to the parent or guardian. I’d abolish the AMT, which was an unnecessarily complicated attempt at this sort of idea.

Curtailing tax-shelters is probably the one and only policy move that can be simultaneously seen as “soaking the rich” while being pro-growth and not punishing achievement: it just forces those who have achieved financial success or inherited wealth to put their capital to more productive use, rather than going to lots of effort to hide if from taxation.


21 posted on 04/20/2011 8:27:46 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: The_Reader_David
You did read the article?

"In 2008, the most recent year for which full data is available, the infamous top 1% – those earning over $380,354 – paid 38.02 percent of federal income taxes, according to an analysis of IRS data by the Tax Foundation."

And

"The top 1 percent, for instance, earned 20 percent of the nation's adjusted gross income in 2008"

Is your answer.

22 posted on 04/20/2011 8:42:15 PM PDT by DB
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To: aflaak

Ping


23 posted on 04/20/2011 8:51:26 PM PDT by r-q-tek86 ("It doesn't matter how smart you are if you don't stop and think" - Dr. Sowell)
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To: The_Reader_David

“If the “top 1%” pay 38% of taxes but have, for argument’s sake 45% of the total aggregate income, “

Go back and re-read the article. The top 1% do NOT have 45%, but only 20% of the total income.


24 posted on 04/20/2011 8:52:53 PM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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To: The_Reader_David
Regarding your "limits"...

The AMT came in to existence by:

The AMT was enacted by the Tax Reform Act of 1969[15] and went into effect in 1970. Treasury Secretary Joseph Barr prompted the enactment action with an announcement that 155 high-income households had not paid a dime of federal income taxes.[16] The households had taken advantage of so many tax benefits and deductions that reduced their tax liabilities to zero.[17] Congress responded by creating an add-on tax on high-income households, equal to 10% of the sum of tax preferences in excess of $30,000 plus the taxpayer’s regular tax liability.[18]

So because congress was unhappy that 155 wealthy people - out of millions - hadn't paid income tax that year they made a special law to target them. And over time that law ensnared millions of regular taxpayers... How long to you think it will be before your plan for hitting the "wealthy" hits everyone else? In 50 years the dollar may be worth zip and an income of $500,000 a year be that of a fast food cook...

Repeatedly those who try to selectively whack the wealthy end up whacking everyone else - in more ways than one.

25 posted on 04/20/2011 8:53:42 PM PDT by DB
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To: SeekAndFind

Why don’t authors of articles like this, so full of good data, mention that the SAME total income tax revenue could be collected with a simple 10% rate on everybody ?

I think there are a lot of people out there that have been mislead into thinking “the rich MUST pay 35% or the system just won’t work !” The simple fact is that the ONLY reason anybody has to pay 35% is so that others can pay ZERO.


26 posted on 04/20/2011 8:57:50 PM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Everyone pays 10% of gross income, no deductions, no credits, no earned income thax credit etc!

Flat 10% of gross of every ones income.


27 posted on 04/20/2011 8:58:50 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama’s tax return.

Line 1.....How much do you make?

Line 2.....Send it in.


28 posted on 04/20/2011 9:00:47 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Here is a proposal to make the libs head explode. Alter the AMT so that regardless of tax credits or deductions, or any other means of tax calculation, everyone has to pay a minimum amount equal to the lowest tax rate times their gross income without any deductions, credits, exclusions or other tax calculation.


29 posted on 04/20/2011 9:10:00 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: taxcontrol

That would be a good modification. It has always bothered me that something called the “Alternative Minimum Tax” did not apply to everyone, but only the “rich”.

The idea that EVERY American should pay a minimum amount to pay for government has merit, but targeting the successful under the guise of everybody paying a “minimum” is just dishonest.


30 posted on 04/20/2011 9:44:15 PM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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To: All
Instead of the 35% bracket they're in, the Obamas paid less than 26%. I saw on another thread, the Bidens paid only 22%.

I guess they'd know first hand the rich did not "pay their fair share" wouldn't they?

31 posted on 04/20/2011 9:51:02 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: Georgia Girl 2
Obama’s tax return. Line 1.....How much do you make? Line 2.....Send it in.

--------------------------

Zer0 knows what he is doing, and he is having a great time doing it. The game played by the Marxists is war where the end justifies the means. No matter how it's dressed up, his budget is an assault on America's freedom. We know that's his intent.

The winning rule in 2012: Direct and non-stop political attack on Obama!

USS Drydocked
Obama:  ''Millionaires don't have a right to keep any of their hard-earned cash.
                I do think at a certain point you've made enough money. It all belongs
                to the government.''
Obama believes economic collapse will make people long for the strong hand of big government.

FDR inherited a government that was puny and weak and enhanced it; Obama took one that was already obese and tried to expand it.

Countdown until Obama leaves Office: 639 days as of April 21, 2011.
32 posted on 04/20/2011 10:06:45 PM PDT by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: goodnesswins
Someone ask Obomba how come he took the MORTGAGE deduction on his house....when he isn’t even listed as an owner...and doesn’t pay the taxes.????

Hear, hear!

33 posted on 04/20/2011 10:12:14 PM PDT by bgill (Kenyan Parliament - how could a man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: goodnesswins

And he took the deduction for the taxes as well.

Paging Al Capone...


34 posted on 04/20/2011 10:13:16 PM PDT by bgill (Kenyan Parliament - how could a man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: SeekAndFind
"they'll [the Left] often respond that the only reason such a distribution exists is that there's a lot of income inequality in America.

when the rich do what they are supposed to do and reinvest their wealth, they get richer. However, by reinvesting their wealth, they give money to a business needing new capital to grow their business, hire new workers and grow the economy. Why the Left can't understand this is like looking at a dog who wants to chase cars.

35 posted on 04/20/2011 10:32:12 PM PDT by jonrick46 (2012 can't come soon enough.)
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To: DB

No worries: include in the same legislation a reform of the way the CPI is calculated, back to the old way (so we’d now be showing 10% inflation) and index all dollar-amount caps and brackets in the tax code to inflation defined as the maximum of the CPI, PPI and GDP deflator measures on a quarter-by-quarter basis.


36 posted on 04/21/2011 5:44:35 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: SeekAndFind

It will only be fair when you go to work to pay all you make to Obama’s voting blocs.


37 posted on 04/21/2011 5:48:06 AM PDT by dforest
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To: SeekAndFind

You’d be amazed (or maybe you wouldn’t) at how ignorant most Americans are concerning who pays taxes. Many of my Dem friends are firmly convinced that the rich don’t pay any taxes. When I recited the one percent paying close to forty percent of all income taxes to a Dem friend of mine, he refused to believe it. I’ll assume most libs and Dems are as ignorant as my friend.


38 posted on 04/21/2011 8:32:00 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long-term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: newzjunkey

Remember that the “bracket” you are in does not apply to all of your income. The 35% rate only applies to the portion of your income that is higher than the bracket ($373,651) limit. As a family of four, even the Obamas would only pay:

Taxpayers Filing as Married, Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er):

* 10% on taxable income between $0 and $16,750
* 15% on taxable income between $16,751 and $68,000
* 25% on taxable income between $68,001 and $137,300
* 28% on taxable income between $137,301 and $209,250
* 33% on taxable income between $209,251 and $373,650
* 35% on taxable income over $373,651

And investment income is calculated separately, so dividends or capital gains from stocks sold would have been at 15%. Income from certain bonds would be untaxable.

Paying an average rate of 26% is quite high for anyone. Especially when you consider that if everyone paid just 10%, the total taxes collected would be almost identical. Some people pay 26% just so others can freeload and pay nothing, or even get welfare “refunds” from the IRS when they didn’t pay anything to begin with.


39 posted on 04/22/2011 1:02:49 AM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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