Who Pays Taxes? Is It Fair?

Not only do the so-called “rich” (I am sadly not among them, not even close) appear to pay their fair share, they pay quite a bit more. In fact there are so many people who pay so little in taxes (or actually get money back via the EITC) that they have no skin in the game. They are free to vote for an ever-larger government with negligible downside.

Don’t believe the lie that the rich don’t pay enough in taxes. (pics via WSJ)

According to the article these CBO numbers include both income taxes and payroll taxes.

[ I’m giving the writer the benefit of the doubt here and assuming that these CBO numbers are legit. ]

Not only do the rich pay more than their “fair” share, they pay a larger percentage than they did in recent decades.

The Latest News on Tax Fairness – WSJ.com: If fairness in paying taxes means the amount you pay is based on the amount you make, then the only group in America paying at least a “fair share” is the top 20%—people who make more than $74,000. For everyone else, the tax code is a bargain.

You wouldn’t know this from President Obama’s rhetoric, but our tax system, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is incredibly progressive. Consider: The top 1% of income earners pay an average federal tax rate of 28.9%. (See the nearby table.) The average federal tax rate on the top 20% is 23.2%. The 20% of taxpayers earning between $50,100 and $73,999 pay an average 15.1%, and so on down the line. The CBO report includes payroll as well as income taxes paid.

First of all, the share of taxes paid by the top 20% has gone up over the last 30 years, while the share of taxes paid by everyone else has gone down. It has gone up despite the tax cuts enacted by President Clinton in 1997 and by President Bush in 2001 and 2003. But that makes no difference to the president. The only group of taxpayers he calls on to “sacrifice” are those already doing all the tax sacrificing.

The top 20% in 1979 made 44.9% of the nation’s income and paid 55.3% of all federal taxes. Thirty years later, the top 20% made 50.8% of the nation’s income and their share of federal taxes paid had jumped to 67.9%.

Related links:
Top 1% Paid More in Federal Income Taxes Than Bottom 95% in ’07 – NYTimes.com
One of The Most Unsettling Trends
The Top 20% Paid 94.1% of Income Taxes in 2009
Do The Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes?
Who Pays Taxes? Are They Doubly-Progressive?