5 thoughts on “”

  1. The key omissions of fact are (1) 98% of the wealth is owned by less than 1% of the population so their paying the claimed 73% reflects them paying too little not too much, (2) the majority of the budget aside from entitlements is military spending on a war endorsed by the rich and started for the rich, primarily Bush’s oil and weapons manufacturer cronies and thus it is entirely fitting they pay for it, and (3) most rich people pay no where near their official tax rate through the use of tax shelters and concealed income, etc., as anyone who researches the subject knows. The article comes as no surprise being printed in the WSJ which during the last election revealed itself to be a very partisan publication on numerous occasions and written by an ex-Bushite.

  2. 1) What is your source for this? A quick web search shows that the top 1% in the US own between 33-47% of the wealth depending on the source and year. Is there a credible source that says it is 98%? If not, then it looks like they are still paying more than their share. (The article talks about the top 10% paying 72% of taxes but even the wealth share of the top 10% doesn’t top 51% in any source I’ve found.)

    2) I can’t argue with this. Besides the Iraq war, the Bush Jr. team increased spending across the board while decreasing revenue. They also turned a budget surplus and declining debt into a deficit and record levels of debt. There is little for a fiscal conservative to like about the Bush Jr. presidency.

    3) NOBODY pays anywhere near their marginal tax rate, and that is exactly the problem the article addresses in part. When the top marginal tax rate is high, everyone conspires to give out tax breaks. The poor and middle class take advantage of these as well, just by looking at the fact that the bottom 40% paid no income tax, and this may grow to 50%. I can see where the bottom 20 or 25% should be exempt from income tax but above that everyone can and should pay something. With a steep progressive tax structure it is inevitable that everyone will conspire to get a tax break of some kind, and in fact it encourages the dishonest to evade taxes while punishing the honest with higher taxes. A flat tax with no deductions, exemptions and credits is a lot fairer.

  3. 1) Perhaps I’m misremembering the numbers I read previously, or I haven’t looked hard enough to find them. But claim that the majority of the wealth is owned by a small percentage of the population is reflected at http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html and if that is not credible to you feel free to google for others:

    “In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2004).”

    2) Good.

    3) Don’t say nobody, because I always paid my taxes as stated by the IRS and I did not use any loopholes or lies to lower my bill. As a matter of philosophy, I see nothing wrong with those who have more than they require for reasonable quality of life to pay more than those who do not. 10% of the wages of someone who earns $20k a year is a lot more of an impact on their quality of life than even 25% is on someone who earns $200,000 a year. Paying increasingly more of ones disposable income towards the maintenance of the society which creates the circumstances which allow that income to be generated is a reasonable trade-off. A flat tax which did not push the middle class into working poverty would also be too low to provide the funds needed to maintain a civilized society. The founder of Capitalist thought, Adam Smith, understood the need for enough of the surplus wealth at the top of the engine to be fed back into the bottom to keep the engine as a whole from crashing to the ground. Republicans do not remember this and instead seek to let those at the top have their extra gold-plated toilets at the expense of the viability of the long term survival of the society that their elite status depends on. With predictable results.

  4. 1) That matches the numbers I found. Still nowhere near 98%, and still shows that the wealthy pay more taxes proportional to their share of wealth.

    3) You didn’t use any credits or deductions? Really? You don’t have to lie to reduce your taxes; just have a mortgage or kids or give to charity or use alternative fuels, etc. It doesn’t take much to end up with 40-50% of people not paying any income taxes at all.

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