Free Markets, Free People

Manhattan Institute

Tax the rich? Check out these charts

Stephen Moore does yeoman’s work via the Manhattan Institute debunking the left’s class warfare mantra of “tax the rich”.  He does it with thousands of words accompanied by many charts.  I’m just going to concentrate on a few the charts (do read the piece, it’s good) since they tell the story quite succinctly.

Remember it’s about those nasty rich paying their “fair share”:

For instance, we’re constantly told by those who would tax us more that we’re woefully under taxed compared to the rest of the world (like that’s a good reason to raise taxes).  Well that really depends on what income group you’re in, doesn’t it:

Who taxes

So it’s not really true if you’re among the upper 10% in this country is it?

Who is so under taxed then.  Well if you look at the tax rolls you’ll find that almost 40% of those filing tax returns had zero or negative tax liability.

That’s right, they paid nothing or actually got money from the government.  I’m not talking about a tax refund either.  I’m talking about redistributed wealth.

The United States taxes the top 10% of its “richest” people more than anyone else and well above the average tax found in all OECD nations.

That sort of takes the starch out of the “fair share” nonsense that we constantly hear the left prattle on about doesn’t it?

But wait, there’s more as the old Ronco commercial used to say.  What about the share of taxes collected.  It’s about “fair share”.  Surelyshare tax they’re not really paying what any thinking adult would consider their fair share of taxes are they?  Well I don’t know about you, but yes, I think they are.  In fact, the top 1% are paying twice as much in taxes as they were in 1980.   That seems to go against the conventional wisdom, or at least the claims of the left, doesn’t it?

Why yes, it does.  The chart at the right also shows that the  top 20% are paying 84% of all income taxes collected.   I don’t know what you consider a “fair share”, but I’d guess for most we’re way beyond fairness with this structure.

Well wait a minute you say, they have so  big a share of the national income that they should pay more.  Should they?  Who paid

How much more?  And where does fairness enter the question.  Looking at this next chart on the left, why should those on the higher end pay more than they are now given the information available?  If you have the bottom 50% paying 3% and the bottom 40% paying nothing or getting money via redistribution, yet benefiting from the infrastructure that the left likes to use to claim “you didn’t build that”, who really did build it?

Those paying 3% or those paying 40%?  The government has no money and can’t build anything without taxes so who paid to build all thatRecession and rich infrastructure that President Obama likes to claim?  The chart tells that story, doesn’t it.  In fact the top 25% of taxpayers ought to be yelling back at him every time he says that, “well we paid for it”.

There are a ton more examples and charts.  There’s one more I want you to see as the left continues to point to taxes on the rich as some sort of panacea to all the revenue shortfalls that ail us (btw, it’s not about revenue, it’s about spending).

Look at what the recession has done to the “golden goose” of the rich.

Oh, my … they’ve actually seen huge percentage drops.  Note how many there are in the bottom rung ($200k and above).  Sorry folks but that simply isn’t “rich” in the terms I think of rich.  That’s likely to be the guy next door who has a family of 5 and is trying to make ends meet.  Anyone who thinks $200k is rich isn’t living in the same world as I am.  But many of those in that category are going to be the small-business owners and entrepreneurs that help drive the economy.

The plan?  Tax them even more.  In France, since their tax the rich scheme has been unveiled, the “rich” are looking across borders into friendlier countries.  We’ve seen a reduction in all categories of “rich” since 2007.  Do you suppose those in those categories now are going to lay back and just accept more taxation without trying to do something to hold on to their hard earned money?

Anyway, rant ends.  Read the whole thing.  Peruse the graphs.  It is very interesting and telling information. 

~McQ

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