You Should Pay Less; They Should Pay More

Conservatives like poopy-pants Robert Samuelson always like to argue that the top 1 percent of earners carry a disproportionate share of tax revenue. There is some pedantic truth to this, and also something I’ve written about before, but this should piss people off at a really visceral level (via Kevin Drum):

The nation’s top 400 taxpayers made more than $263 million on average in 2006, as the stock market was rallying, but paid income taxes at the lowest rate in the 15 years that the Internal Revenue Service has tracked such data, according to figures released Thursday.

….In constant dollars, the average income of the top 400 taxpayers nearly quadrupled from 1992….Meanwhile, the group’s average income tax rate [] fell to 17.2% in 2006 from 18.2% the prior year. That’s down from a high of 29.9% in 1995.

Of course, the issue is more complicated than just the top 400 earners, but if you evaluate the spectrum of taxpayers you’ll find something resembling a bell curve when you should see something that looks more exponential, or at the very least, logarithmic.

On another note, this argument follows a similar sum-positive reasoning as to why you shouldn’t walk on the treadmill.

Posted in Policy, Politics. Tags: , . 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “You Should Pay Less; They Should Pay More”

  1. mike Says:

    does this graph not factor in state taxes? the numbers just seem absurdly low.

  2. Jon Says:

    Correct. It’s just Federal taxes (income and payroll).

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