Since taxes are in the news, I thought I’d repost this…it was one of my earliest posts (originally published in April 2012), so please forgive all the exclamation points!!!!
All this talk about fairness and the “rich” paying their “fair share,” you’d think the lower classes were bearing the greatest burden of taxation but they are not, not by a long shot! First of all, 49.5% of tax filers pay NO INCOME TAX WHATSOEVER–these of course are the lowest earners, not the highest earners! For this reason, and others, the United States has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world and has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
I do think the current tax system is unfair, but because only the top half of all earners pay anything at all! And what’s worse, it’s the top earners, not the wealthiest, who pay the vast majority of the taxes. The idle rich (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and the government-connected rich (there IS something wrong with that!) aren’t necessarily the ones paying income tax. Income tax is paid by those who earn an income for labor. The richer you are the less you need to do this so per force the majority of the highest earners are still below the level of those rich enough not to have to work–this is primarily (and perhaps by definition) the upper middle class.
According to the chart below, the lower 95% of earners are paying the same in taxes as the top 1%–both groups pay roughly 40% of the taxes. That other 4%,
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