Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Statistuc du Jour

Courtesy of Dick Morris

"Today, the bottom 50 percent of US taxpayers pays a total of $30.6 billion in federal income taxes on a combined income of about $1 trillion. So about 3 percent of all federal income-tax payments come from the poorest half of the country. (The top 1 percent pays 40 percent; the top 25 percent pay 85 percent of the federal income tax.)"

Morris adds, commenting on the proposal cut taxes on the bottom 50% further:

In 1980, the bottom 50 percent of the nation paid 7 percent of the national tax bill, after refund and credits. It now pays 3 percent; under Obama’s plan, it would pay less than nothing (that is, it would net a profit from the IRS). In 1980, the top 1 percent paid 19 percent of the income-tax burden; now it’s 40 percent. Taxes have become the province only of the rich.

Of course, the shift in tax burden also mirrors the incredible increase in incomes of the wealthy in the last 30 years - the top 1 percent earned only 8 percent of the total national income in 1980; now it earns 22 percent. And the poorest half has seen its share of national income fall from 17 percent in 1980 to only 12.5 percent today.

So it is both fair and sensible to give the poor a tax break and to draw the bulk of federal revenues from the rich. But to exempt the bottom half - a majority of the voters - from paying any taxes and to award them refund checks instead would dangerously alter the fundamental balance of national politics. For the economically well off, it could effectively become taxation without representation - which, as the founders of our nation warned, leads to tyranny.

Discussions - 5 Comments

The bottom half of the public does pay taxes. The pay payroll taxes and sales taxes. A political program that demands that taxes NOT be cut for the lower working class because it is unfair to the wealthy is pure political suicide.

What is wrong with a flat tax? My husband and I make a good combined income...but why is our money worth more to the government than someone working at McDonalds. If we both paid say 10% (with no tax refunds)that to me would be more fair than them paying nothing and us paying nearly 30%. People today expect too much from their government, and as a teacher, I see a generation of kids who are expecting handouts wherever they go--this is not good policy. If social services (police, road repairs, etc) are there for everyone, then everyone needs to pay for them.

Pete saw the loophole right off the bat. And his political read is a bulls eye too.

This fixation that Republicans have with income taxes, all the while ignoring payroll, sales and other user taxes is idiotic.

Now I'm all for ending capital gains and I'm all for just about ending corporate taxes, but we have got to stop privileging the discussion of income taxes over all other form of taxation.

We have got to start discussing the total take of the federal government, and all other government combined, and how much of a chunk that represents of the typical American's financial situation.

When we start discussing this type of tax, that type of tax, when we start doing that, we're playing on a field of the Democrat's devising. We need to RADICALLY alter how taxation is structured in this country.

Of course, the shift in tax burden also mirrors the incredible increase in incomes of the wealthy in the last 30 years - the top 1 percent earned only 8 percent of the total national income in 1980; now it earns 22 percent.

It would seem to me that taking steps to reverse this trend might be a good idea. It would also address this tax problem at the same time.

I thout we believed in supply side economics. Should we not have the wealthy (supply) not pay any taxes so they invest the money back into their business and create more wealth? Then this wealth will trickle down? The figures suggest otherwise, mabye there is a hair clog in the system somewhere. I am for reevaluating the tax system. Any one here want to tell us all what the founders actually set up in the way of taxes? I think they got that income from tarifs (it was a lot less), but wait we are for free markets too. As for the roads thing, why is it always roads? I think of roads first too when I ponder why we need taxes at all. I think roads are a drop in the bucket. Militarized police in black uniforms are getting warmer, but the current bailouts and corporate robbery just cost the American Taxpayer more than all the wars we ever fought combined. I think the problem is so simple: stop government corruption. Stop XYZ from getting a government contract because they gave senator such and such a donation to his charitable trust (which is newspeak for a bribe). Stop XYZ from having a lobbyist handing out briefcases full of cash so that their drug gets approved or the competition's does not. Stop money from disapering into thin air then stop the government from saying its national security and we don't have to tell you where it went. The answer to the problem is much more difficult because the corruption and false paradign are so entrenched in our national psyche that people would not know how to define themselves or even view the world if it were removed.

Corruption may be in our natures, but having accountability is possible. We can build prisons, privately owned at that, to house millions of pot smokers then we can fill a few with so called washington insiders as well. However, that would mean fewere banquets and flowery praise. We then, might not have someone worth comparing to Lincoln every four years. The price of liberty is constant vigilance.

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