THE TAXPAYING MINORITY
April 16, 2007
The U.S. income tax system is so bad and increasingly reliant on a shrinking number of Americans to pay the nation's bills, that 40 percent of the country's households pay no income taxes at all, says Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary, and president of Ari Fleischer Communications.
Our tax system comes up short in a lot of areas; however, the one place where it does excel is at redistributing income, says Fleischer:
- According to a recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), those who make more than $43,200 (the top 40 percent) pay 99.1 percent of all income taxes.
- Those who made more than $87,300 in 2004, the top 10 percent, paid 70.8 percent of all income taxes.
- In other words, 10 percent pay 7 out of every 10 dollars and their share of the burden is rising.
And those super-rich one percenters? Their share of the nation's income has risen, but their tax burden has risen even faster:
- In 1979, affluent individuals made 9.3 percent of the nation's income and they paid 18.3 percent of the country's income tax.
- In 2004, they made 16.3 percent of the nation's income but their share of the income tax burden leaped to 36.7 percent.
- As for the middle class they make 13.9 percent of the nation's income and their share of the nation's income tax dropped to 4.7 percent.
- In 1979, they made 15.8 percent of the nation's income and paid 10.7 percent of the nation's income tax.
Instead of raising taxes and punishing the successful by making them pay even more, says Fleischer, it's time to junk the current system and start anew with a code that fosters economic growth for all, not increased redistribution of income for some.
Source: Ari Fleischer, "The Taxpaying Minority," Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2007.
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