NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 11, 2007

This year an estimated 23 million taxpayers, including many in the middle class, will have to pony up an added $73 billion in taxes because of the Alternative Minimum Tax.  2010, some 39 million people will fall into the AMT trap, almost all of them middle-class families with kids, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD)

Unfortunately, the Democrats want to spend more and to them the AMT is just too juicy a source of revenue to cut.  So instead of seeking to get rid of it, as many economists propose, Democrats basically want to replace the AMT with a 4.3 percent surtax on the wealthy -- that is, those with incomes $500,000 and higher.

The Democrat's plan is foolish because the rich already pay far more than their fair share, says IBD.  According to the Joint Committee on Taxation:

  • Those with incomes of more than $100,000 paid 82 percent of all income taxes, and 44.4 percent of all payroll taxes, even though they make up less than 10 percent of all taxpayers.
  • Those who earn $500,000-plus pay 33 percent of all taxes -- but make up less than 1 percent of all tax returns.


  • Some 45 million mostly low- and middle-income Americans pay nothing. Another 15 million don't make enough to even have to file -- that's 60 million.
  • And according to the Tax Foundation, the typical low-income household pays $1,684 in federal taxes, yet receives $17,724 in federal benefits, not including "other federal programs such as education and public transportation."

The Democrats' us-against-them rhetoric is an insult to every hard-working family whose providers have gone to school, worked hard, played by the rules and saved to climb the income ladder.  That 4.3 percent surcharge on the "rich" is really a tax on success, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "The AMT 'Fix' Is In," Investor's Business Daily, June 08, 2007.


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