WEALTHY ALREADY PAY MUCH OF TAX BURDEN
October 23, 2008
Taxing rich people for political and financial expediency is a bad idea. People shouldn't be punished for being successful, and the wealthy already pay much of the tax burden, says the Wichita Eagle.
The message of Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden is a push-back to the myth that the tax cuts championed by Bush were for the well-off. The nonpartisan National Center for Policy Analysis disputed that idea in a report earlier this year.
"It is politically popular to say that tax cuts benefit the wealthy," said Michael D. Stroup, a Stephen F. Austin University economist who authored the NCPA report. "The accusation does not match the reality."
Here are some of the underreported findings:
- The top 1 percent of income earners pay more than $1 in every $3 the Internal Revenue Service collects; from 1986 to 2004, the total share of the income tax burden paid by the top 1 percent of earners grew from 25.8 to 36.9 percent, while the total share of the tax burden paid by the bottom half of earners fell from 6.5 to only 3.3 percent.
- During the same period, the percentage of income the top 1 percent of tax filers paid in federal income taxes rose from 18.3 to 19.6 percent; by contrast, the percentage of income the bottom fifth of tax filers paid in federal income taxes dropped from 0.4 percent to zero.
- The income share of the top 1 percent rose 7.7 percentage points, from 11.3 to 19 percent, while their income-tax burden rose by 11 points, from 26 to 37 percent.
The study is backed up by data from Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation:
- In 2006, 53.7 percent of federal income taxes were paid by those with incomes of more than $200,000. Those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 paid 28.3 percent of individual income taxes.
- Added up, those with incomes of more than $100,000 paid 82 percent of the total.
- They also paid 44.4 percent of payroll taxes.
America doesn't need policies that take more money from one group of citizens and give it to another. We need leaders who will cut spending and live within a budget. It's what most of us do, and we should expect the same of our government, says the Eagle.
Source: Brent Castillo, "Wealthy already pay much of tax burden," The Wichita Eagle, October 23, 2008.
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