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Journal of No. 118

October 13th, 2011

A graph @ 01:09 pm

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Business Insider has provided a nice display on 'What the Wall Street Protesters are Angry About'

It's worth a read, though some of them I can't get all that upset about. What's that? Rich people are rich?

But let's turn to Figure 7

The top 20% of earners pay 64.3% of the taxes paid. That means they're paying more than three times their per capita 'fair share'.

Oh but wait, that top 20% earns 59.1% of the income. So their share of taxes works out to being 8.8% greater than their per-income 'fair share'. Woohoo! Soak the rich! Make them pay... 9% more.

Of course, those deadbeats at the bottom barely pay 54% of their fair share. Then again, they only have 3.5% of the total income. Hardly worth taking.
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From:Donovan K. Loucks
Date:October 13th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
It's much more interesting at the very top. The despised "1%" that the protestors hate so much make 14% of the money but pay an astonishing 40% of the taxes. So, those people are paying nearly three times their "fair share". It's true that there are anecdotal instances of some wealthy people not paying what they "should" (such as Warren Buffett), but they're obviously the exception, not the rule.
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Date:October 13th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Donovan - where are your figures from?

The chart that appears at Mike's link, directly above the chart Mike cited (I'm referring to the one labeled "Figure 6") indicates that the top 1% pay 30.8% of their income in taxes. (This is more or less in line with all of the top 40%.)

If their effective tax rate is pretty much the same as everyone else in the top half, I don't see how one could square that with the idea that the top 1% make 14% of the money but pay 40% of the taxes. Is it possible that the figure you're citing is for federal income taxes only and excludes payroll taxes?
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Date:October 13th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
It might be federal only, which definitely is a lot more squished toward the upper end. The bottom 50% pays a whopping 2.7% of the federal taxes paid.

(Oh, and table 1 here shows the top 1% having 20% of the total AGI & with average tax rate of 23% (though again that's federal only))

Edited at 2011-10-13 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Date:October 15th, 2011 11:56 am (UTC)
What's interesting is how variable the definition of "fair" is, and how percentage of taxes and percentage of take-home pay can be used to obfuscate the obvious unconscionable disparity between rich and poor.

With such an abhorrently-skewed distribution of wealth, of course the top 1% is going to fill the fed coffers more than the poor, unwashed masses. Especially when 47% of the population does not pay federal taxes (but pays sales tax, state tax, etc.).

I think that's what the OWS protesters are upset about. It shouldn't be this way. If the 1% are tired of paying 40% of the taxes, they should hire more Americans so their workers can be taxed as well.

Capitalism has no nationality. As Jon Stewart said, even if corporations are people, too (from Romney), they aren't American.

Globalization is stratifying the world into the wealth holders and everyone else. County citizenship is becoming a secondary trait to your income.

What I believe it ultimately comes down to is that conservatives do not want to give anything to someone they hate (like colored people). I read a recent article in the New Yorker (sorry, can't find the piece), that suggested current right wingers would rather suffer with a crumbling infrastructure, high unemployment, high crime, etc., as long as people they don't like (e.g., people of color, homosexuals, liberals) don't get anything good, ever. There goes the nose to spite the face.

Are there abusers of welfare, unemployment benefits, Pell grants, health care, etc.? Certainly. There always will be. But to deny the bulk of the country help because of the small percentage of abusers is pure hatred and cruelty--often from so-called "Christians."

This same mentality is apparent with the Tea Party's support of death, evidenced by the audience approval of Rick Perry's execution record, and Ron Paul's question about letting someone die without health insurance. They'd much rather keep and increase the death penalty (killing them colored folks) even though there's a likely percentage (greater than zero) of innocent men murdered by the government.

If we have to lower the ceiling (bring down our top earners) to raise the floor (bring up our bottom earners), let's do it.

In short: conservatives, the GOP, and the Tea Party are assholes.

Journal of No. 118