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Thread: Tax the rich.......

  1. #1

    Default Tax the rich (distribution of taxes)

    One of my co-workers sent the following table to me. It appears to come from Wiki, however, I couldn't find an alternate source. Another co-worker told me a similar table exists at the IRS.gov website, however, I couldn't find it.

    The top 0.1% of taxpayers by income pay 17.4% of federal income taxes (earning 9.1% of the income)
    The top 1% with gross income of $328,049 or more pay 36.9% (earning 19% of income)
    The top 5% with gross income of $137,056 or more pay 57.1% (earning 33.4% of income)
    The bottom 50% with gross income of $30,122 or less pay 3.3% (earning 13.4% of income)

    This is kind of a loaded question, but if that distribution is true, is it fair? Is the current tax system fair to everyone?
    Last edited by Cyclone85; 05-21-2008 at 03:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    I dont' have time to wade through this, but maybe data can be found here.

    http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxst...=96981,00.html

    The table shown above (if accurate) is somewhat misleading. It shows only a slice of the tax picture (federal income taxes)--no state, property, sales, Social Security, or tax-exempt income shown. No capital accruement shown. It also doesn't show us anything about a taxpayer's ability to pay, for example, what portion of his income goes to taxes. A progressive tax system is designed so that those who can pay more, do. I think that's fair.

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    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    I suppose it depends on what you consider "fair" to be. There is benefit to having a graduated system but I am disturbed by the politically popular talk of always suggesting the rich pay more taxes and I would be ecstatic if a system were put in place that would eliminate the IRS as we now know it in favor of a simplified tax code and a very small IRS.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    I did find the taxstat link below myself, and I have a feeling it might be buried in there. I think the table above might have been harvested in some fashion from there.

    If it is fair, would it be more fair if it was more progressive then?

    Quote Originally Posted by matclone View Post
    I dont' have time to wade through this, but maybe data can be found here.

    http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxst...=96981,00.html

    The table shown above (if accurate) is somewhat misleading. It shows only a slice of the tax picture (federal income taxes)--no state, property, sales, Social Security, or tax-exempt income shown. No capital accruement shown. It also doesn't show us anything about a taxpayer's ability to pay, for example, what portion of his income goes to taxes. A progressive tax system is designed so that those who can pay more, do. I think that's fair.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    Quote Originally Posted by matclone View Post
    I dont' have time to wade through this, but maybe data can be found here.

    http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxst...=96981,00.html

    The table shown above (if accurate) is somewhat misleading. It shows only a slice of the tax picture (federal income taxes)--no state, property, sales, Social Security, or tax-exempt income shown. No capital accruement shown. It also doesn't show us anything about a taxpayer's ability to pay, for example, what portion of his income goes to taxes. A progressive tax system is designed so that those who can pay more, do. I think that's fair.

    There is NOTHING "fair" about this
    The top 0.1% of taxpayers by income pay 17.4% of federal income taxes (earning 9.1% of the income)
    The top 1% with gross income of $328,049 or more pay 36.9% (earning 19% of income)
    The top 5% with gross income of $137,056 or more pay 57.1% (earning 33.4% of income)
    The bottom 50% with gross income of $30,122 or less pay 3.3% (earning 13.4% of income)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone85 View Post
    I did find the taxstat link below myself, and I have a feeling it might be buried in there. I think the table above might have been harvested in some fashion from there.

    If it is fair, would it be more fair if it was more progressive then?
    I agree, the table is buried somewhere. They could improve their site, methinks.

    I like the progressive principle. I think, overall, our tax code could and should be more progressive than it is now. However, there are limits. Back in the 60s, the Brits had an 80 or 90% tax rate for the very wealthy which caused some of them to leave the country. We don't have anything like that. I think our top marginal tax rate is 38% (but don't quote me on that), and I don't know of many leaving the country to avoid taxes--another indicator that the current system does not unfairly tax the rich.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Throwby View Post
    I suppose it depends on what you consider "fair" to be. There is benefit to having a graduated system but I am disturbed by the politically popular talk of always suggesting the rich pay more taxes and I would be ecstatic if a system were put in place that would eliminate the IRS as we now know it in favor of a simplified tax code and a very small IRS.
    I hear at least as much talk, if not more, about the need for tax reduction, including the rich--as evidenced by Cyclone's first post here.

    As for a simpler code, I think we would all agree that is a nice goal. However, those who advocate abolishing the IRS or radically simplying the code, typically leave something out of the discussion. The tax code has long been used as a policy tool--the carrot and stick approach. Should we dump all those policies we've implemented over the years (such as the home mortgage deduction, or deductions for employers to provide employee benefits) for the sake of a simplier code?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    I was thinking it was 35 today and it might have been 39 prior to that under Bill Clinton. Agreed -- no one is leaving.

    So, how much do you think you should pay? And how much should the rich pay? And who are the rich? We used to live next to two HS teachers each making $75k (masters degrees) for a family income of $150k. In NYC, (a cliche to follow) a teacher and a fireman couple would be pulling down at least $125k. Do they need to pay more?

    And who gets to decide all of these numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by matclone View Post
    I agree, the table is buried somewhere. They could improve their site, methinks.

    I like the progressive principle. I think, overall, our tax code could and should be more progressive than it is now. However, there are limits. Back in the 60s, the Brits had an 80 or 90% tax rate for the very wealthy which caused some of them to leave the country. We don't have anything like that. I think our top marginal tax rate is 38% (but don't quote me on that), and I don't know of many leaving the country to avoid taxes--another indicator that the current system does not unfairly tax the rich.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tax the rich.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone85 View Post

    And who gets to decide all of these numbers?
    Our elected representatives?
    There's no such thing as a pretty good aligator wrestler.

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