What a great year 1986 was—the last time my beloved NY Mets won the fall classic. Even outside the ballpark at Flushing by the Bay there was a sense of balance in the world.
Since then the wealthiest among us have been paying an increasing share of the federal tax burden. In 2010 (before the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts), that top 10% paid 70.6% of the burden but represented only 45.2% of the earnings. If you go on the basis of percentages that is almost 57% more than their fair share.
When you break out the income further the numbers are even more telling. We learn that the evil 1% is paying almost twice their fair share of taxes. (Source Taxfoundation.org)
“There’s been a huge myth created that the rich aren’t paying anything,” said William McBride, the Tax Foundation’s chief economist. “The rich pay a much higher rate than the poor.”
That’s not to say that our income tax structure shouldn’t be progressive (that is an argument for a different day), but it does raise the question what is “Fair Share.” Is the 2 to 1 ratio of %taxes income fair? What percentage would make the progressives happy. What about the 1.5 to 1 ration for an average $116K income..is that OK?
One big part of why conservatives lose the argument is we do not ask the progressives to define their terms. What does Barack Obama mean by doing their part? Nobody knows! That enables him to talk in broad terms that no one understands.
Wouldn’t it be great for a member of the mainstream media to take a chart like this and ask the President…how would you change this chart? Define what you mean? Does someone making $116K need to pay taxes at a 2 to 1 ration to their % income? Does the wealthiest 1% already paying at a 2 to 1 ratio need to pay at a 4 to 1 ration or even more?
That would be interesting to have the President share his version of the above numbers with the public. I would doubt they would agree with his version of paying their fair share.