A revisit of a series that may be very timely for today, as Congress will reconvene considering taxation for the coming year of 2011. This 4 part series I wrote beginning of 2009 and I did not know then how bad it will get but, unfortunately, some lessons need to be learned again and again.
Please note my last sentence in reference to a "tea party" and that this article was written prior to the start of the current Tea Party Movement. If I had any help in it's conception, I am glad, but I cannot take credit.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009
Speaking of Taxes, Part III: It's Your Taxes, Updated
Since the seem to be magic number in this administration of who's rich is $250,000.00 and since this administration thinks those who earn that much and more should pay more, let's look the facts.
Using my previous 2006 model, because it has the latest and most updated data, in my previous article we saw that those having AGI earnings of $31,987.00 or more (top 50%) paid 97.1% of total individual income taxes collected.
So let's take it further; anyone who had AGI $108,904.00 or more income were in the top 10% of earners in 2006 and paid 70.79% of all individual income tax revenue.
Further we break it down to the top 5% of all taxpayers starts at above $153,542.00 paying 60.14% and the top 1% starting at $388,806.00 paying 39.89% of 100% of income taxes paid in 2006.
Which means that earners above that $31,987.00 mark and below $108,904.00 mark represented 40% of all individual tax payers and paid a total of 26.22% of individual tax revenue and coupled with the bottom 50% paying 2.99%, equals 29.21% of individual income taxes collected in 2006 were paid by the 90% of all taxpayers.
Now you may think that earning $108,904.00 is the definition of rich, and for most of the country that may be true.. but regardless of that, they certainly pay far more proportion of the income tax collected by our government than any other group.
Further, the top 1% pays even more disproportionally than any other group because consider that in 2006 the total number of returns in the top 1% group was 1,357,192 in number, paying 39.89% as opposed to the bottom 99% at 134,361,968 tax returns filed and paid 60.11%.
Break that down to each individual and you see that the top 1% paid on the average $300,893 per return as opposed to the bottom 99% paying an average of $4580 per return. So if you argue that the rich should pay more, I must argue back that they already are and that they have for far more years than visa-versa. If you doubt it, do the math.
Now, perhaps contrary to the popular belief, I happen to know that most people in the top brackets don't mind paying income taxes but they do resent the notion that they don't pay their fair share. They also have a very healthy philosophy on the subject that probably all should remember: being that you don't pay taxes on earnings you don't make, paying taxes means that you made money and not lost it. Of course if we keep rewarding those that don't work with "refundable credits" we will increase the population that takes rather than pays and shift further the burden of tax paying on those that do work, regardless of where they are on the ladder.
Keep shifting that burden to the top and you have individuals, as well as companies, tempted and able to leave the country, reducing the revenue to the country and creating a drop in the GDP as well, which may never be recovered. Of course there's another more dangerous possibility: That of creating another "tea party".
Thanks for Reading
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