Tax Demagogues Are Lying Liars, in One Graph

Discussion in 'Economy' started by expat_panama, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. expat_panama
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    expat_panama Silver Member

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    The rich pay lower tax rates than we do. Bush's tax cuts were only for the rich. Both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts were sops to the rich. Schmucks like you and me pay all the taxes so the rich can ride free.

    You hear these lies every day.

    In case you think I make these lies up, here are some examples.

    "Changes in tax rates have strongly favored the very, very rich." -Paul Krugman

    [snip]

    "And that's why this plan eliminates tax loopholes that primarily go to the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations -- tax breaks that small businesses and middle-class families don't get. And if tax reform doesn't get done, this plan asks the wealthiest Americans to go back to paying the same rates that they paid during the 1990s, before the Bush tax cuts." -President Obama

    These lies are rebutted by a single graph produced by the Congressional Budget Office, below.
    [​IMG]

    [snip]

    * Reagan's tax cuts became fully effective in 1983. But look at the trend in average tax rate for the highest quintile of earners after that. It went up. That upward trend on the richest Americans went up for seventeen years after Reagan's tax cuts.

    * The same cannot be said for the lower quintiles. Tax rates for the lower 80% of taxpayers remained virtually flat, or trended downward, from 1983 to 2000.

    [snip]

    So let's look at that top quintile, shall we? The table below shows 2009 average federal income taxes as a percent of income (adjusted gross income less deficit) for the various income groups. The groups with incomes over $75,000 constitute the top quintile, approximately. (Data for the year 2009 is the latest available.)

    [​IMG]

    The obvious observation from this data is that the rich pay higher taxes than the poor or middle-class. The rates are strictly progressive up to incomes of $5 M: each income group, up to $5M, paid a higher percentage of income in taxes than the next lower group.

    [snip]

    The full article is at The American Thinker including all the source links to quotes and data.
     
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  2. expat_panama
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    expat_panama Silver Member

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    The article mistakenly called one quote lie:

    "The rich pay a huge share of the total taxes in the United States because they have a huge share of the money."


    That's actually true.
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Oh, stop your whining

    We all pity the poor, poor, put upon rich people.

    There.

    Feel better, now?
     
  4. expat_panama
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    expat_panama Silver Member

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    LOL! Sometimes it's hard to tell whether people are complaining or bragging...
     
  5. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Both

    God bless America.
     
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  6. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    All of these are, at worst, exaggerations. I can render each of them into a true statement as follows:

    Some very rich individuals, because they receive most of their income as capital gains or because they take advantage of certain deductions, pay a lower tax rate than much poorer people.

    Bush's tax cuts were almost entirely for the very rich.

    Both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts were intended to benefit the very rich, although they did provide small amounts of tax relief to the non-rich as well.

    The tax code does not put the burden on those who can best pay it as well as it should.

    Strictly speaking, all of the statements you presented were false, but none of them was far off and all of them indicate something that needs attention.

    This is neither identical in meaning to any of the false statements you presented above, nor false in itself.

    What is false in any of that?

    How much of this is accounted for by the fact that incomes for the top quintile soared while incomes for the rest of us stagnated or declined? If taxable income increases, a larger share of that income will be taxed at higher brackets, resulting in a higher percentage paid. If taxable income declines, the reverse occurs.

    On the average, that tends to be true. There are exceptions, however, and the question is left open as to what percentage they should be paying.
     
  7. expat_panama
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    expat_panama Silver Member

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    Thanks, you've exposed a couple other mistakes in the essay.

    One is that leftist hacks may not be consciously lying when they look at the facts and then turn right around and say the "rich don't pay their share". My take is this is more likely an article of religious faith, a liturgy that must be repeated without thought.

    Which points to the other mistake in the article, the idea that information could possibly refute a fundamental belief taken on faith.
     
  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    On the average, that tends to be true. There are exceptions, however, and the question is left open as to what percentage they should be paying.[/QUOTE]


    I'm guessing that you place a lot of stock in what the NYTimes says....and they say that the Bush tax cuts went to the middle class....
    ....unless you read this some other way:


    Check this out:

    “LET THE BUSH CUTS EXPIRE Mr. Obama vowed to let the high-end tax cuts (for people making more than $250,00) expire in 2010. But in a preview of the debt fight, he agreed to extend the cuts for two more years when Republicans held unemployment benefits and other measures hostage.

    Letting all of the cuts expire at the end of 2012 would save $3.8 trillion over the next decade. Letting the tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 would save $700 billion. That would make a real dent in the $2.4 trillion in total deficit reduction envisioned in the debt limit deal.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/the-truth-about-taxes.html

    If ALL of the Bush Tax Cuts were eliminated, the government would get $3.8 trillion over the decade.
    But “Letting the tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 would…” provide $700 billion!
    That is only 18% of the total provided by the Bush Tax Cuts!!

    So 82% of the money must have been given to folks making $250,000 or less!

    Q.E.D.! The Bush Tax Cuts went to the middle class. Thank you, NYTimes, for ‘splainin’ that!
     
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