Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Rich Pay Too Much!

USAToday reported that most Americans think the tax system is unfair, according to the latest Ipsos poll. Most middle-class Americans think they, as well as lower income earners, pay way too much in income, while rich Americans pay too little. This goes well with political hype from the left about tax cuts for the top 5% while the poor are being left to roost, bread and butter for those in the Left. As a low wage-earner, I certainly am tempted to believe this is true. After all, even the books that promise you the secret of wealth usually tell you the rich don't pay as much in taxes, using loopholes and what have you.

Unfortunately, it's a giant lie! The reality is that the richest Americans already pay a disproportionate share of their incomes to support our tax system. But don't take my word for it - check out this table from the Congressional Budget Office. Now, there are some corrections to be applied to their stats (they don't, for example, count estate taxes and the like) but for the most part, it tells an interesting story. The lowest quintile of wage-earners (that's 25% percentile, or the people who make less than 75% of all wage-earners) pay under 5% of their income to Uncle Sam, as of 2002. The top quintile? Almost 19% The top 5%? Almost 30% The top 1%? Almost a third!

A third? WOW!! That's incredible. I can't think of how you can be accused of being derilict in your civil duty when you fork over a third of your income to Uncle Sam. Remember, this is after deductions for charitable work and the like. The reality is that it's always tempting to skew rules to favor the majority. Most Americans would like to see someone but them pay for the roads they drive on, the clean water they drink, the clean air they breathe, the police force that protects them, and all of the other things that I would argue disproportionately favors the middle and lower classes (after all, rich people don't, for example, need cops, they hire their own security service!)

So suck it up and stop complaining about how you're being screwed by the rich white folk!

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