Tag Archives: fair share

On The Punitive Taxation Of America’s Richest, by Richard M. Salsman

The income tax is not only theft, its progressive theft, with those who make more being robbed disproportionately. From Richard M. Salsman at aier.org:

The rich in America don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes, according to critics of capitalism and of inequality who propose a near doubling (to 70 percent) of the current top federal tax rate on personal income. Many such critics also demand a new wealth tax on previously earned income that’s been saved and invested. But what’s a “fair share?” Why is 70 percent the right and proper tax take? Why not 50 percent? Is today’s top rate of 35 percent inherently fair? Why not 10 percent?

Ask anyone who’s willing to define or defend “fair share” in this context — whether a tax expert, an editorialist, or a neighbor — and you’ll likely hear not hard facts and solid logic but a host of banal attitudes and platitudes. “Inequality is unjust!” Why? “Because it’s unfair!” Why? “Because so many people are in need today — and most people agree with me.” But why assume the status of needy or less rich people is caused by the rich? It just doesn’t follow. If the rich aren’t blameworthy for the poor lot of others, as a criminal would be for robbing and impoverishing a victim, what, in plain justice, could justify punitive taxation of the rich?

Part of the problem (and the emotionalism) is that many people today — especially the highly schooled (and highly paid) elites — doubt or deny the principle of desert. They believe no one is truly or fully responsible or deserving of their socioeconomic position or trajectory in life. “They didn’t earn it,” we hear, because so many others — whether parents, teachers, peers, or preachers — played a role. Well, if others played a role, are they deserving? If so, is desert in fact a valid principle? If so, why bother equating unequal possessions with ill-gotten gains? Those who most deny desert deny it most vehemently in the rich; in failing to see how anyone succeeds “on their own,” they fail the more so in seeing how truly great producers succeed.

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About that “Fair Share” by Simon Black

The government wants everyone to pay their “fair share” of the massively unfair share of national income and wealth it expropriates. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

There are two words that kept coming up over and over again over the last 20+ months during the US Presidential circus: “fair share”.

Hardly a day went by without hearing that certain taxpayers “need to pay more of their fair share.”

It sounds really great, and given the voter statistics, this idea resonated with tens of millions of people. After all, who could possibly be against fairness?

When you dive into the numbers, however, the data doesn’t support this assertion at all.

According to IRS figures, households that earn more than $1 million annually, roughly 0.4% of all taxpayers, pay a total of $364 billion in federal income tax.

This amounts to roughly 27% of all the US federal individual income tax that’s collected.

So in other words, the top 0.4%, pays 27% of the total tax bill.

If you extend this analysis to the upper middle class, i.e. the top 24.5% of households earning more than $100,000 per year, the numbers are even more dramatic.

(Bear in mind this includes two spouses earning $50,000 each.)

This group of households earning between $100,000 up to $1 million contributes 50.4% of all US federal individual income tax.

Combined, the two groups, which comprise the top 25% of US taxpayers, pay nearly 80% of the total tax bill.

(In case you’re wondering, the bottom 50% of income earners contributes less than 5% to the total tax bill.)

This isn’t intended to be a slight against any income group; rather, I’m honestly wondering exactly how much these people consider to be “fair”?

Because it’s not intuitively obvious to me that sticking 25% of the people with 80% of the bill is “unfair.”

Now, the common refrain from the “fair share” crowd is that taxes go to fund our roads, schools, police departments, fire fighters, etc., and that rich people can afford to pay more.

But there’s a big problem with this logic.

All the benefits that people cite, from fire fighters to public schools, are typically funded at the state and local level… and paid for with state and local taxes. NOT federal tax.

Your federal tax dollars don’t fund local fire departments.

Instead you’re paying for a giant, bloated, federal bureaucracy that squanders tax revenue on some of the most obscene waste imaginable.

You paid $2 billion for the Obamacare website that didn’t work.

You paid $1 billion for the military to destroy $16 billion of perfectly good ammunition.

You paid $856,000 for the National Science Foundation to teach mountain lions how to run on treadmills.

And you paid an incalculable sum of money to drop bombs by remote control on innocent civilians and children’s hospitals in countries populated by brown people.

None of this money is going to fix the pot hole in front of your driveway.

But despite their argument being totally specious and unsupported by IRS data, the “fair share” cries grow ever louder.

Warren Buffett, a 0.01% guy himself, has been a loud voice claiming that wealthy people should pay more.

Buffett complains every year that he pays less tax as a percentage of his income than his secretary.

And this has created a popular belief that wealthy people pay very low tax rates.

Again, IRS statistics disprove this claim; the average tax rate for top income earners in the US is over 30%, versus 9.8% for the bottom half of income earners.

To continue reading: About that “Fair Share”