LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition
Our new President has been very clear that he feels we all need to ante-up. I did a quick look. We provide over 600 billon dollars a year in income transfers (does not include SS or Medicare). That amounts to about $7,500 a year per tax payer. We all know that taxes are heavily concentrated on the middle class where that number may be as much as $15,000 per year per tax-payer. Sorry Mr. President we are already pitching in – big time! The real problem is not in the middle. The problem is at the two ends. There are many people receiving public assistance who could be contributing more to their own upkeep. The amount acknowledged varies depending on political philosophy but we all know anecdotally those who could do so. It should also be noted that these payments are usually not included in income when we talk about income distribution. The bottom cohort is not as neglected as frequently depicted.At the top too many are avoiding a just contribution to our tax system. We are frequently shown data by cohort (20% increments). It is emphasized that the top 20 % provides a very substantial portion of our tax take. True, but that top cohort is composed mostly of middle class tax-payers. The really rich (above a million dollar income by my definition) are really in the top 5 - 10%, give or take). This group hides behind in-kind income, tax expenditures, tax breaks, preferential treatment on income and the like so as to pay considerably less than a “just share”. I defined such a share as the amount of tax reflecting a progressive increase proportional to the tax increase imposed on the middle class when compared to those who pay little of no federal income tax. (i.e.: if the marginal tax rate doubles between $50K and $100K then it should double again every $50 K thereafter). Any other solution punishes the middle class at the expense of the really rich.Mr. Obama seems to be trying to throw money at the first group and hold harmless the second. That leaves only you and me to pay the bill. Boy, aren’t we lucky!