Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Rich Pay No Taxes

That's what the lefties tell me, anyway, but that's not what the CBO says:

In comments on my post on Rand Paul and David Letterman, some commenters expressed interest in seeing the data on overall federal tax burden, not just the burden of the federal income tax. As it happens, the Congressional Budget Office reports such data. I would reprint their tables but I haven't yet figured out how to do that. So here is the link for 2006 data. Click on their data and you'll get an Excel spreadsheet that shows the following:

. The bottom quintile paid 4.3 percent of income in taxes,
. The top quintile paid 25.8 percent of income in taxes,
. The top decile paid 27.5 percent of income in taxes,
. The top 5 percent paid 29.0 percent of income in taxes, and
. The top 1 percent paid 31.2 percent of income in taxes.

In other words, it's still the case that the higher your income, the higher a percent of your income you pay in taxes.

So the existence of Social Security, while it reduces the "progressivity" of the tax system, does not come close to reversing it. I would note also, though, that most economists who examine the "progressivity" of the Social Security system also take account of the Social Security benefit formula. This gives a much higher percent of income to low-income people than to high-income people.

Just tossing facts out, there.


MikeAT said...


It's like Global Warming, the budget or medical care...their minds are made up....don't confuse them with the facts.

NYT said...

Over the last 30 years, rates have fallen more for the wealthy, and especially the very wealthy, than for any other group. At the same time, their incomes have soared, and the incomes of most workers have grown only moderately faster than inflation.

allen (in Michigan) said...

They're not confused by the facts, it's just that the only facts that may be considered are those that are supportive of Global Warming, the budget or medical care.

If those facts misrepresent the overall situation well, they're still facts, right? And those facts support the outcome preferred by lefties which just proves that all facts are not created equal.

Darren said...

Of course their rates have fallen the most. They had the most to fall. How long has it been since 90% was the top rate?

Mr. W said...

I think I told you about the Barstool Economics video on Youtube. Classic video, simple and to the point.


Bill said...

One little problem there, they also report on the top 0.1% of earners who pay at a rate of 22.7%. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates pay a significantly lower rate that you or I do.

Ohr Yochai said...

The highest income earners will often be able to use loopholes in the tax codes so that the middle class ends up with most of the tax burden when it actually comes down to it. Those are ideal percentages, but they do not represent how much taxes are actually being paid.