Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So Right, Yet So Wrong

You know the whole healthcare dog-and-pony show is in trouble when even Pravda DC is saying it's a bad idea.

But what I thought particularly hilarious was the equivocating paragraph used to at least preserve some shred of leftist cred.
THERE IS a serious case to be made that the U.S. income tax system should become more progressive. The average rate paid by the top 1 percent of households shrank from 33 percent in 1986 to about 23 percent in 2006. At the same time, the share of adjusted gross income claimed by that highest-earning sliver of American society doubled, from 11 percent to 22 percent. So, in principle, higher taxes for the well-heeled could make sense -- as part of a broader rationalization of the unduly complex tax code.

However, what the non-mathematicians leave out is the fact that, while their share of income doubled (increased by 100%), their taxes only fell by 30% (23% divided by 33% = 70%). In other words, if you were making $100 before and paying $33 in taxes, you're making $200 now and paying $46 in taxes.

That explains why a) the total share of Federal taxes paid by the top 1% has gone steadily UP since 2001 and b) the Treasury was collecting record revenues prior to the crash.

Question: What, exactly, SHOULD the top 1% be paying, then?

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