Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Little Bit More

In a current TV ad, President Obama contrasts Romney's proposals with his own:

Or President Obama's plan? A balanced approach, $4 trillion in deficit reduction, millionaires pay a little more.

Politifact figured out what he means by "a little bit more". It comes to 8.8%. They quote Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research, as saying, "For my part, I would grant that this is more than 'a little.'"

But fair is fair, right? After listening to Obama's entire "You didn't build this" speech or Elizabeth Warren's speech, we know that the rich are freeloading on the rest of us. They get rich by using the infrastructure that the rest of us pay for and they need to "give back" by paying higher taxes.

So, what proportion of the taxes do the rich actually pay? The top 5% pay 40% of all federal taxes.

So what is fair? There is no objective standard. I've seen calls for returning the tax rate to the pre-Reagan rates or even the pre-JFK rates (92%). Others want them returned to the Reagan-era low (24%).

Many calls for higher taxes assume that this can combat income disparity - sort of a Robin Hood except Robin Hood stole from a corrupt government (the Sheriff of Nottingham was the chief tax collector). One suspects that their definition of "fair share" is one that makes sure that eliminated millionaires and billionaires of their millions and billions.

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