When he’s not trying to find gainful employment for decapitators and immolators, Obama spares a few words for soaking the rich.
This guy never mentions Obama by name, but if the president were in his classroom, he’d be sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap:
A few points to highlight:
Nearly everyone assumes that a person who is among the top ten percent of all income earners qualifies as rich.
But according to 2011 data, a top ten percent household makes around $150,000 or above in gross annual income — that’s income before deductions and taxes. Now, $150,000 is a nice living, but it certainly doesn’t make you rich.
OK, then. What about the top 5%?
You get into this percentile if your household makes around $190,000 or above. That’s a nice bump. But it hardly puts you in the rich category.
I don’t have to tell a lot of our urban readers that 150-190k hardly qualifies as rich in Boston, New York, San Francisco, etc. Professor Ohanian is right that the people we can all agree are rich are few and far between.
But thank God for them:
Now, let’s talk about fair.
Fair would seem be that the group of taxpayers who earn 10% of the country’s income would pay 10% of the country’s taxes; the group who earned 20% would pay 20% of the taxes and so on.
But what If I told you that, according to IRS data, the top 10% of all earners — the people making $150,000 and above — pay 71% of all federal income tax while earning only 43% of all income.
If anything, the top ten percent pay more than their fair share.
So, as it happens, do the much reviled top 1%. They earn 17 percent of all income, but pay 37% of all federal income taxes.
That’s an apples-to-apples comparison—income to income tax. You rarely hear those numbers in this discussion. Doubtless because they undermine Obama’s argument.
As does this:
Ah, but what about payroll taxes — the money we pay to fund Social Security and Medicare? That takes a bigger bite of the paycheck of lower earners than higher earners. Isn’t that unfair?
[T]he benefits we receive from Social Security are capped, no matter how much we have paid in. This means that the payroll taxes of high earners actually help subsidize the social security and Medicare benefits that low earners receive at retirement.
But there’s one group Professor Ohanian does finger for freeloading:
And what about those at the other end of the income scale, the lower earners? Are we squeezing them? Hardly. Those who make $45,000 or less, 47% of all earners, pay little and often no income taxes.
Pay up, pauper. It’s only fair.