Re: Tea Party v. Constitution
Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:05 pm
This is only a relevant statistic if those people who earn more than 200.000 dollars earn less than half the total taxable income in the country.Tudamorf wrote:Really?Zute wrote:Wealthy people used to pay a lot more in taxes in the US than they presently do. The Republicans have been kind to the rich.
In 2000 (after 8 years of Clinton), out of $1 trillion in federal income tax receipts, about $448 billion was paid by those making $200,000 or more.
In 2008 (after 8 years of Bush), out of $1.08 trillion in federal income tax receipts, about $532 billion was paid by those making $200,000 or more.
Note that the top 3-4% are paying half of all federal income taxes here, and they paid slightly more in 2008 than they did in 2000.
And even then it is only marginally relevant since somebody who earns 200.000 dollars per year can more easily spare 50.000 in taxes than somebody who earns 2000 can spare 500 even if in percentages it is exactly the same.
The sad truth is that in the USA a tiny percentage of people (it gets even worse if you count families) receive the vast majority of income. Even if they pay -less- income tax in percentages than the other 95 (or so) percent they still probably end up paying more income tax then the rest of the population combined. Likely if you break down the income tax receipts down by top 1pct bracket, top 5 pct bracket and top 10 pct bracket you will find the first group paying a vastly greater percentage of the 500 billion. That does not mean they are unfairly taxed but simply that they receive such a huge income that even after all deductions and offshore constructions there still is a lot of tax being paid.
I expect a storm of protests claiming that those top 1 or 5 pct of people really deserve to receive that much income and that it is grossly unfair that they are paying for things that the other 99 or 95pct of the population is profiting from. All I can say to such claims is that I have my doubts anybody is entitled to tens of millions of dollars, but even ignoring that I also think that no person and no country can keep spending more than they earn. You can try to borrow your way out of the deficit, but sooner or later people or countries stop being so enthusiastic to lend you money. Then you can try to stick somebody else with the bill (families filing for bankruptcy and effectively disappearing from the economy for a while or permanently, national bank fixing their currency against another one or against a vital international trade good, usually oil), but again this will work only a few times before people will grow wary of dealing with you at all. And as a country you have the option that the USA is doing now: inflate your way out of your debts. This will work for a while until others stop accepting your coin. At that point the same thing will happen that happened to Germany in 1923 to Argentina in 1976 or Zimbabwe since 2000 (still ongoing though the national currency has for all intents and purposes ceased to exist since the last official figures from 2008 had prices double daily).
But percentages are always very misleading unless you know what exactly they stand for and how they relate to other related economic factors. E.g. just prior to the height of Zimbabwe's hyperinflation computer models suggested that investing in that country was the best way to make more money, since it offered the highest growth figures. The system simply (or conveniently) forgot to take into account that the worth of the currency plummeted even faster than those growth figures and that an annual economic 'growth' of 5000 pct or more really mean nothing if you do not understand what causes that huge number.