OK

Well, he didn't use those exact words. But in an ABC video interview out today, Rand Paul outlined his vision for the next Congress. In discussing (at the 45s mark) the fairness of raising taxes on the rich, he tells Jonathan Karl:

Are rich people paying their fair share? Well, they're paying about half of their income. What's enough?
Wow, 50%.  Half of their income.  That's actually a pretty healthy number.  And the Democrats are trying to raise it even higher? And they deny that they are socialists?

But wait!  Not so fast.  The Earth was not created 6,000 years ago, Barack Obama is not Kenyan, and taxes on the rich in this country are nowhere close to 50%.

When you add in all federal, state, and local taxes, the Top 1% pays about 30% of their income in taxes. And they actually pay a little less than the people in the 80th to 99th percentiles; that is because at the very high end (the super rich), beneficial long-term capital and dividend tax rates (now both 15%) dramatically lower the total tax burden even greater for people whose income is mostly investment-related.

Senator Rand Paul thinks that rich Americans pay 50% of their income in taxes, when the real number is less than 30%.  I think it is quite fair to say that from his perspective, knowing that the rich actually pay 30% would be a welcome surprise.  I guess if the Democrats offer to tax the rich from now on at 40% of their income (combined), the GOP should jump at that, right?

Paul goes on to say that compromise is the key to the budget negotiations, and he's prepared to compromise.  But not on taxes; he will not support any deal that raises any taxes.

Is it possible that the GOP doesn't know, factually, how little the rich pay?  Maybe this entire disagreement on taxes is just one giant miscommunication!  Spread the word to your GOP friends and neighbors - you guys are being led by politicians who don't have the right numbers.

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