Let's deal with some facts. The richest one percent of Americans are paying taxes that are too low--and Republicans are pushing budget proposals that would shovel even more money into the hands of the wealthiest Americans. Here are the facts.
Citizens for Tax Justice has released a series of studies in the past 10 days that paint a clear picture. Let's start with the phony argument that the richest Americans pay a hugely disproportionate level of taxes compared to the rest of us. Nonsense:
CTJ estimates that the share of total taxes (federal state and local taxes) paid by taxpayers in each income group is quite similar to the share of total income received by each income group in 2008.
The total federal, state and local effective tax rate for the richest one percent of Americans (30.9 percent) is only slightly higher than the average effective tax rate for the remaining 99 percent of Americans (29.4 percent).
From the middle-income ranges upward, total effective tax rates are virtually flat across income groups.
The mantra is wrong for many reasons including:
Claims that the richest one percent are paying far more than their fair share usually focus only on one type of federal tax paid (the federal income tax) while ignoring other regressive federal taxes, like the payroll tax, which is more significant for most taxpayers. They also ignore state and local taxes, which tend to tax low- and middle-income families more heavily than well-off families.
What this actual evidence demonstrates--you can look at the tables in the study to see the data--is that our tax system is not very progressive...duh. Indeed, as I have argued, the rates on the top one percent should be raised far higher than what the president is proposing (he wants to return the top rate to the Clinton era 39.5 percent, which is quite modest).
And the Republican proposal? You gotta love the audacity of greed. As CJT shows (and detailed charts at this link back up the info):
Comparing the income tax proposals in the House GOP plan to the income tax proposals in the House Democratic plan in 2010, we find that:
Over a third of taxpayers, mostly low- and middle-income families, would pay more in taxes under the House GOP plan than they would under the House Democratic plan in 2010.
The richest one percent of taxpayers would pay $75,000 less, on average, in income taxes under the House GOP plan than they would under the Democratic plan in 2010.
The income tax proposals in the House GOP plan, which is presented as a fiscally responsible alternative to the Democratic plan, would cost over $225 billion more than the Democratic plan’s income tax policies in 2010 alone.
So, here's the bottom line, stripped of all the rhetoric, the facts are: most Americans will pay higher taxes under the Republican proposals than the Democratic proposals. Republican tax proposals will cost MORE to taxpayers then the Democratic proposals. And the richest Americans will pocket more money if Republican tax proposals are adopted.
Those are the facts.