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One of the teeny tiny contradictions when Republicans simultaneously say that millionaires already pay higher tax rates than middle-class people and that the Buffett Rule would hit millionaires unfairly hard is that if they're already paying a higher rate, the Buffett Rule wouldn't touch them. But a new Congressional Research Service report shows just how much millionaire underpayment Republicans are scrambling to cover for:
...when all federal taxes are taken into account — including those on wages, investment income and corporate profits — some households earning more than $1 million a year paid as little as 24 percent of their income to the Internal Revenue Service in 2006.

That’s substantially less than the share paid by many families making less than $100,000 a year that faced a top effective tax rate exceeding 26.5 percent, the report said.

All told, 94,500 millionaires paid a smaller share of their income in taxes than 10 million households with moderate incomes, the report found.

That means that many millionaires do pay more than middle-class families, of course—they still pay historically low tax rates, but a smidge higher than those of us who have to work for a living. Most of those millionaires paying a slightly higher share of taxes than you or I wouldn't be touched by the Buffett Rule becoming law, because they already live by it. The 94,500 who are paying less than you or I, though—they'd pay more.

The report also takes on the claim that raising taxes on millionaires would raise taxes on small business and hurt job creation:

The report notes, however, that recent studies have found that "small businesses contribute only slightly more jobs than larger businesses relative to their employment share." And that difference is attributable to hiring by startups, which also end up destroying about 40% of the new jobs they create within five years when the businesses flame out.

Furthermore, the CRS report said, "most small business owners of startup firms are not in the top income categories and would not be affected by tax policies that observe the Buffett Rule."

Look for Republicans to adjust their objections to the Buffett Rule based on this information approximately never. And since 76 percent of people polled (including 66 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of tea partiers) support it, it would be tough for public support to get much more robust.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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