Skip to main content

graph showing tax rates at different income levels

One measure of how big income inequality in the United States is is that pretty much any angle you choose to look at it from reveals some startling little nugget of information, the sort of example of a society run by and for the 1 percent that should put millions of people in the streets in protest. Yet we have so many such examples they become normal, almost boring.

David Cay Johnston unearths a couple such should-cause-outrage details in a look at the 2009 tax returns of the 400 highest-income families. Consider this: six families making around $200 million each in 2009 paid no federal income taxes, while:

[A]nother 110 families paid 15 percent or less in federal income taxes. That’s the same federal tax rate as a single worker who made $61,500 in 2009.

Overall, the top 400 paid an average income tax rate of 19.9 percent, the same rate paid by a single worker who made $110,000 in 2009. The top 400 earned five times that much every day.

Less than 21 percent of the 400 highest earners paid the minimum 30 percent tax rate that they would pay under the Buffett rule. This is not just income inequality, it's government-supported income inequality. For the Republican members of Congress blocking the Buffett rule, of course, it's a win-win, with the rich getting richer and the government getting poorer and weaker.

Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM PT: David Cay Johnston offers further detail on this in the comments.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Does your chart include FICA/payroll taxes? (3+ / 0-)

    Somehow I think not, thus minimizing the extent of the problem.

    Not to mention the disregard of state income taxes, which are equally highly regressive.

    •  Income tax I recognize the data (3+ / 0-)

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A more honest accounting would have shown (3+ / 0-)

        the top category in your link, i.e., the "Total Effective Federal Tax Rate"

        (of course that still neglects things like federal tax on gasoline, I suspect).

        •  this plot should say exactly what it is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          I think federal income tax.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 01:07:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The words "effective tax rate" also appear (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, Roger Fox

            several times, totally obscuring the place where it say "federal income tax"

            The importance of that is that "Effective Tax Rate" is also a real tax category given in the link by Roger Fox that includes income tax AND payroll taxes.

            Hence this chart looks like it comes right  out some RW'ers playbook.  Which was maybe the intent of the diarist (i.e., to show their mindset) I really don't know, that wasn't very clear either.

            •  what is "effective tax rate"? (0+ / 0-)

              that should be explained too.

              An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

              by mightymouse on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 01:19:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Of course thats the intent of the chart (0+ / 0-)

              good call.

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:35:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Need not be a right winger. Democrats shrink away (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NoMoreLies

              in horror when you suggest that the full federal tax load should be used in these graphs.  They play right into right wing hands.

              The truth is  that most of us pay 11% in social security taxes on every dollar we earn (empoyer+empoyee share restated to reflect employer share as part of gross income).  Factor that in along with the SS cap, and the difference between low and high earners becomes very small indeed, and, as Roadbed Guy points out, that excludes a slew of regressive non-federal taxes.

              I wonder if anybody's done charts reflecting discretionary income, ie, once you allow some reasonable allowance for food, clothing, and shelter?

              Democrats should be all over this, but I suspect their allegiance to the fiction of Social Security as being different from other federal programs keeps them from going full force for the truth.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:46:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The way to correct for this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac

                is, as another has said, to use numbers so that they reflect reality. It isn't what percentage you pay, it's how much you pay after basic necessity and what you get in return - so what if a person making only $10k pays only 2% - if he needs $15k or more just to feed himself. He pays taxes rather than buy food just so others can pay 20% rather than 25%? F that!
                How about a chart of total dollars after taxes after $15,000, with a percentage and total number of people - you'd get something like: x million people having less than $0 after taxes, n million people paying 50% of their income over the minimum needs of life, and 400 people keeping more than $50 million after taxes.
                The truth is that America has pretty close to the lowest effective tax rates in the developed world, but it also has the lowest minimum wages, and the lowest rates of government services return on taxes and the highest poverty rate. We have to quit defending out of context numbers and respond to reality.

    •  It would be dishonest... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul

      ...to include FICA, because FICA taxes cover insurance type of taxes. None of that money goes to the general fund.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:29:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Buckets is buckets and taxes is taxes (0+ / 0-)

        Social Security taxes are  regressive taxes that leave the rich largely untouched, placing their greatest burden on the middle class.

        I cringe at writing that because some people claim that SS taxes are not regressive because the benefits  favor the low income, ie, if your base benefit earnings (or whatever they call it) were something like $700-800 a month, you get about 90% of that back in benefits, but as your income climbs towards the cap, the payback drops to about 15% on additional dollars, but...

        Minimum wage earners pay the same percentage of their earnings -- and a much higher percentage of discretionary income -- than higher earners and that, in my book, is a regressive tax.  Compared to those who top the cap, minimum wage earners obviously pay more of their income.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:52:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        I think that it is dishonest for us to tax, budget, and calculate FICA separately from the general fund.

    •  State sales taxes are even more regressive (0+ / 0-)
      Not to mention the disregard of state income taxes, which are equally highly regressive.
  •  Could someone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, The Angry Architect

    explain how this happens?

    Consider this: six families making around $200 million each in 2009 paid no federal income taxes
    •  If you google "how do rich people not pay taxes" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, The Angry Architect, a2nite

      there are something like 47,000,000 hits.

      So yeah, somebody definitely thinks that they CAN explain it.

      like this

    •  There's a number of possibilities... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Angry Architect

      ...huge tax credits, tax-free income (muni bonds, life insurance) or income with no US tax liability (family members who aren't citizens earning income outside the US)

    •  The wealthy do not pay "income tax" (3+ / 0-)

      Once you have a boatload of money, you invest your money into stocks and other investment vehicles.  After 18 months, they can then sell their stocks and are taxed at 15% because the monies are long term capital gains.

      Once you have a enough money to sustain this cycle, than an individual is no longer "working for money" and paying income tax...but rather living off of their investments and paying the lower "long term capital gains tax".

      There's nothing illegal about it...you want to encourage individuals to invest their money.

      That's why John Kerry pays 11% on his tax return because he and Teresa have amassed so much wealth.  And why Buffett's secretary pays a "higher rate" of tax than Buffet does...Buffet's secretary probably makes $100k and pays 30% income tax...while Buffet pays 15% long terms capital gains tax...  

      The argument really is comparing apples and oranges... but that's how the rich pay a lower tax rate.

      •  There's more to it than that (0+ / 0-)

        They're not selling their wealth, they're accumulating it tax free. They're avoiding tax through a complicated, and yes, legal, series of investment vehicles, LLCs, loopholes, and trusts.

        "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

        by CFAmick on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:54:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not tax-free (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          We as a society have tried to encourage people investing their money.  And remember, the money that you and I invest has already been taxed (income tax).  So our government encourages the re-investment of that money back into society by giving investors a lower tax rate if they invest for the long term.

          You and I pay taxes but I don't know about you but I pay what I have to but no more.  You can't demonize people for taking advantage of every legal loophole to reduce their tax burden.  Kerry berths his yacht in rhode iand to avoid taxes if he berthed his boat I'm his home state.

          Wealthy republicans and democrats all take full advantage of all legal means at their disposal to pay as little tax as possible.

          And I bet... If you had a legal tax loophole you could use... You would.

          •  it is not a matter of simply encouraging people to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies

            invest their money.  If our Federal government is going to encourage re-investment at a lower tax rate, then it needs to do everything it can to make sure there is a benefit to its citizens, or why give the tax break?

            I don't blame individuals for taking advantage of legal loopholes.  But many of them have actively lobbied for the loopholes and have corrupted our politicians in the process.

            If the superwealthy are going to game the system, then there is no reason to give them the benefit of lower tax rates.  When they start investing more in real job creation for our citizens, then we'll talk!

            •  Isn't that the point of invetments? (0+ / 0-)

              You have people, regular folks, rich folks...buying stocks in companies.   Giving them money by investing in these companies.   These companies are asked to seek profits, grow their company's value and hire additional workers.   Now the point isn't to hire additional workers, but to grow company's value (or stock price).

              I would agree I think the super super  wealthy have an ear to the politicians that enable them to gain certain perks.   I think for the vast vast majority of people (including the very wealthy), they are just working within the framework of our tax code.

      •  Why use the tax laws to "encourage" investment? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies

        There's no apples/oranges thing going here. Money flowing in the door is money flowing in the door.

        Money is taxed much more highly if it is wages than if it is - let's see - "carried interest", or even just interest, or long term capital gains, etc.

        Oh sure, fundamental policies vary, but that begs the question of fairness and equity. And an increasing mal-distribution of the benefits of being able to take advantage of what America offers.

        The wealthy want it as costless as possible.
        So long as they write the tax laws, they'll keep getting it that way. If the vast majority of the people wrote the tax laws (OK, OK, elect the people who write the laws; I'm not arguing for anarchy here!), the fundamental policies that underpin our tax laws will change.

        Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:51:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Read this article and the accompanying (0+ / 0-)

      charts for an idea as to just how the game is designed by and rigged to benefit the extremely wealthy.

      http://www.forbes.com/...

      "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

      by CFAmick on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:52:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A few possibilities (0+ / 0-)

      Current income was offset by operating or capital losses carried forward from a previous year.

      Income was earned in a foreign country and credits for foreign taxes paid offset U.S. income tax.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:57:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simple answer: most "wealthy" income is not wages. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      Wages are taxed, sliding us normal taxpayers smoothly up into the nether brackets and double-whammying us with an "alternative minimum tax" as we try to take almost any kind of advantage of preferred treatment f income, deductions, etc.

      That's what hurts the middle class on Federal income taxes. And it is how the wealthy can avoid the pain, because proportionately, very little of their income comes from wages ... or what is called wages and the AMT doesn't hit their kind of money-coming-in-the-door.

      And by the way, we should keep the subject to Federal income taxes if we want to reform Federal income taxes, a hard enough chore by itself. If you want to tackle how Social Security is funded, for example, or how unfair regressive state-level taxes on necessities are, go ahead but that won't make the analysis simpler or reform easier.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:43:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I knew someone who used to be a tax attorney. (0+ / 0-)

      He said his wealthy clients would come in and say, "Fix it so I don't have to pay any taxes."  If he couldn't do that, they thought he was not a very good attorney and found someone else.

  •  Read Somewhere... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Angry Architect, myboo

    ...that the Walton family by itself has a net worth equal to the net worth of the bottom 30% of the US population.

    Yeah, you do see these little nuggets of inequality if you squint your eyes and change body position, when the system is rotten to the core.

    "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

    by chuco35 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:38:08 AM PDT

  •  Outrage why? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Angry Architect, erush1345

    So the chart demonstrates the rich pay twice as much of their income in taxes, and many times as much in absolute terms as the middle class and poor.

    I don't think the "effective tax" on the chart is actual total effective tax burden, though, since federal effective tax on the poor is negative.  There doesn't seem to be an explicit source (just "IRS") listed.

  •  What is a fair share? The average? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Angry Architect

    I think this chart has internal flaws having to do with mean, mode and median.  If the average tax is 11% than the wealthy are paying double or triple.  I think what you really want to note is income before taxes and income after taxes.  For the super wealthy even after taxes they remain super wealthy.

  •  Lousy chart, better diary, TnR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Angry Architect

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:09:14 PM PDT

  •  Listen... (0+ / 0-)

    They are too busy trying create jobs, something that Commie-In-Chief won't let them do, to concerned with paying "their fair share"...  Ugh, liberals!

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

    by lcj98 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:29:59 PM PDT

  •  Social Security and Medicare Taxes? (0+ / 0-)

    You need to include payroll taxes in your analysis. In fact, you need to include sales taxes.

  •  So, paying $104,000 per day in taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    is not "fair"?

    $544,000 income per day times 19.9% taxes is $104,000 federal taxes every single day.

    It all really depends how you present it, isn't it?

    The problem is, there is no such thing as "fair".  There will always be a group of people who think the rich do not pay enough.  Enact the Buffet rule and the next day you will see Daily Kos diaries crying how unfair it is the rich only pay a minimum of 30%.

    Now.. don't get me wrong.. I believe too many tax laws favor the wealthy..  That's why I believe in a no-deduction/no-loophole system.  Whatever tax bracket you fall into, that is the amount you should pay.

    •  I look at it this way. How much does the $544,000 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VTCC73, NoMoreLies, TexasTom, wsexson

      per day earner have left over after paying the $104,000?

      The answer is $440,000.  A day.  Buys a lot of hamburger helper.

      How does that compare with what a guy making $50K has left over after paying all the regressive taxes he must pay (like the max FICA tax, when the guy making $544,000 is capped at what is it now, $110,100?)

      The rich love to talk about fairness in percentages.  Makes a guy clearing $440,000 a day look absolutely generous.

      History merely repeats itself; it doesn't cure its own ills. That is the burden of the present.

      by ZedMont on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:43:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, that IS the point being missed here (0+ / 0-)

        20% of $100 leaves $80.

        20% of $1000 leaves $800.

        20% of 10,000 leaves $8,000.

        20% of 100,000 leaves $80,000.

        20% of $1,000,000 leaves $800,000.

        20% of $10,000,000 leaves $8,000,000.

        20% of $100,000,000 leaves $80,000,000.

        20% of $1,000,000,000 leaves $800,000,000.

        20% of $10,000,000,000 leaves $8,000,000,000.

        [Interesting how the word graph has its own natural curve.]

        No way is a 20% minimum tax "onerous." Unless you're a gold-plated Midas hoarding your stash like a squirrel (PS. most nuts go uneaten; the squirrels forget they're there. Hoarded money just grows and grows and grows. But evidently, not enough for some people.)

        Back at the beginning of the last century, the tax was as 80% +. Think about that a minute: did the Rockefellers and Morgans go bankrupt? Did they lose social status? Were they unable to survive? Was the tax so onerous they could no longer "create jobs"?

        No. They just got richer. Partly because they realized that SPENDING SOME OF THE REST OF THAT MONEY TO CREATE JOBS lowered their tax liability... and as the economy improved, the tax burden on them lessened as the middle class was more able to pick up the slack.

        Nowadays? The rich have absolutely NO INCENTIVE to create jobs here in the US. So they don't. And the middle class and poor HAVE no money.

        No one has the end of the rope; government could -- but the (R) are all sitting on their hands on the sidelines.

  •  $200K+ rate is 4 times More $50K rate. Priceless!! (0+ / 0-)

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:19:14 AM PDT

  •  One of the most dangerous aspects (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, NoMoreLies

    of Movement Conservatism is that it tells people that our society, not just our economy, but the nation itself, cannot and will not ever break down no matter what they do to it.

    It could be because Jesus won't let anything bad happen to the United States.

    Or it could be that they think their wealth will innoculate them from any consequences from their actions if things go sideways.

    Or a bit of both. But.

    America is special. It is the first immortal nation that can't collapse unless the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the moochers and complainers tear it down by demanding fairness and justice for all, and not just the rich and powerful.

    I truly believe they truly believe that social spending on food stamps is literally why hunger exists, and that food stamps and other social spending is destroying America by creating the matters they were actually created to try and alieviate.

    That you can run the middle class and the poor into the ground, and it's okay, because they deserve a hard life for 'choosing' to be where they are, and getting to go 150mph in the national Ferrari is the reward for being rich and successful.

    Unfortunately societies do break down.

    No Movement Conservative would drive his Ferrari or Porsche like he abuses the middle class and the working poor. The engine would seize and the car would be scrap.

    Well, societies can end up as scrap too.

    Another aspect of Movement Conservatism that is as dangerous as it is delusional is the idea that stopping an attempt at a solution to a pressing social problem is the same thing as ending the social problem itself.

    From Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, to Foodstamps, The American Right talks about social safety net cutbacks, or outright eliminations, as if, say, ending food stamps is the same thing as ending hunger or want in America.

    Not that things will get worse, and thereby more expensive and painful to deal with, but better without the safety net.

    I fundamentally believe that Movement Conservatism is something that could destroy the United States in our lifetimes.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:22:33 AM PDT

  •  One interesting side to this is that (0+ / 0-)

    if everyone earning a  million a year were forced to pay some minimum amount many at or near a million would not be hit all that hard. It is those earning $77 million plus per year who would feel the big pinch. Most mere million-a-year types should be onside with this though I suspect that only a few are.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:41:14 AM PDT

  •  Another perspective that gets muddied (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, wsexson

    ..is the relationship between an income tax and an individual person.
    The tax is on the income, not the person. If you want to pay less tax, arrange it so you have less income.
    I recall hearing many rich people whining about how they paid several tens of thousands of dollars in tax, while another (lower income) person only paid hundreds of dollars. That sort of statement is an attempt to change attitudes of lower-income people about taxing the rich.

    When a few cracks appeared in that line of reasoning, they attempted to shift to the current "job creators" theme.
    I.E. If you tax rich guys too much, they won't create jobs, or won't be able to pay workers more money.
    We've seen how that works, when you give rich people more money, they hide it. As long as they are still rich they don't care about who else has a job.

    So now the richest people have arranged not only for historically low tax rates, but they've arranged to have the lion's share of national income for themselves.

    That is the Conservative plan to starve government, make it so small they can "drown it in a bathtub" as Reagan said.

    But We are the government. We the People. They are drowning us.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:50:17 AM PDT

  •  comments on one chart with my column (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies

    1:10 PM EDT

    I wrote the Reuters column with two charts that have drawn so many critical comments.
    Too bad that posters like RoadbedGuy did not read the actual column, which addresses the concerns raised, nor took a moment to look at the body of my work rather than just the brief excerpt at DailyKos.

    My column details how a single worker making $61,500 pays an income and payroll tax rate of 30.3%, exactly half again the income and payroll tax rate of the top 400.

    I encourage people here to read my other columns on such matters as
    1. 2,700 companies that pocket their workers’ state income taxes without the workers knowing http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2012/04/12/taxed-by-the-boss/
    2. the real median wage falling back to the level of 1999 http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2011/10/19/first-look-at-us-pay-data -its-awful/
    3. 37% of all income gains in America went to just 15,600 households in 2010 http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2012/03/15/the-richest-get-richer/
    4. Norquist’s drive, supported by some leading Democrats, to spread gambling to avoid tax increases http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2012/03/30/politicians-keep-placing- bets/
    5. How you pay taxes that utilities permanently pocket http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2012/03/30/politicians-keep-placing- bets/ or, thanks to GWBush administration machinations, collect taxes from you that they are exempt from paying over to government http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2011/10/17/pipeline-profiteering/
    6. How women in the same job (president, top executive) as men get paid less http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2011/10/26/underpaid-women-and-their -men/
    7. How AT&T and Verizon are working to take away your legal rights in telecommunications and what it means http://blogs.reuters.com/... ton/2012/03/28/phone-service-for-all-no- matter-what-kind/
    A column is not a book. If you want a detailed explanation of how our tax system subtly redistributes up, not down as widely believed, read my books PERFECTLY LEGAL (taxes) and FREE LUNCH (subsidies) and THE FINE PRINT, my forthcoming book on how corporations work with government to thwart competition, raise prices and put you in danger from rules few know about.

  •  What would be helpful (0+ / 0-)

    - though perhaps a PITA for the graphmaker/poster - would be to have a dotted line expressing the FAIRNESS curve.

    Most people see a graph and fall asleep... because they don't know what it means (we're talking the same people who cannot correctly identify Pennsylvania on a map, k?).

    They know what a half-full, half-empty glass looks like - cuz it's obvious (interpretation depends on personality type).

    They know what a gas tank at 1/3 full looks like. They know what a deflated tire looks like. Or a no-longer-full box of cookies or crackers. Why? Because the actual volume is obvious.

    So show them the FAIRNESS VOLUME - just the outline of it - and maybe they'll have a better idea what the fuss is all about.

    For now, they're content to let others "tell" them. SHOW them.

  •  And Their Income from Taxpaid Expenses? (0+ / 0-)

    What I find even more interesting than the richest's failure to pay their fair share of taxes, is the richest's success in getting taxes spent on them.

    Of the top 400 income collectors, how much of that income came directly from taxes spent by governments? Military contractors, other government suppliers, R&D free money. OK, most of the richest don't make money directly from anything, but by the most complex derivatives and laundering chains. So how about some actual economics research from an actual economist? Showing the flowchart of their income from the eventual spout of public money that everyone eventually shares - even if not as "equally" as shared by the richest.

    Yes, their protection from taxes is equal to taxpaid income. Yes, their free government services, including the legal system and IRS itself that's organized to literally work in their favor, all cost the rest of us money that's effectively income in services to them. So I'd love to see a stack of all the public expenses on them that adds up to the $BILLIONS they get to keep, while robbing us blind.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 11:11:38 AM PDT

  •  Not clear to me. % what, I need $$s. Fair share ?? (0+ / 0-)

    sorry didn't get it and i think I am pretty savvy with this stuff. But most ppl are not. Put it in $$ not % And make it clear tax on net income, not gross. Because even the rich who actually paid taxes got a lot of exemptions befored the Net showed up.
    I am really tired of FAIR SHARE. It is all about a system that is rigged that gave the top financial moguls lots of tax breaks and taxed middl and low income earners at a higher rate.
    Billionaire Hanauer said it: The rich do not creat jobs. He drives 3 cars, but it is the 3000 consumers who need cars that create the DEMAND for cars and jobs.
    Also, the BUSH TAX CUTS were meant to return to taxpayers the estimated CLINTON SURPLUSES. But when W declared his 2 WARs, they wiped out proposed surpluses and created more deficit. Remember, Cheney said there was no need to rescind Bush tax cuts because IRAQ would fully pay for the war from OIL revenues. Also did not happen. There are 300 mn ams. a $ from each one of us is easier to get than FAIR SHARE FROM RICH political donors who now consider our congress Dependents of their corporate generosity. And of course our elected reps GOP/TPARTY crowd in particular would rather the rich have another gold brick in their driveway, than feed the 16 mn children in this country who go to bed hungry each night.

    An EGG is not a person, A corporation is not a person!

    by CarmanK on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 03:51:09 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site