Commentary

Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share?

Andrew Moran
By Andrew Moran | April 19, 2018 | 2:26 PM EDT

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Mark Twain remarked that the only difference between the taxman and a taxidermist is that the latter only takes your skin. A leftist would protest this humorous quote, shrieking that taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. These are typically the obnoxious wails of progressives who routinely demand that the rich need to pay their fair share for more government and to fund their causes and pet projects. Even when the affluent fork over more of their earnings, the left will return to the well and insist for more every time the cupboard is bare.

Despite its progressive nature, the left, like the hippy, pussy hat version of Oliver Twist, is still pleading for more. If you’ve ever seen the rallies led by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), it is apparent that these crowds are hungry for your money.

And they are rushing to the beard-stroking, monocle-wearing, orphan-beating, stick-carrying, coin-counting 1 percent to satisfy their hunger. To justify their kleptomania and to propitiate the socialist gods, instead of booking an appointment with Jordan Peterson, they will prattle on about debunked ideas of income inequality or how the top income earners are moochers.

But do the rich not pay any taxes? They do, and you might be surprised how much they really cover the nation’s tab.

Paying Uncle Sam’s Bills

Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) was nearly tarred and feathered in 2012 when he told a group that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. Despite the manufactured outrage, Romney was right – perhaps Ron Paul was correct when he penned that truth is treason in the empire of lies.

The bottom 50 percent pay just 2.8 percent of federal income taxes, compared to the top 50 percent who are coerced into paying 97 percent of income levies. But once you start combing through the top 50 percent, you start noticing that all the negative sentiment directed towards that old white man with a yacht and a wife who is as gorgeous as Rita Hayworth is unjustified.

According to IRS data, two-thirds of taxes are paid for by the top 10 percent and close to 40 percent of taxes are paid by the top 1 percent.

This has been the trend since the 1980s, which was ostensibly the “greed is good” era. When former President Ronald Reagan entered the White House, the top 1 percent was responsible for 20 percent of federal income taxes. By the end of former President Barack Obama’s tenure, Americans with incomes over $500,000 paid 39 percent of national income levies.

 

Even under President Donald Trump’s tax reform bill, 20 percent of Americans earning $150,000 or more will pay 87 percent of total income penalties, up from 84 percent in 2017, notes the Tax Policy Center (TPC). Why is the left still angry?

In 1922, legendary economist Ludwig von Mises wrote: “Nothing is more calculated to make a demagogue popular than a constantly reiterated demand for heavy taxes on the rich.”

How do you think Sanders became a national sensation? It wasn’t based on reality or basic economics. It was selling the social justice fantasy that you are entitled to a successful person’s wealth because you exist. You only need to vote for someone like him to legalize extortion and make your dreams come true.

The next time you witness a socialist activist carry a placard that spouts this nonsense, just inform them that the rich already pay their fair share – and anything more is larceny, as former President Calvin Coolidge inferred.

Tax Day 2018 is Over

Another Tax Day has come and gone. It’s a day when millions of Americans breathe a sigh of relief that the 2017 tax season is finally over, only to start paying taxes, updating the books, and maintaining records for next year’s inevitable David and Goliath battle with the IRS.

But Tax Day really should be a national holiday for the left – and the free time can be used to invade Wall Street and erect shanty towns. Why? There is nothing more progressive than the income tax.

Since its inception more than a century ago, there hasn’t been anything as progressive as the income tax. In 1913, the original IRS 1040 income tax form was only four pages long – two pages of worksheets and one page of instructions. Fast forward to 2018, there are at least 100 pages.

The history of tax rates has been even more fascinating. Individual federal income tax rates commenced at a meager 1 percent, and the maximum marginal income tax rate was just 7 percent on income levels above $500,000. Disciples of former President Woodrow Wilson will still contend that the income tax is necessary to construct roads, build subways, and put together a military. Before 1913, these aspects of society still existed – and, yes, they were civilized.

They may not realize it, but what the left is really advocating is theft, utilizing a middleman to satisfy their appetites for the expansion of the state. Should you refuse to hand over the fruits of your labor, you are accused of being greedy – though, a progressive often ignores the irony of their own plight.

You may have already seen the bumper sticker, but it is quite apt for this day of tragedy: the IRS has what it takes to take what you’ve got.

Andrew Moran is Economics Correspondent at LibertyNation.com. Mr. Moran has written extensively on economics, business, and political subjects for the last decade. He also writes about economics at Economic Collapse News and commodities at EarnForex.com and has been published in Mises.org. He is  also the author of "The War on Cash."

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