The “fair share” canard …

Of course, President Obama is continuing to rant that the rich need to pay their fair share.

Well, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the rich are paying their fair share.

Based on a WSJ analysis of the CBO data:

  • The average federal tax rate on the top 20% is 23.2%. The 20% of taxpayers earning between $50,100 and $73,999 pay an average 15.1%, and so on down the line.
  • The top 20% of income earners (over $74,000) make 50% of the nation’s income but pay nearly 70% of all federal taxes;  The remaining 30% of the tax burden is borne by 80% of tax filers

Some inconvenient facts, right?

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2 Responses to “The “fair share” canard …”

  1. TK Says:

    A straight comparison of percentages is not the right analysis here given that some number of dollars is required for survival and that additional dollars will be valued differently by the earner.

    We should probably use a formula (similar to present value/future value) to understand the impact of taxes and fairness as an individual’s earnings climb from “survival” to “comfortable” to “mega rich”.

    I’d also suggest we need to see the percentage of income captured by the top 20% on a historical basis. The fact that the top income group has decided to give itself a large raise, and as a result pays a larger share of total taxes, does not suggest a more “fair” distribution of taxes.

  2. Dan Sealana (@DanSealana) Says:

    Saying that the rich should pay their “fair share” is like saying “people should be friendlier.” There’s really no way to measure what’s “fair” or “friendly,” but it makes a lot of people feel good about themselves just saying it.

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