November 15, 2015


Was Eisenhower more of a socialist than Bernie Sanders? (Mike Tokars, NOVEMBER 15, 2015, CS Monitor)

As Politifact reports, during Eisenhower's two-term presidency from 1953 to 1961, the top marginal tax rate, which affects the highest earning bracket, was 91 percent. It applied to individuals with an annual income of $200,000 or more, and couples whose combined earnings was equal to or greater than $400,000. Accounting for inflation, in 2015 those numbers would be the equivalent of about $1.7 million for individuals and $3.4 million per couple.

Today, the top marginal tax rate in 2015 is about 39.6 percent and applies to individuals with an annual income of $413,200 or higher, and couples who make $464,850 or more. The equivalent of these earners in 1954 would have been placed in the 72 percent and 75 percent tax brackets, respectively, leaving that heavy 91 percent rate for the mid-century relative-counterparts to our present-day "1%" of wealthiest Americans.

And that is Sanders's point. Under Eisenhower, taxes were higher for the upper-class, who weren't as rich as America's wealthiest today.

Also, historians would be quick to point out, one of Eisenhower's greatest achievements as president was the creation of the Interstate Highway System - a massive civic infrastructure project that cost the equivalent of more than $500 billion in today's dollars.

More importantly, there were only three significant issues in post-war America : (1) Civil Rights; (2) ending Communism; and, (3) reforming the New Deal entitlement system.  On the latter two he did nothing. 

Posted by at November 15, 2015 5:11 PM