July 10, 2010

INVATUATION:

Representation Without Taxation Bad for Democracy (Ed Feulner, 7/10, 10, Real Clear Politics)

According to a recent report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, in 2007 (the most recent year for which figures are available) the top 20 percent of earners paid 70 percent of all federal taxes. The bottom 40 percent of earners paid no income tax.

In fact, the CBO reports that during the Bush presidency the tax burden for the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers plunged, even as their income grew. For those in the bottom 20 percent, for example, income increased 4.6 percent, while the tax share paid dropped by 27 percent. The same held true for the next four quintiles -- they earned more, yet paid a smaller percentage of taxes.

It's only the highest earners (the top 20 percent) who saw their share of the tax burden increase. It jumped by 3.4 percent, while they enjoyed a 12 percent increase in their income.

Lawmakers aren't just talking about taxing the rich; they're doing it. And political rhetoric, aside, the already disproportionate burden on the highest earners has been growing. Except for "the rich," Americans tend to be getting more for less.

This matters, because paying taxes should be a civic duty. It gives Americans a stake in our country, and gives us a reason to keep a skeptical eye on Washington. It seems only fair that, while the wealthy will always pay more, everyone should pay something. Everyone, after all, benefits from our unparalleled military might, and we all ought to contribute something, no matter how small an amount, to keep it strong.


Like amnesty and Obamacare, we'll have to give the VAT a new name when the GOP adopts it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 10, 2010 4:49 PM
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