The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Tax the Rich and Solve What?

with 8 comments

Tax the Rich!The cry is getting louder and louder with the President holding the Bull Horn.

OK.  What if we did raise taxes on the rich and made them pay their “fair share” (with no definition of fair coming from the left).  Would that finally solve the budget woes the country is in?

Let’s look at the math.

In 2008 (latest data available) there were 1,400,000 returns filed by people in the top tax bracket $392,149.  Their total income was 1.7 trillion dollars.  They paid 400 billion in taxes at 23% leaving them with 1.3 trillion after taxes.  The deficit is 1.5 trillion.

Since the deficit is 1.5 trillion and they only have 1.3 trillion left they would need to be taxed at an additional 115%.  Since they are already taxed at 23% their total tax bill would need to be 138% of what they made.

Of course those numbers are for federal income taxes only.  These taxpayers also paid sales tax, property tax, state income tax, and of course all of those fun little hidden taxes we love and adore.

So, now that we’ve taxed all wealthy Americans into poverty, with no solution to the budget or deficit problem, what do we do next?

That question is directed at you, the Left, since your bright idea to tax the rich doesn’t work out so well.

Let the spin cycle begin…

The Tax Foundation

Walter Williams, an economist, author, and syndicated columnist, truly clarifies the absurdity of going after the rich to solve all of our financial woes in this country.

Politicians, news media people and leftists in general entertain what economists call a zero elasticity view of the world. That’s just fancy economic jargon for a view that government can impose a tax and people will behave after the tax just as they behaved before the tax, and the only change is more government revenue. One example of that vision, at the state and local levels of government, is the disappointing results of confiscatory tobacco taxes. Confiscatory tobacco taxes have often led to less state and local revenue because those taxes encouraged smuggling.

Similarly, when government taxes profits, corporations report fewer profits and greater costs. When individuals face higher income taxes, they report less income, buy tax shelters and hide their money. It’s not just rich people who try to avoid taxes, but all of us – liberals, conservatives and libertarians.

What’s the evidence? Federal tax collections have been between 15 and 20 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product every year since 1960. However, between 1960 and today, the top marginal tax rate has varied between 91 percent and 35 percent. That means whether taxes are high or low, people make adjustments in their economic behavior so as to keep the government tax take at 15 to 20 percent of the GDP. Differences in tax rates have a far greater impact on economic growth than federal revenues.

So far as Congress’ ability to prey on the rich, we must keep in mind that rich people didn’t become rich by being stupid.

See the Walter Williams full column here.

Written by DCL

May 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

8 Responses

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  1. That’s all interesting… but what about those like Mitt Romney who pay a mere 13% as opposed to your stated 23% because of the legal loops holes allowed for those who are wealthy enough to be able to invest in capital gains? Or what about the off shoring? The wealthy, such as Mitt Romney, make money off Americans and then send that money overseas so they won’t have to pay taxes on it here in their own country. It is these practices that have the People up in arms because when the wealthy do this and they do this as often as they can, the People have to take up the slack.

    The American Middle Class are exhausted with the wealthy being able to get out of their personal financial responsibilities toward their country, telling the rest of us, the trickle down economy is the best and most fair way in dealing with this controversy… but we translate that to be, “Trickle down= scrambling for the crumbs of the wealthy…” And for most of us, that just does not settle well with our after dinner coffee.


    Pritty Brains

    August 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    • Don’t get mad at the wealthy for taking advantage of the laws congress has passed regarding taxation. You want to demonize someone for doing everything within the law to keep what they make. If you have a beef its with the lawmakers. The envy going around the country of anyone (on the right) who is successful and wealthy is hypocritical and small. I make money off Americans. You have a problem with that? Would you rather I only make money off internationals? That has to be one of the dumbest comments I’ve seen on this subject. Do you honestly believe your wealthy cohorts on the left have all their money in US Banks? You’re naive if you do. This argument is so one-sided as if only conservatives have wealth and know how to maintain it. You have a defeatist mentality as if some big invisible hand is holding you down. Gimme a break!



      August 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      • I don’t care if the Trumps, Gates and Buffets of the country use the laws that Congress passed regarding loopholing and off shoring the money they made from Americans so they can avoid the taxation that the rest of America can’t avoid, but I sure am interested in the man who wants to be my President. Romney.

        Your questions regarding whether or not I have a problem with YOU making money off of Americans is ridiculous and taking the spot light off of the issue… I don’t care about you, you are a nobody and you have no power over me or anyone else outside your little circle and probably you have very little power there as well. This is also in regard to the other wealthy people you brought up as a silly distraction in this discussion.

        The issue in this discussion is Romney and only Romney and my interest in him is only because he wants to be my President. Therefore my interest and the rest of the country’s interest, including those of his own party, in his taxes are paramount.

        His taxes will tell the country how responsible he will be with their money. His taxes will tell the country how honest he has been with his own money… His taxes will tell us whether or not he’s been lying all along about his termination with Bain Capital and whether or not he had anything to do with the bankruptcy of GST Steel that he has been vehemently denying any part of. His own wife stated that by showing anymore taxes will only give the country more ammunition… will only make them more of a target. Her own words. I’d say she inadvertantly let the cat out of the bag and can’t put it back.

        As to the rest of your comment, your insults make you sound just like the typical republican who has run out of intelligence.


        Pritty Brains

        August 22, 2012 at 1:27 am

        • Let me get this straight. You don’t care if rich people use the laws congress has passed to reduce their taxable income as long as they don’t run for President? So much for fairness in your views. You sound like an angry envious person. I’m a nobody. Well, I got your attention and I’m somebody to the people who know and love me and that’s what’s important to me, but then I didn’t make this personal you just did.

          You talk about distractions from the issues. Romney’s taxes are a strategical distraction on the part of Democrats. Either Romney paid taxes or he evaded taxes. If he paid them legally then the amount he paid means nothing except to the envious and the petty. If he evaded taxes he needs to be prosecuted. That’s it there is nothing else there. Get over it. Harry Reid won’t release his tax returns either are you all bent out of shape over that too? If not you show yourself to be lacking in objectivity or balance.

          Thanks for the meat pitch I’m about to knock out of the park. You want a president who is responsible with money. Everything you despise about Mitt Romney screams “responsible with money”. He has made a ton of it, he knows how to protect it and build on it, and he has given more than 15% of it to charity each year of his entire lifetime. Romney gave his entire inheritance to charity. Obama gave one per cent of income to charity and Romney gave 15 per cent during 2000 to 2004 according to information sourced from the 2011 Federal Tax Returns. Are you sure you still want to argue who is better with money?

          If you continue to only get your news from Daily KOS, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, or New York Times, and refuse to look at any other news source you’re credibility will be tied to some very far left organizations and paints you as someone who only listens to the group think.



          August 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm

  2. You deleted my response here too… what’s the matter, can’t handle facts? You are something… hide the truth like Romney does.


    Pritty Brains

    August 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

    • I haven’t deleted any of your comments. I’m not sure what you’re seeing or not seeing. Even your false accusations have been posted. I only delete profanity filled spammers which offer nothing to the discussion of value and yes I do get the last say on what has value and what doesn’t.



      August 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

  3. Why not just delete it all… ohhh you want people to think you’re smarter than you are. *laffs*


    Pritty Brains

    August 22, 2012 at 2:03 am

    • Comments don’t show immediately in my blog. All comments must be approved. I will delete comments I deem profane, perverse, or of no value to the topic of discussion. I do not delete opposing views and welcome them. If the discourse becomes angry or accusatory I will discontinue participation in the discussion. If someone starts to flame the comments section I will close the comments down. Just keep it civil.



      August 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

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