John R. Smith: How Government Soaks the Rich

Political leftists are always flapping gums and blabbing out their clarion call for the rich to pay their “fair share.” This is another reason why Democrats make it hard for business leaders to support them, as Joe Biden proposes to raise taxes further on high-income households and businesses. The top individual rate would go to 39.6% from 37% under the Biden plan, and the corporate tax rate would rise to 28% from 21%. Also, a new tax would be piled on top of all that for most business owners.

Biden loves to mumble, “It’s time for corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.” But what most of the legacy media, those mouthpieces of the left, refuse to cover is that this country already soaks the rich. So, let’s dig into the IRS data and see who’s telling the truth.

As of two years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the top 1% of Americans reported 26.3% of the country’s adjusted gross income while paying 45.8% of total income taxes”. In 2002, the top 1% only paid 33% of the total tax. How about it, Joe, isn’t 45% already a “fair share”? If Biden refuses to listen, how about this: The top 10% of earners had to shell out 75.8% of the taxes paid.

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Now, look at the bottom half of earners, those who have collected gross incomes up to around $46,000. Their average tax rate was 3.4%; they earned 10.4% of U.S. total income but only paid 2.3% of all income taxes. $46,000 to $95,000 earned 17.5% of income but paid 8.4% of the taxes. Moving on to the next group, they earned 19.5% of income and paid 13.4% of the tax. And so on. Let’s look at this picture all the way up to its entirety. We can honestly say that the accurate way of explaining this travesty is that the income tax burden is paid nearly entirely by the top half of American taxpayers and is especially heavy on the top 1%.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the top 0.1% of earners forked over to the IRS more than a quarter of their reported incomes. If that whole taxing scheme isn’t already steeply progressive, with tax rates rising steadily with income, I don’t know what is. And it certainly is not fair for those who must subsidize the low-payers. Wealthy folks already pay a massive and rising share—call it confiscation—of the income tax.

You won’t read or hear this untold story in the mainstream media. Or in the utterances of the White House, where the spending habits of its chief tenant show no limits with a fiscal 2024-2025 Biden budget of $7.3 trillion. The Democrats in charge believe national prosperity requires government management of the economy. Joe Biden’s budget forecast is that spending will reach $10 trillion by 2033. Biden is betting that as his spending plans pass an astonishing $7 trillion mark, this will make everyone “feel good” about him and the Dems and propel them to victory this November. I wouldn’t count on it, as voters are noticing how thin their wallets are.

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