Monday, November 21, 2011

About the rich and the taxes they pay

We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share...Such loopholes sometimes makes it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary--and that's crazy...Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver, or less?
--Ronald Reagan in 1985, quoted in: Dickinson, Tim. November 24, 2011. "The Party Of The Rich." Rolling Stone.

This article on to claim that the top 400 richest Americans pay only 17% of their income in taxes (federal taxes, I presume). At first, I wanted to say that this does not include the corporate income tax, which certainly should be included. But then, I recently read an article illustrating how, with some many tax exemptions available to corporations, the effective corporate tax rate is rather flat and small (about 5%, I believe).

The tax code is so complex, and discussions of taxes so contaminated with ideology, it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation about it.

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