The Liberal's 'Tax the Rich' Mentality
Whenever more federal revenue is needed, liberals like to drag out their 'soak the rich' mentality. Well, guess what, the rich already do pay a very large share of federal taxes. In fact, as Bruce Bartlett points out in his Townhall.com column yesterday analyzing who pays taxes, the share of taxes being paid by the country's top earners has increased steadily. According to Bartlett, "in 1980, when the top statutoryincome tax rate went up to 70 percent, the share of income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers was just 19.3 percent." By 1992, the top 1 percent paid 27.5 percent, and in 2003, it was 34.2 percent. Bartlett then makes the point that "it is remarkable that the percentage of federal income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers almost doubled during a time when the top income tax rate by by half," which leads him to ask what matters to the liberals. Is it "the appearance of soaking the rich by imposing high statutory tax rates . . . or lower rates that may bring in more revenue that can pay for government programs to aid the poor? Sadly, the left nearly always votes for appearance over reality." The National Taxpayers Union has a very hand chart that is also well worth looking at.