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Some Think the Federal Tax System isn't Progressive Enough?

Yesterday, the Club for Growth cites four liberal/Democrat sources (with hotlinks) who think the current tax system needs to be made more progressive. Jon Henke writes:

“Progressive taxation and the progressivity of our tax system. It's a very important subject to liberals. Larry Summers recently proposed "restoring the progressivity of the tax system". Wes Clark pledged to "restore progressivity to the tax code". Warren Buffett complained to Ben Stein that, due to tax benefits, "the rich class [was] winning" class warfare. Democratic Congressman Frank Weiner proposed a plan to "restore progressivity to the tax code", and new Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison has demanded the same thing. The Center for American Progress has proposed their own "reforms that would restore progressivity to the tax code.”

Those who think the rich don’t pay their fair share obviously can’t be aware of how much taxes the rich do pay. For example, Henke provides data for 2004 tax returns that show the top 0.1% of taxpayers paying 14.4% of all federal taxes; the top 1% paying 28.2%; and, the top 10% payers 57.7% of all federal taxes. Wondering how “rich” those 10% of taxpayers are who paid over 57% of all federal taxes in 2004? Tables prepared by the National Taxpayers Union shows taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of slightly more than $99,000 got you into the top 10%.

Henke says, “Progressivity does not need to be "restored" to the system; the tax system is already progressive.” We agree! Politicians need to start slimming down the federal budget rather than using our taxes to buy more votes. To quote Alexander Tytler, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.”


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