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Who You Going to Believe? A Politician?

Once again, some 2008 presidential candidates, not to mention the liberals/progressives in the Congress, are peddling their ‘tax the rich’ schemes. Not surprisingly, their rhetoric doesn’t match the facts, according to research reported in the November-December 2007 issue (Adobe required) of Tax Watch, the newsletter of the Tax Foundation.

In the president’s letter, Scott Hodge writes:

The latest data from the IRS refute the myth that “the rich don’t pay taxes.” While the incomes of top-earning Americans have grown since the 2001 recession, their share of the income tax burden has hit a record level of 39.4 percent of all income taxes paid. By contrast, during the last year of the Clinton administration—when America’s income tax was supposedly “fairer” due to a top tax rate of 39.6 percent compared to today’s 35 percent rate—the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers paid 37 percent of the tax burden.

"That means “the rich” today are paying two full percentage points more of the federal income tax burden than in 2000.

"At the other end of the income scale, the bottom half of taxpayers—those earning below $30,881—pay just 3 percent of the federal income tax burden. That’s nearly a percentage point less than they did in 2000, despite their share of the nation’s income being roughly the same as it was seven years ago.”"

Hodge also writes:

The data show that the federal income tax burden is now so tilted toward upper income Americans that the wealthiest 1 percent pay a greater share of the tax burden than the bottom 90 percent combined. That means the top 1 percent pay more than every American household earning less than $100,000 combined.

Tell that to the political elite running for office at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.


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