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Tax Fairness Demagoguery

In his weekly column that will be in tomorrow's Investor's Business Daily, the inimitable Walter E. Williams, discusses "devious taxation through currency debasement and borrowing, Williams comments on tax fairness, specifically the following three paragraphs:

"Instead of focusing on how the federal government has grown from 3% or 4% of our GDP — as it was from 1787 to 1920 — to today's 24%, our attention has been diverted to tax fairness demagoguery.

"Let's look at tax fairness. According to Internal Revenue Service data for 2009, available at http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html, the top 1% of American income earners paid almost 37% of federal income taxes. The top 10% paid about 70% of federal income taxes, and the top 50% paid nearly 98%. Roughly 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax.

"Here's my fairness question to you: What standard of fairness dictates that the top 10% of income earners pay 70% of the income tax burden while 47% of Americans pay nothing?"

Since President Obama often talks of fairness or tax fairness, e.g., in his December 6, 2011 economic speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, will the answer to Professor Williams' question about tax fairness be forthcoming?


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