I’m extra-ashamed today that I ever voted for someone who would give Robert Reich any job involving economic policy. From his blog today (emphasis mine):
No candidate for president has suggested that the nation should raise the marginal tax rate on the richest beyond the 38 percent rate it was under Clinton (it’s now 35 percent, but the richest of the rich, as I’ll explain in a moment, are paying only 15 percent). Yet new data from the IRS show that income inequality continues to widen. The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans are earning more than 21 percent of all income (the data are from 2005, the latest the IRS has examined). That’s a postwar record. The bottom fifty percent of all Americans, when all their incomes are combined together, is earning just 12.8 percent of the nation’s income.
This is an incomplete picture, and I’m sure Reich knows it. Look at the full picture using the same tax data Reich uses, but fails to link:
On their 21.2 percent of all income, the top 1 percent pay 39.38 percent of all taxes. On their 12.8 percent of all income, the bottom fifty percent pay 3.07 percent of all taxes. Those number are in the above table. Strangely, they’re in the column immediately to the right of the column Reich uses to select his data. Reich is intellectually dishonest.
Looking further at the tax tables, consider:
Click to enlarge
Aside from the brief blip of President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts, the tax burden for the top 1 percent of income earners has steadily increased since 1980, more than doubling in 25 years. The tax burden for the bottom 50 percent of income earners has steadily decreased since 1980, more than halving in 25 years. Still, Reich has the gall to write this:
If the rich and super-rich don’t pay their fair share of this tab, the middle class will get socked with the bill.
How are the top income earners not paying their fair share? They do not receive
handouts benefits in anywhere near the proportion that middle- and low-income earners receive from their tax dollars, yet they’re still cheating the rest of America? Reich is a liar.
There is much more to analyze from Reich’s entry, but it’s the usual nonsense. Head over to Greg Mankiw, from whence the link came, for a brief synopsis of Reich’s idiotic redistributionist tax proposal.