For Congressional Republicans, it is a thing untouchable: tax rates for the wealthy. The United States might be sent over a so-called “fiscal cliff” at the end of this month, primarily because most of them—and their leadership—are refusing to budge on any increase in tax rates for the rich.
President Barack Obama wants an increase back to the top tax levels of 36% and 39.5% that existed when Bill Clinton was president.
What is hardly being mentioned as the GOPers battle with the Obama administration is that tax rates for the rich have been dramatically dropping for decades—in what Professor Richard Wolff accurately describes as being part of “class war policies.”
The “tax rates on the richest Americans fell from 91 percent in the 1950s and 1960s, and 70 percent in the 1970s, to the current low rate of 35 percent,” notes Dr. Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who is currently a visiting professor at New School University in New York City.
The “richest Americans won that spectacular tax cut” while, he notes, “middle- and low-income Americans won no such cuts.”
“In plain English,” says Dr. Wolff, “the last 50 years saw a massive shift of the burden of federal taxation from business to individuals and from rich individuals to everyone else.”