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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:05 PM

The Grand Bamboozle: "A tax deal only the ultra-rich could love"

How much do the newly enacted tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans actually affect them? Hardly at all.

Almost all of the debate that convulsed Capitol Hill in December concerned the reinstatement of the highest marginal tax rate on earned income — that is, on wages and salaries. But as Fitzgerald said, the rich are different from you and me, and one of the primary ways they’re different is that they don’t get their income from wages and salaries.

In 2006, the bottom four-fifths of U.S. tax filers got 82 percent of their income from wages and salaries, a Congressional Research Office study found. The richest 1 percent, however, got just 26 percent of their income that way; for the richest one-tenth of 1 percent, the figure is just 18.6 percent.

The study also looked at dividends and capital gains. The bottom four-fifths got just 0.7 percent of their income from those sources. (Those who believe we’ve become an “ownership society,” please take note.) The wealthiest 1 percent, however, realized 38.2 percent of their income from investments, and the wealthiest one-tenth of 1 percent realized more than half: 51.9 percent.

The tax deal Congress passed last week raised the top rate on wages and salaries from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. The rate on income from capital gains and dividends, however, was raised to only 20 percent from 15 percent. There has been no rending of garments nor gnashing of teeth from our super-rich compatriots; they got one sweet deal....

Yet wages, which are descending, are taxed at a higher rate than income derived from corporate profits — capital gains and dividends. Far from mitigating the consequences of this shift, the U.S. tax code reinforces the redistribution from wages to profits. Broadly speaking, it rewards the winners of this epochal shift and penalizes the losers, who are the vast majority of Americans.

The lower tax rates for capital gains and dividends, then, effectively reward offshoring more than work done within the United States, increase economic inequality and deprive the federal government of revenue it will need to support an aging population and meet its other obligations. None of this upsets Republicans, but it would be nice if Democrats realized that these tax breaks undermine everything they stand for.

meyersonh@washpost.com

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-01-08/opinions/36233031_1_income-tax-filers-capital-gains

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Reply The Grand Bamboozle: "A tax deal only the ultra-rich could love" (Original post)
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 OP
leftstreet Jan 2013 #1
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #2

Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:10 PM

1. DURec

Ownership society my ass

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:35 PM

2. Well ...

It's a start.

BHut until more of the population (that actually vote) recognize that the wealthy are not like us, nothing will change.

And, frankly, the only value I see in these types of studies is that they inform a small sliver of the population that already knows what's going on. I'd far rather see these studies used as wide spread education; rather than to conclude:

it would be nice if Democrats realized that these tax breaks undermine everything they stand for.

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