Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:57 PM
Bill USA (5,867 posts)
Revenues foregone due to cuts to top income tax brackets, since 1982: $8.4 Trillion
It's been noted that the top few percent started to distance themselves from the rest of us starting around 1980-82. In 1982 the tax rates started getting reduced - in particular for the highest tax brackets. The top marginal rates went from 70% in 1981 to 35% in 2003 (28% in 1988 to 31% in 1991 to 39.6% in 1993) (see wikiPedia). I thought I would see how much revenue we would have had if he top tax bracket income tax rates been held at the 1980 levels over the last 30 years. The number for the lost revenues I got came to $8.4 trillion.
I used Emanuel Saez (Univ of Calif. Berkeley) and Thomas Piketty's (Paris School of Economics) spreadsheet which provides the income distributions over the period from 1913 to 2010. I applied income tax rates for the ensuing years and compared the taxes paid (in theory) to the taxes that would have been paid if the 1980 rates applied for the entire period (1980-2010).
Here is the link to the spreadsheet for those interested: Tax Revenues foregone (1980-2010)
(note this is a big spreadsheet (mostly Saez and Piketty's work) so it may take a while to download to your computer)
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Revenues foregone due to cuts to top income tax brackets, since 1982: $8.4 Trillion (Original post)
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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:15 PM
enki23 (7,534 posts)
5. Didn't you know? The government doesn't actually hire anyone or buy anything.
Unlike our magnanimous private investors who never ever ever sit on their money or invest it stupidly or stash it overseas, the government just throws all that tax money in a hole and burns it. This inevitably leads to an actual decline in overall revenue while simultaneously giving rise to runaway inflation. It also led directly to the extinction of the fucking unicorn.
Just think of the ultrawealthy as golden geese. When they aren't chasing poor people off the golf course, they occasionally squeeze golden eggs out of their magical cloacae. Increasing the top marginal tax rate by a few percent is exactly like ramming a stick up a golden goose's cloaca to get at all that delicious gold. You're going to break the magic. Then, when society comes to a crashing halt, what the hell are you going to do with all those non-gold eggs? Eat them?
Whereas, the people who raise the goose food and clean up their not-golden shit are fucking parasites who don't do anything useful and so should be fucking grateful they aren't left to fucking starve. Unless they are, in which case they should just shut the fuck up and have the decency not to die on the fucking golf course.