With growing momentum, particularly among political wannabes to tax the rich, we should look at how much they are (or aren’t) paying now.

For the tax year 2005, the last year for which the IRS has complete data, we find the Federal government collected $1.998 trillion consisting of:

  • $272.763 billion (13.6%) in corporate taxes
  • $766.315 billion (38.3%) in employment taxes
  • $ 24.723 billion (1.2%) in estate and gift taxes
  • $ 55.121 billion (2.8%) in excise taxes
  • $879.929 billion (44.0%) in individual taxes paid by 134,372,678 taxpayers or about $6,540 per taxpayer

49.591 % (66,636,251) of the taxpayers: (Chart)

  • had an AGI of $30,000 or less
  • paid 2.849% of the Federal Income taxes
  • or about $25.072 billion
  • or about $376 per taxpayer
  • or about 5.08% of their AGI

50.409% (67,736,427) of the taxpayers:

  • had an AGI of $30,000 or more
  • paid 97.151% of the Federal Income taxes
  • or about $908.199 billion
  • or about $12,620 per taxpayer
  • or about 16.05% of their AGI

Half the taxpayers paid 97% of the Federal income taxes or about 33.5 times MORE than the other half. If we include corporate, estate and gift taxes, the share of taxes by the lower half is more than likely reduced even further. We have a majority that pays less than 2% of individual income taxes. We have a super-majority (67.87%) that pays less than 10% of the individual income taxes.
Should some be taxed more heavily simply because they can afford it? If so, why? Who decides?

How can we elect a legitimate, much less functional government when the majority of the voters have no vested interest? Maybe this is why so many of those seeking power have adopted a “tax the rich” platform…they may already have the majority “in the bag”!

References
IRS Pub 55B 2005 Table 1 (xls)
IRS Pub 1304 Table 1.1 2005 (xls)
Chuck is self-employed in agri-business in Virginia. He can be contacted at chuckangier@gmail.com

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