To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fact Check: Is the Middle Class Really Getting Screwed with Taxes?

The Dem candidates have one theme in common: that the middle class, through George Bush's tax cuts, are getting screwed while "the rich" are paying next to nothing and fiddling as Rome burns. Obama has been going wild proposing tax cuts for the middle class. But the middle class pays almost no federal taxes (an average 4% rate) as a result of Clinton's and Bush's tax cuts and Congress's largesse toward child deductions.

Some facts need to be inserted into this populist debate, which is really a debate about the redistribution of wealth and not about what any taxpayer should pay the government. Number one is that the bottom 50% of taxpayers shoulder only 3% of the tax burden. Number two is that the top 1% of earners (and they are not necessarily "rich" as the cost of living in SF or NYC make the IRS rates favor those in cheap locales) paid a whopping 39% of all taxes in 2005. In terms of who is getting screwed, it is certainly not the middle class. How much less should the average earner pay, 3%, 2%, nothing? The perverse aspect of the Clinton and Bush tax cuts is that they took the skin out of the game for most of the country.

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