Time and time again the left claims the “rich” aren’t paying their fair share when it comes to taxes. They never cite any real sources to back up their claims. Are they true? Not by any stretch.
Claim. The rich don’t pay their fair share. According to a Pew Center Research Poll conducted in 2015, a majority of Americans actually believe that corporations and wealthy Americans “don’t pay their fair share of taxes.” From Time:
Americans’ chief complaint about the federal tax system is the feeling that some corporations and wealthy individuals are not paying their fair share of taxes, according to a poll released Thursday.
The Pew Research Center poll conducted in late February found that 64% of Americans are bothered “a lot” by “the feeling that corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes.” Sixty-seven percent said the same of wealthy individuals.
Where does this myth come from? People like Bernie Sanders, who himself is in the top 1%, have made a living off of spewing the lie that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Sanders, who never actually worked a real, non-government job in his entire life, has somehow managed to afford expensive homes and a wealthy lifestyle despite only ever being a member of Congress for the majority of his career.
Other Democrats, usually wealthy as well, spew the same bogus line.
The truth about taxes. According to several studies, including the Congressional Budget Office, the wealthy not only pay their fair share of federal taxes, but they pay more. The Tax Foundation’s 2013 study revealed the following:
One of the main takeaways from this year’s report is that the richest Americans pay a lot in taxes. In 2013, the top 1 percent of households paid an average of 34.0 percent of their income in federal taxes. To compare, the middle 20 percent of households paid only 12.8 percent of their income in taxes.
Moreover, taxes on the rich are much higher than they’ve been in recent years. Between 2008 and 2012, the top 1 percent of households paid an average tax rate of 28.8 percent. However, in 2013, this figure spiked to 34.0 percent, as a result of tax increases in the “fiscal cliff” deal and the Affordable Care Act.
Who pays? The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) further analyzed the CBO’s findings to figure out exactly who pays the majority of federal income taxes. It should come as no surprise that it is indeed the top earning households in the country who pay a majority. From AEI:
But the major finding of the CBO report is that the households in the top income quintile are the real “net payer households” supporting the federal government. The average household in the top one-fifth of American households by income paid $69,700 in federal taxes in 2013, received an average of $12,000 in government transfers, and therefore made a net positive contribution of $57,700 per household on average. The second-highest income quintile households are minor “net payer households” (contributing 4% on per average household to the average net positive payments of the top two income quintiles, i.e. $2,600 / $2,600 + $57,700), but it’s really the top 20% of “net payer households” that are financing 96% of the transfer payments ($57,700 / $60,300) to the entire bottom 60% AND financing most of the non-borrowed operations of the entire federal government.
Why is this important? It’s important because it’s time to flip the narrative and speak the truth about taxes. Donald Trump has talked about reforming the tax code, which needs massive reform, and before even knowing what his plan would be, the left is already claiming he’ll give tax breaks to “the rich.”
Of course, the left doesn’t care about facts and figures. They only care about demonization of the wealthy (ironically the ones in Congress are wealthy) so they can create division in the country. They more division the left can create, the less the people will unify against the government.
The left prefers to keep the lower quintiles dependent upon government. It’s Democrats’ way of buying votes using other people’s money.
As the great Thomas Sowell stated, “What exactly is your fair share of what someone else has worked for?”