Your Fair Share: How Much Is Enough?

If top 1% paid 39% of taxes, what is their ‘fair’ share? The top 5% pays 64% of all taxes.

Riding a wave of confidence after his re-election victory, President Obama is eager to collect scalps from the class war he appears to have won. Americans, Obama said in his postelection news conference earlier this month, “want to make sure that middle-class folks aren’t bearing the entire burden and sacrifice when it comes to some of these big challenges. They expect that folks at the top are doing their fair share as well.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., echoed this point in a fundraising pitch sent out on Monday: “Voters sent a clear message to Republicans in the election: we must stand up for the middle class and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share.”

Although Obama and his fellow Democrats repeatedly call on wealthier Americans to pay their “fair share,” they never specify what percentage of the nation’s tax burden the wealthy would have to bear. As matters stand, the top 1 percent of American households paid 39 percent of income taxes in 2009, according to the most recent data compiled by the Congressional Budget Office, and the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid 64 percent.

But income taxes, taken in isolation, do not tell the whole story, because lower-income Americans do pay payroll taxes. But even taking into account all forms of taxation, the top 1 percent still paid 22 percent of federal taxes while earning just 13.4 percent of household income. The top 5 percent paid 40 percent of all federal taxes, despite earning only 26 percent of all income. No matter how you slice the numbers, it’s hard to understand why anyone would think the wealthy aren’t already shouldering a burden commensurate with their blessings.

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5 Responses to Your Fair Share: How Much Is Enough?

  1. Frank in Texas says:

    The Democrat party could give a rat’s a** about the middle class except how they can fool them into voting Democrat. How else explain the policies they champion. Energy policy that causes gas prices to stay higher than they should and coal plants to shut down causing higher enery prices and lost jobs. Monetizing the debt which causes the dollars in the pockets of the middle class to be worth less and less. And don’t get me started on unions which are a hemorrhoid on the economy. The middle class better wake up to the fact that the “rich” won’t be able to provide the Democrats with all the “investment” (read spending) money they need. Middle class your’e next.

  2. Tatersalad says:

    …….as stated in a previous article:

    Why Socialism does not work:

    “We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism.”–Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev

    This should have been signed by Barack Obama because he subscribes to the meaning of this statement.

  3. Greg B says:

    Fair share will never be enough until we are all wearing grey shabby pajamas. Shuffling to our factory jobs where the pay is merely just enough food to keep us alive for tomorrow’s shift.
    The elites, however, will never know this enslavement.

  4. Rich says:

    As far as I am concerned, if 10% is good enough for God, it is more than good enough for Govt.

    I would love to see a constitutional amendment that made it unconstitutional for the federal or state governments to levy any income tax rate that was not uniform.

    In other words, there could be only one income tax rate for everyone.

    And I would choose 10% combined state and federal.

    That is fair.

  5. notamobster says:

    I’d choose no income tax. Smaller government is the way to go, since we’re just making wishes at this point.