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  • How Much More Can We Redistribute: IRS Releases New Data

    The IRS released data today on the distribution of income taxes. It shows that the highest-earning taxpayers shoulder a considerable burden of the federal income tax.

    According to the IRS, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid over 40 percent of all federal income taxes in 2007. That is a higher share than the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined! They paid just over 39 percent.

    The top 1 percent, those earning over $410,000, consists of 1.4 million taxpayers, while the bottom 95 percent contains 134 million.

    In 2000, before the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that some claim disproportionately benefited the rich, the top 1 percent paid less than 38 percent of income taxes, while the bottom 95 paid almost 44 percent. Since the tax cuts, the top 1 percent’s share increased over 2 percentage points while the bottom 95 percent’s share decreased 5 percentage points. Those that argue the tax cuts solely benefited the rich are mistaken.

    President Obama plans to raise the top 2 marginal tax rates on those making over $250,000 a year, and Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) wants to slap a 6 percent surtax on top of that to partially pay for a government takeover of the health care system. These tax hikes, in addition to damaging the already badly weakened economy, will further shift the burden of the income tax to the highest earners.

    In contrast, the bottom 40% of taxpayers pays no income taxes on average. In fact, they get money from the tax code well above anything they paid in because of refundable credits. And President Obama’s Make Work Pay credit, passed as part of the stimulus, will increase the money redistributed to these non-taxpayers.

    It’s a dangerous situation when a majority of voters can get services and benefits from the government for no cost, because there is no incentive for them to limit the growth of government. President Obama’s and Chairman Rangel’s redistributive tax policies will further push the burden of income tax to high earners while giving more benefits to non-taxpayers. But as the IRS data show, the economy cannot afford anymore spreading the wealth around.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    52 Responses to How Much More Can We Redistribute: IRS Releases New Data

    1. capecodgabby says:

      Nothing like becoming a forced underachiever so you can watch the crap trickle down. I know several who plan on doing just that too!

      Why work and achieve ONLY to be forced to GIVE more to the IRS that encourages welfare junkie type programs?

    2. T. Boyd, Philadelphi says:

      maybe doesn't seem quite so disproportionate when you see that the top 1% actually earn 23% of total adjusted gross income, though.

    3. John, PA says:

      I think it's only fair. The top 1% own 40% of all the nation's wealth. In addition, if you count wage/payroll taxes and state/local/sales/sin/excise/gas/toll/etc taxes, I think the tax % drops dramatically. For example, payroll taxes are almost half of federal revenue and the upper 1% pay nothing. Please in the future account for all taxes and who pays them.

    4. Robert Lloyd, Ph.D. says:

      Producers, Looters, Moochers and second handers. What will the later 3 do when the producers leave and remove their sanction as victims?

    5. Spiritof76 says:

      It is not by some happenstance that the bottom 40% instead of paying something for being citizens, get money from the government. The top 1% is being squeezed by design. Obama and the left leaning Democrats and Republicans have been in this together. That is how they keep themselves in power. Bottom 40% deliver more votes and get more goodies in return at the expense of the minority at the top with no particular political clout.

      Welcome to the United States of Socialist Republic.

    6. Mark, Long Island says:

      The last part of your commentary is quite notable. The numbers of people who do not have "skin in the game" of taxes and benefits approaches a majority. What happens when the majority pay no taxes and a minority pay ALL the taxes. In a democracy where majority rules, these non-taxed people will call the shots with respect to spending and paying for it by taxing "others". That is at the heart of most Liberal promises. Getting benefits that other people will pay for… it's free…!

      One is reminded of Margaret Thatcher's comment: "The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

      While it may sound cold and unfeeling toward the "poor", there should be a new "alternative minimum tax" that ensures that EVERYONE pays something in income taxes if they have income. This way everyone participates in the entire taxing and spending process WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

      If the top tier pays 40% of taxes and the bottom 95% pay 39% while >40% pay nothing that means that the 39% of taxes are really being paid by roughly 55% of the people not 95%.

      Compounding the inequity in the tax burden is the disparity between incomes and costs of living in differing parts of the country. In parts of New York, a policeman and a nurse who are married could be making greater than $200,000 per year as a family and fall into all of the Democrat's penalties on the "rich", like the current alternative minimum tax. A policeman and nurse married in Texas, Florida or Maine would make considerably less income and not be penalized.

      There is no limit to the inequity that Progressives are willing to impose on Americans in the name of equality.

    7. Pingback: How Much More Can We Redistribute - Expedite Trucking Forums

    8. Popblogger, Florida says:

      Welcome to ObamaWorld where we incentivize sloth.

    9. Linda Maddox, Carlsb says:

      We need to put people in govt. that want people to work for what they have instead of living off everyone else. My family had zero money 25 years ago, we were homeless. No one gave us a hand out. We had to work, make good decisions. We had a great life, until Obama took office. This taxing the rich, who are already taxed enough is only going to hurt are economy more, this is the plan for the liberals in congress to make everyone depend on the govt. They are taking away our childrens futures and ruining our country.

    10. Sylvia Texas says:

      How will these numbers change when the Bush tax cuts end?

    11. Jarid, Cincinnati says:

      There will always be a disparity in how much wealth the upper and lower classes are able to accumulate. The rich will always pay more taxes than the poor based on the fact that they have more, produce more and purchase more. There is no reason to have the government tax the rich and subsidize the poor, because the poor will be poor no matter how much welfare they recieve. All that entitlements do is make our most productive citizens less productive.

    12. Foggy Too, New Jerse says:

      What "incentive" does corporate America have to stay based in this country? Bermuda and the Bahamas and so many other countries would welcome these formerly profit making corporations and would rejoice at the jobs that would be delivered to their new home bases that they would find all the incentives in the world to lure them away.

      Lincoln did free the slaves and it's beyond me how the current government plans to retain the best and the brightest who do in fact pay heavy taxes and are now being bled dry.

      Maybe that's the in the plan. Are we asking the rich to leave in order to make it easier to pave the way toward a very different form of government that will be made up of government workers and those left with next to nothing? Doesn't that worry people because medicine is only a part of the story and yet I bet it is opening eyes in boardrooms across the land.

      "Give me your tired, your poor" didn't mean to push out those who could employ them!

    13. Cathy Amelio, New Je says:

      It is a sorry state of affair when the very wealthy who have put their expertise, knowledge and reputation on the line to penalized! Poor people do not hire people folks! At least the very wealthy can leave this country, but what about the legal citizens who are left behind? You will be lucky to have a car to live in! Get rid of the illegal aliens, develop workfare for welfare and how about a flat tax then everyone pays! I do not want to give my hard earned money to anyone ever! How dare the government (who have their eyes on our wallets) take my money for people who do not work for it or better yet are illegal!

      A new law should be implemented – All elected official have to give half of all their wealth upon being elected to the nonworking illegal blood suckers here in this country! See how many fat politicians run for office.

      Or how about the country hating moving stars put their money up. I don't see Oprah, Jane Fonda, Bon Jovi and the rest of those big mouths in Hollywood throwing money at the cause! They could start a new welfare state and run it with their own money!

      Bad mouthing Corporate Executives is ruining this country and why they fold to Obamism is something I just don't understand.

      This government needs to face reality and get out of the beltway (where they lose their minds)and really listen to the legal citizens of this country! Third world here we come!

      A disgusted Independent in NJ

    14. Pingback: Scary! - New IRS Data - Top 1% pay More Than Bottom 95% Combined!! | The Patriot's Mind

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    17. Mark, Lansing Michig says:

      The lunacy seems to be a nationwide epidemic. In the peoples's paradise of Michigan, the Democratic Party Chair wants to bring ballots proposals to 2010 elections: $10 minimum wage, mandatory health insurance by all employers, 20% reduction in utility costs while imposing higher percentage of renewable energy (at a much higher cost). We are witnessing raw insanity. Gov. Grandholm used a slogan in her last campaign: "In five years, you're going to be blown away!" That would be funny if it were not so true.

      At what point will Atlas shrug?

    18. Angela, Washington says:

      Overtaxing the producers is every bit as unfair as excessive distribution to those who won't earn. I've never been in either category and dislike the trickle down resentment this will eventually cause. Super stars and hard working but lower earning people are in the same overloaded boat.

      The middle class takes a hard hit – lower percentage paid but big bucks nevertheless when taxes continue to cut into bare bones living expenses.

      I don't mind paying taxes but I sure as hell want a vote in how my hard earned dollars are used. I've never wanted a hand out and never will. I resent the DC engineered financial collapse and the giveaway mentality.

      Zero faith in politicians now and HR 3247 won't modify my opinion. Check out this bill! Un-distributing individuality. http://lewwaters.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/brian-%

    19. Pingback: How Much More Can We Redistribute? - TRUCKINGBOARDS TRUCKING BLOG

    20. Charles LaBounty, Me says:

      I don't see what the complaint is.

      Sounds like communism at work, and that was the plan the majority voted for.

    21. Albert,Campbellsvill says:

      Rush said years ago we should tax the poor (one of which I am)how much do we give away on earned income credit(which I get) do away with EIC and tax the poor.Ive never worked for a poor person encourage the rich to start and expand business,with more good jobs some of us poor wont be so poor.

    22. Melody Falls, RNC, H says:

      Baby daddy doesn't pay taxes because he doesn't work and stays under the radar and baby momma keeps having babies to make her monthly check fatter. Yet they drive nice cars and have plenty of gold hanging on them. This could be addressed with education. Anyone getting a welfare check should be REQUIRED to go to school and pass regular drug screens. This will educate/empower moms who will eventually throw the bums out! On another note, if a medicaid recipient were required to pay $5 for every time they access a clinic or hospital the gov't would save tons of money. Medicaid abuse and fraud costs should be examined as a way to pay for the 49 million uninsured!

    23. Pingback: "Cash For Clunkers" Program A FLOP - My Les Paul Forums

    24. EB, Virginia says:

      I know no one thinks like this any more but…in a country interested in equality, why is any one person's obligation to the government more than the obligation of his peers? I don't mean flat percentage rate, I mean we should each pay the government equal amounts. Not "according to our means." EG. If $300 is the max amount that can be collected equally from the citizens, then the govt must be forced to function within that budget. Change your thinking.

    25. Bill Lubbock, Texas says:

      How much more can we redistribute? A lot more.

      You all may want to recall the idyllic economic times of the late 40's, 50's, and early 60's, when the tax on the top tier income was 90%. The tax rates applied then, by forcing the deconcentration of wealth, allowed the US to become the greatest economic power in the world.

      Things began to go downhill starting in the 70's, when rising oil prices began to concentrate world wealth amongst the oil producing pockets; it continued to go down with Reagan's tax cuts, when only massive deficit spending suntained the economy; and continued with W. Bush's cuts on capital gains and dividend income driving the Federal budget from surpluses as far as the eye could see to massive deficits.

      All of these policies have served to concentrate the wealth so much that the entire world is becoming like a third world country with the few wealthy elites holding all the wealth and power while the masses live in poverty.

      It should have become obvious over the past few years that, given the present income distribution scheme, we do not have the capacity to consume everthing we can produce when even close to full capacity.

      Even with massive spending from debt the last few years, the capacity utilization rate was never much over 80%; and the "official" unemployment rate was never below 5%.

      Unless and until income is deconcentrated away from the misers, hoarders, and Scrooges of the world, and back to the lower and middle classes who invest in their families and communities, the economy will never recover.

      Wealthy people don't create jobs; spenders create jobs. Ask yourself "If my product or service doesn't sell, will my wealthy employer keep me on"? The only reason people are employed is because the value of their marginal product is greater than their wage. Concentrating wealth serves to reduce spending and thus the value of one's marginal product.

      Finally, you should all note that every thirld world country in existence ever, has(d) an extremely high concentration of wealth.

      What kind of country do you want to live in?

    26. Thomas, Anchorage, A says:

      ~John, PA writes:

      I think it’s only fair. The top 1% own 40% of all the nation’s wealth. In addition, if you count wage/payroll taxes and state/local/sales/sin/excise/gas/toll/etc taxes, I think the tax % drops dramatically. For example, payroll taxes are almost half of federal revenue and the upper 1% pay nothing. Please in the future account for all taxes and who pays them.~

      What does "fair" mean to you?

      Webster's says the following…

      6 a : marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism <a> b (1) : conforming with the established rules : allowed (2) : consonant with merit or importance : due <a> c : open to legitimate pursuit, attack, or ridicule

      Apparently to you everyone paying the same percentage of their income isn't "fair".

      Sales tax? Gas tax? Tolls? Those are levied at the local level. This is a discussion of FEDERAL health care policy funded with FEDERAL income tax. Do you have any evidence that the rich DON'T pay sales tax, or gas tax, or tolls like everyone else?

      The only reason I could imagine for the rich not paying is because they OWN the stores and they OWN the gas stations and THEY pay for the construction and maintenance of the toll roads.

      I make $40K a year, I know people who make several times that much, but I don't despise the rich. In fact, they inspire me to work harder, learn all I can, and make something of myself.

    27. Pingback: The Big Taxation Lie | EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE

    28. tom amelia says:

      what I really want to know is what percentage of all income, net worth increase over last year, including investment income does the 1% get taxed.

      Irs fillings do not tell the full story. For example if I own company that makes 100 million but I only take 100,000 in pay how much do my taxes increase.

    29. Cat Pryde Chicago says:

      It is NOT true that the bottom 40% don't pay taxes. EVERY working person pays taxes. And then they wait up to 14 months to get any of it back. And lose the interest they could have made, which the government keeps, and doesn't get counted in those numbers.

      I'm sick of these games and arguments. Let just make a federal sales tax that brings in the money. Things like basic groceries and health bills are exempt. People who earn a lot spend a lot, and everyone, even immigrants and illegal aliens, pay their fair share!!

    30. DON IN ALASKA says:

      FAIR TAX NOW!!!!!!

    31. Brittancus, Indianap says:

      These politicians voted Against the Nathan Deal Amendment, that would Prevent Health Care Benefits to Illegal Aliens. Simply put–it's not their BLOODY MONEY! So what! Do they care if taxpayers have to foot the behemoth bill, for anybody who snubs our laws and enters a sovereign country called America? The nationwide parasites are –CHEAP LABOR–businesses who could care less, because they pile up enormous profits. The corporate hierarchy have been having a field day–FOR DECADES. A foreign national gets hurt, their service manager or whoever the underling is, drives the maimed person and relinquishes any responsibility by dumping them on the emergency hospital entranceway. BINGO! nothing to pay!

      Perhaps Americans should find some old shoddy clothes, no shave, no haircut and enter every emergency room in our country in the millions? Speak a lot of gibberish and carry no identification with a small splinter in their finger, a touch of a fever or any minor condition. By federal law the hospital will have an emergency on a–EMERGENCY. I am afraid Americans have been Lemmings going over a proverbial cliff, since who knows when? We just keep paying and paying even more to the IRS, to support–ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Try getting free health care in any other country, other than societies in the European Union? A FAT CHANCE! We are literary being taxed to death, to give welfare to the business overlords.

      Even our Democrats who are trying to engineer health care for every American—INCLUDED 20 PLUS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR LARGE FAMILIES. Here are 29 Judas Iscariot's, who sold the American people out–for a lot more than 13 pieces of silver? HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. Capps (D-CA), Eshoo (D-CA), Harman (D-CA), Matsui (D-CA), McNerney (D-CA), Waxman (D-CA), DeGette (D-CO), Murphy (D-CT), Castor (D-FL), Rush (D-IL), Schakowsky (D-IL), Braley (D-IA), Sarbanes (D-MD), Markey (D-MA), Dingell (D-MI), Stupak (D-MI), Pallone (D-NJ), Weiner (D-NY), Butterfield (D-NC), Space (D-OH), Sutton (D-OH), Doyle (D-PA), Gordon (D-TN), Gonzalez (D-TX), Green (D-TX),Welch (D-VT), Christensen (D-VI), Inslee (D-WA) and Baldwin (D-WI). I'm afraid I would be banned if I used the right epithet, when leaving a comment for these so called lawmakers?

      These are the betrayers of–ALL–taxpayers. These 29 traitors gave illegal immigrants the right to pilfer your billfold and purse, while they sit in their Washington office collecting their 6 figure salaries. REMEMBER THEM AND THROW THEM OUT! DEMAND NO AMNESTY! NO FAMILY UNIFICATION KNOWN AS CHAIN MIGRATION! BUILD THE ORIGINAL FENCE! NO MORE HEALTH CARE OR ANY OTHER KIND OF BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. CLOSE THE BORDER AND STATION THE NATIONAL GUARD. $2.5 TRILLION DOLLARS, JUST IN RETIREMENT BENEFITS? Learn uncorrupted facts at NUMBERSUSA.

      Copy, Paste and Distribute freely

    32. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      How does anyone redistribute Air? All our new Obama money is based on Air, all of his Programs are thought out by people who have both feet planted min mid-air! So, tell me, "How do we redistribute Air?


    33. SUSANM/ MD. says:




      1. OUT OF CONTROL.



    34. Brenda, Arizona says:

      John stated: I think it’s only fair. The top 1% own 40% of all the nation’s wealth. In addition, if you count wage/payroll taxes and state/local/sales/sin/excise/gas/toll/etc taxes, I think the tax % drops dramatically. For example, payroll taxes are almost half of federal revenue and the upper 1% pay nothing. Please in the future account for all taxes and who pays them. John, did you for a minute stop to think a lot of the high earning people do pay all these taxes. A lot of them are in business hense the payroll taxes. Although we are not in that bracket we are self employeed and come in contact with the high income people. The majority are self employed and do have people on payroll so you Idea that they do not pay all these other taxes is a bunk. They are the ones that keep others employed hello!!!

    35. Brenda, Arizona says:

      Albert,Campbellsville,KY writes:

      Rush said years ago we should tax the poor (one of which I am)how much do we give away on earned income credit(which I get) do away with EIC and tax the poor.Ive never worked for a poor person encourage the rich to start and expand business,with more good jobs some of us poor wont be so poor……. I have to somewhat agree with this especially the last part about encouraging businesses to expand. I do not agree that there should be income credit for those that do not earn.

    36. John Rosky Andover, says:

      We need to get rid of the OLD people in Congress and start with people that understand that The Constitution stands for US. If you have seen the bills the Dems have passed in the House this week you would cry. The Minnesota idiot wants a half trillion for road and bridge repair, I thought that was what the stimulis bill was for and not some mouse in California. We just need to stop all of this and deal with the idiots on their vacations.

    37. Tobe, Portola , Ca says:

      If politicians want to reduce health costs, ie. make them affordable for all. Institute tort reform to lower the legal aspect of health. I don't see the politicians (mostly lawyers) talking about limiting the wages of lawyers, when they are quite happy to cap the salary of a corporate exc. or doctor. Increasing the tax on the wealthy will never cover the cost of this administrations spending and their estimates of the costs are grossly underestimated. Their estimate for the cash fo clunkeers program was to run until October and it ran out in four days. What will it cost to run the entire term?

    38. Pingback: Jason’s Blog » How Much More Can We Redistribute: IRS Releases New Data

    39. John K, Boston says:

      The real issue is how do we get the bottom 40% to stop being a drain on society and how do we get some of that cash the top 1% has into the hands of the middle class?

    40. Pingback: Families and Small Businesses to be Taxed to Pay for Health Reform | Conservative Principals Now

    41. John, Akron OH says:

      Someone's comment here said maybe it's not so bad that the top 1% pay such a large proportion of taxes since they also earn a high proportion of the taxes. Bottom line is that the top quintile (one fifth) earns about 55% of total income but pays about 86% of total taxes. The ratio of taxes to income for each income quintile looks like this:

      Top 1.6

      2nd 0.7

      Middle 0.4

      4th (0.1)

      Bottom (0.8)

      1.0 means taxes paid are exactly proportional to income earned. Only the top quintile pays more proportionally more taxes than income earned. This is all based on CBO public data.

      Also, in 2008 the OECD did a study which showed that the US had the most progressive tax system of all developed countries. Specifically, they found that the top 10% of income-earners in the US pay a higher proportion of taxes than all the other 30+ countries, including all Europe.


    42. Tucker, Michigan says:

      I'd love to see ALL the top wage earners leave the country….with no money, our illegal government would collapse and I bet the 40% would get off their lazy butts then!!!!

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    46. Rob says:

      I like the idea of the 'fair tax'. Even pimps and drug dealers would pay that because they have to purchase things too. Huckabee said it would have to be 23%. That's too high and would only encourage 'back-door' deals. However, at 23% I would still have more to spend than I do now (I'm just above the 250 level).

      As far as Bill from Texas goes, spenders do NOT create jobs. Jobs are created by entrepreneurs who recognize a market need and create a product that the market either accepts or not. If the producer can make the product for less than the market deems it worth, he profits and someone gets a job. If the market is not willing to pay what the production costs are and what the producer sees as a fair profit, he goes out of business. Spenders can have all the money in the world, but without producers making a product and employing people, there will be no jobs.

      There does seem to be a concentration of wealth, however. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to get 'good' jobs. The market determines if the guy packing meat makes $10 per hour or $20 and artificial price 'floors' (like minimum wage) do not solve the problem. If they did, why not just make minimum wage $50 per hour. Then everyone would be paid well! Think that would work? Duh!

    47. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Ever time I see this crap I get sick I am considered to be poverty level by government standards, yet I pay over 50% total income on taxes. They never count ALL taxes, only one tax, income tax Stop lying, count up all taxes, starting with gas tax sales tax property tax licenses, inspection stickers, social security medicare/medicaid, and that is just for starters.

    48. Gary Ollila, Virgini says:

      Sure the rich pay a higher percentage of income tax. That's what a graduated tax structure if all about. And there is good reason for that. The gap between the rich and the poor is continually widening.


      Our nation needs a sane tax structure that promotes the Common Good.

    49. DM, NYC says:

      A graduated tax table is unconstitutional. The Consitution has income tax, and it also everyone has equal justice under the law. So to tax one person higher than another is not equal justice under the law and it is unconstitutional.

      I do not understand why some think they are entitled to steal from their neighbors, which is what those who get "free stuff" are doing. One person is not obligated to pay for another. Just because someone is successful, wealthy, or has achieved more than another, does not mean they "owe" it to someone else or that soemone else has the right to steal it.

    50. Barb in Moline IL says:

      Entitlements? Where in our history and laws does is say anyone is entitled to anything other than the freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights? No one is "entitled" to someone else's efforts and work. Not having entitlements is what built this country into the great nation it once was until FDR began our slide downward.

    51. Bill Bartmann says:

      Cool site, love the info.

    52. Susan, Delaware says:

      10% state/15% federal tax across the board – whether you make/are given $1 dollar/year or 1Bln/year; no exceptions. OR an across the board Sales tax of 20%. NO other taxes of anykind – not gas, not federal liine charge – NO other taxes. The states and governments would have to do what we do – tighten the belt if need be.

      Term limits for all of Congress/judges; etc…

      States pay for all aspects of each person they send to Congress – health care, etc… NO pensions for members of Congress – who else gets a pension unless they've worked somewhere for 30+ years?

      The State employees pay for each others pension/healthcare – why should people have to pay the pension when Private workers don't usually get it?

      Everyone in the government HAS to have this wonderful health care – including the Pres – that they are going to pass.

      On and On….

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