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13 April 2011

Comments

Michael R. Kesti

Those charts are very effective at demonstrating those numbers!

A recent contributor to comments in TheUnion.com claimed, without reference, quite different statistics. Please cite your source, Russ.

George Rebane

Russ?? Such numbers have been presented for years, and sourced mainly from the IRS, Dept of Labor, and the Census. These particular ones were presented on Fox News by Brit Hume citing "numerous government sources". The left, for obvious reasons, neither prints nor promotes such statistics.

William Martin

It's funny the things you can show with a chart.

http://motherjones.com/files/images/Blog_Income_Tax_Top_1_Percent.jpg

I can't say that it means much. In terms of taxes, not unequal distribution of income or wealth, you should look at total tax load including sales tax, property tax, SS/Medicare (maybe), and the like also.

In the long run, I'd say what really matters is what percentage of a country's total income is absorbed into government, and what percentage of a country's wealth is real wealth. Income built on debt or pushing paper can't be a long term solution, regardless of how the nation's mortgage brokers feel about it.

Here's an interesting chart.

http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/

George Rebane

WilliamM - Thank you for your contribution to this post. The MJ graphic subsumes the Fox News graphic, and in that sense corroborates it. Looking at total taxes is a more complex affair since it requires the assembly of thousands of jurisdictions each collecting various forms of taxes and tribute. The biggest hunk is the federal income tax as shown also by wallstats.com (excellent graphic).

The historical federal take has been in the 18-19% of GDP range; Obama has bumped that to the 24% area and seeks to make something of the 23% level a new norm. There is no guarantee that this will increase the level of federal revenues, and every historical indication that it will hinder GDP growth AND the dollar amount collected by the fed.

Now you raise the notion of "real wealth" which is being discussed more and more in some fairly sophisticated quarters around the world. I would like to hear more of your definition of real wealth, especially as it relates to the 'store of value' function of fiat money.

Let me leave you with the thought that there is more fiat money in existence today than all the 'stuff' we have in the world, and can make in a reasonably short time for sale at today's branches. What does that tell us about the dollars we have squirreled away?

Ben Emery

I will throw out some questions that maybe you can answer.

With the graphs given above, why would any Tea Party member who falls in the bottom 50% or for that matter the bottom 95% brackets make the claim Taxed Enough Already? In whose interests would a message like that be in?

Ben Emery

George,
I totally agree with your fiat money statement. A full 97 year audit of the Federal Reserve is a must or the US Treasury needs to take over the controls of the US money supply. We have learned from the 2 year audit that the bailouts were the chump change. Trillions of US dollars were being handed out around the planet including to Muammar Gaddafi and Libya.
http://www.readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/72-72/5564-americas-shadow-budget

George Rebane

Good questions BenE. It is a low probability event that any tea party member belongs to the half that pay almost no fed income tax - if they do, they are the rare altruists who want to see the tax burden on themselves increased. However, almost all (at least all that I have met) tea party members understand the economic function that the top 5% earners serve to sustain and grow our economy. Therefore, they would not want to castrate that charging bull of GDP and jobs growth.

As an addendum - the socialists claim to be ignorant that 80% of those 'earning' more than $250K annually are small business owners who take their business profits as personal income. Almost all of them plow a portion of that back into their enterprises in order to sustain/grow them. Taking away more of their earnings for socialist programs will not grow that major job creating sector of our economy.

Ben Emery

I know around 75% of Americans earn less than $50k a year. I find it hard to believe that majority of the Tea Party fall into that top quintile. I personally know at least 5 NCTPP and none of them make more than $50k.

Putting that aside, I understand how small business works my wife (then girlfriend) and I owned/ operated a small business before moving back to Northern CA. Small business are the lifeblood of US employment (over 60%) and I have no disagreement there with you. The small business's I have to take up issue are the hedge fund managers income with a handful of employee's making billions that throw the statistic out of whack. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/business/01hedge.html

The only thing that ever sustained job creation has been demand. Demand is created from the bottom up. Living wage jobs allowing American workers to spend money supporting other US companies, multiplier effect.

What the major problem we face today is increasingly the income being generated in the US is from pushing paper around instead of producing wealth/ products. I believe it is around 30% of income in US comes from the financial sector. We need to return to promoting American made goods as we did for nearly 200 years with the Alexander Hamilton report/ policies on manufacturing. We have abandoned it for nearly thirty years and have paid dearly for it.

George Rebane

The IRS states officially (Rev. Proc. 2008-19) that the U.S. median gross income for 2008 was $61,500.

Median is the central tendency measure of a distribution whereby half the population falls above that median value, and the other half below.

Nevertheless, the five fine NCTPP folk of your acquaintance do demonstrate that the tea party movement is not comprised of only rich old farts, and therefore that political ideologies can be founded on principles independent of wealth.

Mikey McD

Ben's concerns over lost manufacturing jobs and Wall St's size/proportion of earnings, etc. are important. I believe changes need to occur via our countries VALUE system which directly drives DEMAND. But, under the State controlled education system a meaningful change to pro individual values is futile.

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