Krugman brings in the load: How much of their income do very high earners pay in federal taxes? The question has been floating around all week. It has been driven along by Obama’s proposals, the AP’s incompetence, the ludicrous claims made on Fox.
For a bit of one-stop shopping, we recommend this blog post by Paul Krugman. At first glance, the table Krugman includes is a bit confusing. But he explains how to use it, and it’s quite intriguing.
Example: Among people who earn more than $1 million, twenty-five percent pay less than 12.6 percent in federal taxes. That’s federal income tax and payroll taxes combined.
After citing this example, Krugman offers the following summation. We call your attention to the highlighted statement:
KRUGMAN (9/22/11): This suggests that there are a lot of very-high-income guys paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.The system is somewhat progressive, “but not as much as you might think.” Here's our question:
And that doesn’t even take into account state and local taxes, which are quite regressive.
Taken as a whole, the US tax system is probably somewhat progressive—but not as much as you might think, especially at the upper end, and very erratically. There are a lot of rich people basically free-riding on the system.
Why are we required to “think” X, Y and Z about federal taxes? Why can’t we be allowed to know about such basic matters? Why isn’t there a digest of user-friendly information where voters can learn basic facts?
The conservative world has spent decades churning disinformation about tax issues—disinformation and misleading statements. When does the liberal world plan to create a digest of actual information—information a non-specialist can access and understand?
When does the liberal world plan to do something? Rubes! Must a sane person ask?