I enjoyed reading Patrick O’Mahen’s latest column about how income taxes are unfair to poorer people (Taxation frustration, 04/23/09). The article epitomizes the spin President Barack Obama and many liberals put on the way income tax works in this country.
Obama has claimed that 95 percent of all Americans will pay less in taxes and only the top 2 percent will receive a tax increase. Let’s try to weed through the liberal spin and get real. First off, nearly half (45.3 percent in 2007) of all government revenue comes from individual income taxes. The top one percent of individuals in this country pay 40 percent of the total revenue from income taxes and the top five percent pay around 60 percent. In addition, the bottom 40 percent pay no income tax and the bottom 50 percent pay under 3 percent.
Under Obama’s new tax plan, half of all earners will pay no income tax. This would mean that half of earners have absolutely no stake in how the other people’s money is spent. Even more worrisome is the fact that about half of all small businesses — the primary job creators in the nation — file under personal income taxes. These businesses will be the biggest losers in tax increases and will directly respond in the only ways they can — by cutting jobs or raising prices.
Many people were ecstatic when the new Forbes Wealthiest People list showed 19 out of the 20 richest people were worse off than last year, losing a staggering $2 trillion. There is a growing sentiment that those “greedy rich bastards” deserved it, but perhaps we should consider the facts, and the facts don’t lie. Sure, hate the rich — just realize that they are the ones who float the boat.
Sam van Kleef