Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share?

If you say “the rich don’t pay their fair share,” you should really say “the tax burden on the rich is not increasing fast enough.”

Not only do the top income earners pay most of the taxes, their share of the tax burden has grown over the years.

The following statistics are from the IRS:

Share of the Tax Burden, according to the IRS

Taxpayers Top 1% Top 5% Top 10% Bottom 50%
2008 38% 59% 70% 2.7%
2000 37% 56% 67% 3.9%
1990 25% 44% 55% 5.8%
1980 19% 37% 24% 7.1%

As you can see from the statistics, not only has the share of the “rich” doubled since 1980, but the share of the “poor” (the bottom 50%) has fallen in half.

So what does somebody mean when they say the rich are not paying their fair share? How much is their fair share?

Liberal talking points always includes that “the rich do not pay their fair share.” So in debates between Liberals and Conservatives, it often boils down to the Conservative asking the Liberal “how much is fair?” The Liberals equivocate at this point, and just say “more”, but not how much more.

It is the same old story of a small minority pulling the wagon, while the majority ride in the wagon. And that Liberals keep insisting that more and more people be pushed into the wagon, with a smaller number pulling the wagon. At some point this system breaks down. “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Where is that point?

It appears that that question is starting to be answered in Greece, and in the other lopsided European countries. It will soon be answered in the Great State of California.

In my view, the real thrust of the Left should not be to say “the rich don’t pay their fair share.” Rather it should be that “the tax burden on the rich is not increasing fast enough.”

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