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Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:54 PM

'Taxes on the Rich at a 30 yr High - Tax Policy Center' - monstrous disinformation by AP writer

This is patent disinformation by the AP's STEPHEN OHLEMACHER. it has appeared all over the mainstream press including here on Washington Post ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/federal-tax-bills-for-rich-near-30-year-high-while-everyone-else-pays-historically-low-rates/2013/03/03/5275c4c0-83ff-11e2-a80b-3edc779b676f_story.html )

The article makes it sound like the TAx Policy Center has made the asssertion in the title. When the data published by the Tax Policy Center shows - as most people know - that the truly rich (not as Ohlemacher defines them) are currently paying income taxes at a 30 year LOW - actually at about one half the rate they paid in 1980. Ohlemacher is talking about the top 20%. That includes millions of people who virtually no economist and few non-economists would include in the category "rich" - people making $223,500 (in 2009 dollars). That is a very good income - but do most people really consider that 'rich'? The top 1% begins with an income of $380,354. I don't think most people would consider someone making $223,000 rich. I think people would consider those making somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000 rich.

The article also includes a quote from one individual at the Tax Policy Center which is probably taken out of context since the data presented by the Tax Policy Center shows the top 1% are paying income taxes at a rate which is about half what they paid in 1980 putting their Income tax rates at a THirty year LOW - NOT a thirty year HIGH.

Here is the same article on Huffpo:
(emphasis my own)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/03/taxes-on-the-rich_n_2801206.html?ref=topbar

A new analysis, however, shows that average tax bills for high-income families rarely have been higher since the Congressional Budget Office began tracking the data in 1979. Middle- and low-income families aren’t paying as much as they used to.

For 2013, families with incomes [font size="3"]in the top 20 percent [/font]of the nation will pay an average of 27.2 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a research organization based in Washington. The top 1 percent of households, those with incomes averaging $1.4 million, will pay an average of 35.5 percent.

Those tax rates, which include income, payroll, corporate and estate taxes, are among the highest since 1979.

The average family in the bottom 20 percent of households won’t pay any federal taxes. Instead, many families in this group will get payments from the federal government by claiming more in credits than they owe in taxes, including payroll taxes. That will give them a negative tax rate.

“My sense is that high-income people feel abused by being targeted always for more taxes,” Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said. “You can understand why they feel that way.”
(more)



Historical Income Distribution for All Households
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=458

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Reply 'Taxes on the Rich at a 30 yr High - Tax Policy Center' - monstrous disinformation by AP writer (Original post)
Bill USA Mar 2013 OP
Progressive dog Mar 2013 #1
JHB Mar 2013 #2
Bill USA Mar 2013 #3
jsr Mar 2013 #4
Myrina Mar 2013 #5

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:15 PM

1. I love the way they stretch to attribute corporate taxes to

taxes paid on capital gains so that they get a tax rate of 100% on income never seen. Pretty clever. Same with federal excise tax. Then they exclude negative incomes from the lowest income quintile but include them in the totals.
I notice that the perks given to the highest earners are not part of their income but medicaid and medicare are part of income.
They allow the wealthy to defer any amount of capital gains and if they don't convert it to cash, it doesn't count as income.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 07:49 AM

2. Also note that this data starts in 1979...

,,,which is when this particular data set started being collected.

That limitation means that almost all the data is from the era of Reaganomics and its successors, while leaving out the different tax- and economic structure of the postwar prosperity in the 50s & 60s, and only gets the very end of the 70s.

When you only cover a time period dominated by tax cuts and anti-tax ideology, how significant is a "30 year high"? And that's without the double-standard in figuring income.

edited to add: Let's also not forget that this same period had also seen expansion in low-end tax credits "so that low-income families can keep more of what they earn". This was deemed preferable to other types of low-income assistance, and helped reduce pressure for higher wages. Of course, with higher wages, the lower end would then be paying more in taxes.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 04:56 PM

3. very good points!

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 11:47 PM

4. That was a crappy piece

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 10:22 AM

5. How 'bout this headline instead: "Income for the rich at an all time high" ...

.... the rest of us, notsomuch. Although our taxes have gone up too.

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