In my last article, “The Fiscal Cliff Is Closer Than You Think“, I pointed to reliable facts that show that successful US citizens are leaving the USA in record and growing numbers. I also asked you to look at those facts and then do the math.
That’s one of my favorite phrases… “Do the math.”
The reason why I use that phrase so much is because there are so many politicians, pundits, and legacy media types who throw out all kinds of wild statements, hoping that folks won’t stop to consider what it really means and that they won’t actually do the math.
So today, I would like to delve a little more into the math behind what’s happening with this flight of successful Americans.
To begin with, let’s look at the latest IRS Collections Data. This is data published every year by the IRS, about 18 months after the close of the related tax year. The latest such data available is for the 2009 tax year. (The 2010 data is very late coming out this year.)
|2009 IRS Collections Data (source IRS)|
* The Top 400 data is drawn from a related IRS PDF document.
The first thing that I would like to point out is that, contrary to what the Democrats and the legacy media would have us believe, the rich not only pay taxes, but they pay far more than their share, based on income. The top 1% earned 16.93% of all US personal income in 2009, but they paid 36.73% of all personal income taxes that were actually collected. That’s after all tax breaks, deductions, exclusions, and even any possible cheating. It’s what was collected by the IRS. That’s 2.2 times their share, based on income.
The top 400 taxpayers have it only slightly better. Since there are roughly 400 billionaires in the USA, that’s generally who these people are. They earned 1.31% of all US personal income, but paid 1.9% of all personal income tax collected. That’s about 1.5 times their share, based on income. This also shows that far from being the rule, it is the exception to the rule for billionaires to pay less tax than their secretaries. That’s only the case if the secretary is in the top 5% of income earners, as is almost certainly the case with Warren Buffet’s secretary, based upon her stated tax rate.
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