Letter to the Editor: Hot-button issue
BY Don Bruning, Bartlesville
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Income redistribution is a hot-button issue. Bottom line - all taxes redistribute income/wealth in some way. Pay fewer taxes, have more dollars to add to wealth. What do the historic numbers say?
IRS statistics show the share of the total U.S. Adjusted Gross Income reported by the 400 highest income households and their average effective tax rate:
In 1992 those households had 0.52 percent of the total with a tax rate of 26.4 percent.
In 2007, 1.59 percent of the total with a tax rate of 16.6 percent.
Their share of total income tripled while their tax rate went down significantly.
A U.S. Census Bureau database shows the distribution of aggregate household income:
In 1980 the highest 5 percent had 16.6 percent of total and in 2011, 22.3 percent (increased).
In 1980 the lowest 60 percent had a 31.2 percent of total and in 2011, 25.9 percent (decreased).
Google "Catherine Rampell inequality most extreme" to see more. Note especially the charts on income and wealth inequality. Inequality of income and wealth is normal for a free capitalistic society such as ours. Income distribution was mostly steady from 1968 to 1980 (before Reagan) but since then it has changed significantly toward benefitting the wealthy. This is largely due to taxation policy that lowered tax rates more for the rich than for anyone else.
Is it then unwarranted for the less advantaged now to push back and ask the wealthy to again carry a little more of the load?
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