3. Millionaires pay proportionately less income tax than poorer people.Obama will, of course, continue to push his tax-the-rich theme. He is trying to play the populist.
In a speech on Monday, Obama said raising taxes on millionaires isn’t class warfare, but “math.” His math may be off: According to the IRS, those with adjusted gross incomes of more than $1 million paid an average of 23.3 percent in federal income taxes in 2008; those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 paid 12.7 percent; and those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 paid 8.9 percent. Half of American families don’t make enough money to pay income taxes at all....
5. Obama’s “millionaires’ tax” won’t seriously limit investment.
That’s the line of reasoning that the administration is using. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters that the president’s plan wouldn’t hurt growth. “I am very confident that the modest changes we’re suggesting in terms of revenues . . . would make the economy stronger in the long term, not weaker in the long term,” he said.
Geithner’s confidence is somewhat misplaced. According to a 2001 congressional study that confirmed a basic tenet of macroeconomics, “each $1 of marginal tax rate cuts would save the private economy at least $1.25 as deadweight losses fall and economic efficiency increases.” Taxes distort investment decisions. Why throw money into productive assets — corporate securities, a rental property or new employees for a small business — if the income they generate will be taxed away?
Taxes on the rich are taxes on people who create jobs. And jobs are an unalloyed good thing for an economy. Excessively taxing the capital that makes the economy go is poor public policy. And we have a recent example of how the opposite works well: Unemployment declined by a third in the four years after the Bush tax cuts were fully implemented in 2003, dropping to 4.2 percent from 6.2 percent. Meanwhile, federal revenue increased 44 percent in those years. If these tax cuts put people to work and generated money for the government, shouldn’t Obama consider the possibility that tax increases should be avoided?
Saturday, September 24, 2011
MYTHS ABOUT MILLIONAIRES
From the Washington Post, notice the following two myths: