Ah, income tax, how we love thee. Or not. WIth the current political climate being… hot (to say the least), it is hard to get any real analysis or level-headed discussions.
Anyone who is around politics has heard the rhetoric railing against the wealthy. The most common talking point from the Bernie Sanders crowd is about making the wealthy pay their “fair share.”
Since I’ve been paying more attention to these claims, I can’t help but shake my head. When talk of repealing the ACA was discussed, It was claimed that it is nothing more than a tax cut for the wealthy.
Whenever there is a talk of tax reform, people point to how much the uber rich will be receiving. If they are receiving too much (they always are if you ask B.S.), then it must be stopped. Nevermind the fact that everyone gets their rates reduced.
We spend more time concerned about their money than our own. What does the current distribution look like for our income taxes?
The reality of tax distribution
According to Pew Research Center (2016), those with adjusted gross income over $250,000 annually pay over 50% of the income tax. Factcheck.org (2008) reported that those who earn over $250,000 make up about 2% of the population.
Any adjustments made to the tax system will result in more money in the pockets of the wealthy. When they are paying a disproportionate amount of the income tax, that is the only way it can go. Unless, of course, you think the wealthy should just continue paying more and more, because of greed.
I have a different idea.
Control the spending
Rather than arguing over who is paying what amount, we should be focused on getting the spending under control. There is no amount of income tax increase or “giveaway” that can effectively deal with our declining finances.
The federal government spends just under $7,000,000 a minute. Even if the ACA repeal would result in a “giveaway” to the wealthiest 400 families of $6 billion per year, it would end up adding just over 1% of our $439 billion deficit.
Let us keep more of our money, and get the spending under control. If the government can do that, then we can talk about paying our fair shares.