Richest 400 Taxpayers See Incomes Double, Tax Rates Halved
With budget deficits reaching breaking point levels, and unemployment of middle class American's showing no signs of abating, the picture for wealthy, and I do mean wealthy, Americans show a completely different picture.
As a result of tax cuts enacted by George W. Bush in 2003, (set to expire next year), the 400 richest American taxpayers have seen incomes increase by 27% (adjusted for inflation in 2009), or 9 times the rate of increase for the bottom 90% . Since 1992, the disparity is revealing: the bottom 90% have seen income rise by 13% versus a 399% increase for the top 400. Furthermore, while the top tax rate is set at 30-35%, on average, the top 400 had an effective rate of taxation of approximately 16.5%. Over 2/3rds of all income for this group was in the form of capital gains, which was cut to 15% as part of the 2003 tax cuts.
Proponents of allowing the tax cuts enacted in 2003 to expire, argue that raising taxes on upper income Americans is a redistribution of wealth, and a form of class warfare. As the data shows, there has already been a redistribution of wealth, and the average middle class taxpayer is paying for it. Data suggests that average American wage earners paid more in Social Security and Medicare taxes, than all taxes paid by the richest 1% of taxpayers.
Following recent analysis confirming that income inequality in the United States has reached record levels, noted tax journalist David Cay Johnston summed up the new data, "The incomes of the top 400 American households soared to a new record high in dollars and as a share of all income in 2007, while the income tax rates they paid fell to a record low. The numbers tell the tale of the widening chasm between the rich and everyone else:
In 2007 the top 400 taxpayers had an average income of $344.8 million, up 31 percent from their average $263.3 million income in 2006, according to figures in a report that the IRS posted to its Web site without announcement that were discovered February 16...
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New York, United States