The Inequality That Obama Forgot To Mention

In an attempt to avert attention away from his Obamacare fiasco, The One gave a speech today where he trotted out the Left’s favorite meme du jour – Income Inequality.  We all know that this meme is really just a vehicle to buy votes via raising the minimum wage and I’ve collected some good links here that you can use to debunk this meme with your liberal friends but if the Obama’s and Elizabeth Warren’s of the world want to really have a conversation about ‘inequality’ then I have an inconvenient truth to bring to the table.

The real inequality in the US is the disproportionate amount of income taxes paid by the successful.

I used the IRS webpage here to obtain the adjusted gross income (AGI) share and income tax share paid by US citizens from 2001 to 2010.

If we had a ‘fair’ income tax system then a particular income demographic (say the top 10%) would earn X% of the total AGI and they’d pay that same X% of the total income taxes.  But that is not how it works.

The graph below shows the AGI % and income tax % for the top 10% (those making over $116,623 annually in current dollars) and you can see that while this group accounts for roughly 45% of the total AGI they paid roughly 70% of the taxes from 2001 to 2010!

agi vs taxThere is another way I like to put a finer point on this topic and I call it the 3-30-50 rule.

Using the latest tax return data available at the IRS (for tax year 2011), you come across this inconvenient truth about inequality – People making over $200,000 per year accounted for:

A)     3.2% of all income tax returns filed,

B)      29% of all AGI and

C)      50.7% of all income taxes collected

3-30-50: The greedy, fortunate, pampered 3% account for about 30% of the income earned but pay about 50% of all income tax revenue.

The Left has no problem pointing out that successful people earn more than less successful people (a fact that should not come as a shock to any thinking individual) but they forget to point out that these same successful people pay much more than their fair share in income taxes.

This is the true inequality that the Left will never speak of.

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