What Does The Left Consider A Fair Share?

As tax day looms in the US, the Wall-Street Journal has this great piece about how much of the US income tax burden is shouldered by the rich.

Here are the two charts from the WSJ story and they used 2014 tax data:

chart 1


chart 2

To me, a “Fair Share” means that if a particular income demographic group earns X% of the total US income then they should pay that same X% of total US income tax. But the US income tax system should never be confused with “fair” and these charts prove it.

The main takeaway from these two charts is the sobering fact that people making over $134,300 annually (the top 20% of all US income earners) comprise 51.3% of all US income but pay 83.9% of all US income tax. That’s right, 20% of the people earning a living in the US pay over 80% of all US income taxes.

Time and time again this “80/20 rule” pops up in business (20% of the people do 80% of the work) and now the tax system in the US has brought a new meaning to this 80/20 rule.

It gets worse if you’re REALLY wealthy – Those people making over $615,000 (labeled the evil 1% by the Left) comprise just 17.1% of all US income but pay 45.7% of all US income taxes. I’ll call this the 45/1 rule which states that 1% of all US income earners pay over 45% of all US income taxes.

As a side note, I’ve covered this stuff before in a previous post in 2011 and if you go take a look at that post (which used 2009 IRS data) you will notice that our unfair tax system is getting worse. In 2009, people earning 49.4% of the total US income paid 74.7% of all US income taxes (as opposed to those earning 51.3% of the total US income paying 83.9% of all US income taxes in 2014) so the tax burden is increasing on the people making roughly 50% of all US income.

How much of a “fair share” is enough for the Left? Do they want the folks earning 50% of US income to pay 100% of all US income taxes? It appears this is the direction we are going and if the Left really wants a class warfare story in the US then we are well on our way but it’s not for the reasons they’d like to tell us.

Remember these 80/20 and 45/1 rules the next time you encounter a Leftist who says the rich don’t pay enough in taxes.

Leftists like Senator Elizabeth Warren like to talk about the rich paying their “fair share” but I don’t think they know what that phrase means.

This entry was posted in economics, Income Inequality, politics. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What Does The Left Consider A Fair Share?

  1. tannngl says:


    Time, so really time for a flat tax.

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