Top earners won't miss a few billions

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Letter writers are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts ("Biggest taxpayers are the job creators," July 21).

Facts from the IRS: For the latest reporting year, 2008, in tax returns for individuals , the top 1 percent paid an average tax rate of 23.3 percent and took in $444 billion more than all the rest of the top 5 percent. The top 1 percent got to keep more than 75 percent of the $444 billion, or about $333 billion.

The top 5 percent paid an average of 20.7 percent in taxes. The top 10 percent claimed 45.7 percent of all income in America; paid an average tax rate of 18.7 percent; and took in $361 billion more than the income of the next 40 percent.

Think about that for a second: The top 10 percent have almost half of the total income in the United States and took in $361 billion more than the combined income of all the taxpayers from 11 percent to 50 percent, and they got to keep 80 percent. Those are facts, not opinion.

If we're going to contain costs, reduce the deficit and maintain our promises to our poor and elderly, we need cost reductions and increased revenue, not just cost reductions. Do you really think the top 1 percent would miss 2 to 4 percent of $333 billion?

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willie7
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willie7 08/03/11 - 10:31 pm
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54.3 % of the remainingh
Unpublished

54.3 % of the remainingh income goes to 90% of the working people.
This doen'rt leave too much for that large group. We better watch this---

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 08/04/11 - 02:11 am
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Very good letter Mr. Mc

Very good letter Mr. Mc Kinley!

thewiz0oz
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thewiz0oz 08/04/11 - 03:39 am
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The top 5% of earners pay 40%

The top 5% of earners pay 40% of all income taxes. 49% of adults pay no income taxes but have the same vote as those who pay the taxes. You don't help the able poor by giving to them. You help them by getting them to help themselves. 49% of adults are not mentally or physically unable to help themselves. Our government education system is broke & needs to be fixed or replaced. You give a man a fish & you feed him one day - you teach him to fish & you feed him for a lifetime. Our free economic system is the best wealth redistribution system ever devised. It rewards those who contribute the most & punishes those who screw up. I know of many former wealthy families who lost iit all due to bad decisions, and many who came out of poverty to become wealthy due to good decisions. Government should have no role in deter ing winners & losers.

Pat D
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Pat D 08/04/11 - 04:12 am
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The point of our society is

The point of our society is not whether we will "miss" the money that we pay in taxes....The point is that the government should not be taking money for purposes that are not constitutional....All of the statistics that are quoted in this letter show that the top wage EARNERS pay far more than the lower wage earners and that the lowest half of the wage earners pay nothing....If you took 100% of all over $1 million that a person makes, you could only run the government for a short time and certainly would not have money to apply to the national debt!

If you start taking more money from the folks who invest in and grow the economic engine for our society, they will just pack up and leave for a place where they can keep more of what they earn....Is that so difficult to understand?

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 08/04/11 - 04:53 am
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We need 100% participation in
Unpublished

We need 100% participation in taxation: churches, schools, welfare, millionaires, drug dealers, politicians, guvmint employees.

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 08/04/11 - 05:18 am
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my father..they might not

my father..they might not miss the 9th home in Aspen..but those in the trades, building supplies etc..might miss that extra work and income..and Aspen might miss the on going property tax generated from that 9th. house..while our govt funds such national issues as sweat on ladies of the night, shrimp on tread mills, effects of cocaine on monkeys, tatoo removal ...the list goes on..the more disposal income spent in our country above every day esentials will grow our economy..mf15 ..i agree they might not miss it ...they might leave ...but every time obumler and dims talk about those evil rich guys and gals it really starts at combine income of 250 k...lot here.. but not in nyc or small business owners. also with our spending problems there simply is not enough wealth to tax in the rich to resolve anything but tip money on our debt....

blues550
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blues550 08/04/11 - 05:56 am
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Great letter Benito.
Unpublished

Great letter Benito.

ConcernedTaxpayer
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ConcernedTaxpayer 08/04/11 - 06:13 am
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It's useless to argue with

It's useless to argue with people that have a Robin Hood mentality. They just want to take away from the producers who have a work ethic and give to the non-producers who want to sit around and expect everyone to give it to them.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 08/04/11 - 06:22 am
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Can you say "wealth envy,"
Unpublished

Can you say "wealth envy," RL? What we need are more tax payers, not more taxes on higher earners. In other words, we need more people getting out and pushing the wagon, before the wagon breaks! You letter is typical liberal garbage. "Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more." I see you know that old song.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/04/11 - 07:06 am
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4% of $333 billion? That

4% of $333 billion? That would sustain the gov't for about 3 days. Then what?

Iwannakno
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Iwannakno 08/04/11 - 07:39 am
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I can't believe there are
Unpublished

I can't believe there are people that actually think this is a good idea.

harley_52
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harley_52 08/04/11 - 07:42 am
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***4% of $333 billion? That

***4% of $333 billion? That would sustain the gov't for about 3 days. Then what?***

Then we redefine "the rich." It's easy. We make "the rich" everybody who makes over $100K. We'll find that's not enough so we'll redefine "the rich" to everybody who makes over $50K.

As you know, justthefacts, the problem isn't too little "revenue" the problem is too much spending. We need to get serious about cutting spending. We aren't even close yet.

harley_52
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harley_52 08/04/11 - 07:41 am
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Anybody who believes they

Anybody who believes they aren't taxed enough can sit down and write a check made out to the U.S. Treasury anytime they like. If "the rich" don't mind paying more in taxes, as some suggest, there's an easy way to ease their consciences.

The truth of the matter is that most of these people clamoring for higher taxes want higher taxes for everybody else, not themselves.

It's nothing more than government created, "progressive" supported class envy.

Pat D
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Pat D 08/04/11 - 07:58 am
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I heard a person on NPR

I heard a person on NPR yesterday who said there were "far right wing extremists" and there were "more progressive democrats"....Hmmmmm, what do you suppose the difference might be?....Could it be bias in word usage?.....Maybe?

142
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Dan White 08/04/11 - 08:18 am
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No, the underlying problem is

No, the underlying problem is not revenue for the federal government but managment of revenue. With the debt ceiling lifted yesterday the federal government's IOU soars another $238 billion and reaches 100 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) which is the TOTAL market value of America's goods and services.

If all of our goods and services were applied to the federal debt, the government could pay the debt off. The debt is insane.

The President is the CEO and the Treasury Department is under him. Ultimately, the President is responsible. Bush started the mess and our current President is making a bigger mess.

All economic indicators point south meaning less taxes for the government to receive. Some economists are even fearful that another severe recession looms. Yet, our Congress authorized another $2.4 for the Treasurer to borrow making the total around $16 trilliion in debt. Taxing the rich is but a rain drop in the ocean. The only way out, it seems to me is to stop borrowing money and live on what you have.

Check out my Chronicle blog "Life Lessons from Our President and Congress on How Not to Live"

http://chronicle.augusta.com/content/blog-post/dan-white/2011-08-02/life...

RogerDavis
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RogerDavis 08/04/11 - 08:53 am
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Top earners won't miss a few

Top earners won't miss a few billions? What gives Mr. McKinley the right to say how much of someone's money won't be missed. It's their money not his nor the federal government's. How about the Feds figure out how to miss a few TRILLION bucks for a change?

Chillen
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Chillen 08/04/11 - 09:19 am
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If we implement a flat tax or

If we implement a flat tax or a fair tax then everyone will pay their fare share. No loopholes, no deductions. Just a fair rate for everyone. (Including the bottom 50% who don't bother to contribute at all.)

harley_52
25783
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harley_52 08/04/11 - 09:54 am
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It's important to remember

It's important to remember that none of our problems are the result of an accident. We got here because some of the people "in charge" wanted us to.

When Obama said "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming America" he had a specific agenda in mind. Among his plans was to subvert the U.S. Constitution, dismantle our Capatalistic economy, and replace our government and economic system with what most folks call "Communism."

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 08/04/11 - 10:16 am
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I will accept McKinley's

I will accept McKinley's numbers as Gospel. So let's start from there:
"The top 1 percent got to keep more than 75 percent of the $444 billion, or about $333 billion." Now, let's go ahead and take ALL their money, as reported by McKinley. Does that sound good? Joe Biden said that paying taxes is patriotic, so let's assume that the top 1% are true patriots who will give up 100% of their income for the good of "the pee-puhl."

Great, so we got the $333B McKinley cites. If you look at total government spending in these United States--not just federal, but state, city/county, etc.--you will see that total gov't expenditures for 2001 will be about $6.2TRILLION. That comes out to a daily rate of just under $17Billion. If we confiscate 100% of the income of the top 1% of earners, we will fund governments for 19.58 days. You may object to my counting all levels of gov't spending, but as McKinley says, "you don't get your own facts." If the feds take all of someone's $, then the state can't come in after the feds and take the same dollars twice. Even D.C. math does not work that way.

So, now we have all of the top 1%'s money, and it's only good for 20 days of spending. What do we do next? McKinley does what liberals typically do, which is to shuffle about from one set of numbers to the next. Thus, the top 1% "got to keep" $333Billion and the top 10% "took in $361 billion more than the combined income of all the taxpayers from 11 percent to 50 percent, and they got to keep 80 percent." That's conflating two statistics, since the top 1% are IN the top 10%, and the $361Billion thus presumably includes the $333Billion already counted. But, let's pretend that McKinley is not playing games with numbers; let's pretend that this $361Billion is a new bunch of dollars that we have not already counted. That pile of cash buys us another 21.23 days of total government spending. Hmmmm. We have taken every single dime (even some imaginary ones!) from the top 10%, pretending that they won't change their behavior and that we can swoop down and confiscate it all with perfect efficiency...and we have funded government spending for 40.81 days.

Well, McKinley, what is your plan for the other 325 days of government spending?

allhans
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allhans 08/04/11 - 10:17 am
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I don't know why Mr McKinley

I don't know why Mr McKinley thinks he has the facts and others only have opinions. Facts are only as good as the humans that put numbers together to fit their own agenda..
This is a "gimme society", a "I deserve it because...".
What a mess the evil doers have us in with their careful planning on eradicating the freedoms of our country.

wondersnevercease
9218
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wondersnevercease 08/04/11 - 10:18 am
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" . One Nation, under Obama,
Unpublished

" . One Nation, under Obama, with Inequality, Injustice, and Poverty to All."

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 08/04/11 - 10:28 am
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By the way, McKinley also

By the way, McKinley also engages in another sort of statistical sleight-of-hand in talking about the top 10% of earners' share of income ("The top 10 percent claimed 45.7 percent of all income in America") and then switching the conversation to the percentage of their own income the top 10% get to keep. In other words, to make things look bad, McKinley compares top earners' incomes to the rest of the populace, but only discusses taxation as a share of that decile's income.

Since McKinley expresses the top earners' income in relation to others' income, the same should be done with taxes.

Going by 2010 IRS data (http://www.financialsamurai.com/2011/04/12/how-much-money-do-the-top-inc...), The top 10% do EARN about 48% of all US household income. However, that decile pays 70% of the total tax burden.

I don't really care if it's 20% of their income or 2% of their income. The comparison of apples to apples leads one to some very simple conclusions: 1-The "rich" pay their "fair share" and more. Their tax contributions as a share of total taxation exceed their income as a share of total income by 40% of their income (or by 20 percentage points, if you like to count it that way to make it sound less egregious). 2-Government debt is a function of SPENDING, not taxation. There is no level of taxation at which government spending is sustainable, even if we pretend that Social Security and Medicare do not have the enormous unfunded liabilities that we know them to have.

broad street narrow mind
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broad street narrow mind 08/04/11 - 10:39 am
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can't you just hear the
Unpublished

can't you just hear the response before you're even done reading the letter? a ltter that uses the much more logical set of numbers for this discussion- numbers of dollars among people. many around here like to use the big percentage of people who don't pay federal income tax without comparing income of the bottom half to this top ten, five and one percent of richies (who pay people to hide their money through shelters and overseas employees and whatever else they can figure) who with all the fat tax cuts lately are not "giving" us jobs. and don't plan to.
where does all this ideology come from- to let an unfunded tax cut expire? these protests are coming from people not rich. who is whispering into their ear at night? could it be corporate voices convincing them that the rich man's dreams are our very own? you just don't see this kind of fanaticism from the workers concerning their own concerns. maybe the givers could give away some of their tv stations, airwaves, and newpapers since there still seems to be some holdup with the jobs.

KSL
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KSL 08/04/11 - 11:02 am
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For all of you wealth envy

For all of you wealth envy people, taking the same percentage from people making in $250,000 and from those who earn billions is not the same thing, nor the the same loss and effect. What is so magical about Obama's $250,000 baseline figure? Does it in any way take in how many hours a person puts in to make that amount of money? No it does not. There are a bunch of people in the US that believe all they have to do for their wages is to work their 40 hours. (And a bunch that believe all they have to do is put in for welfare).

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 08/04/11 - 11:10 am
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Hey, narrow mind, if you will

Hey, narrow mind, if you will notice, I did not even MENTION the 47% who pay no income tax at all. You did. In fact, I accepted every one of McKinley's numbers as perfectly true--even the ones that make no sense. I then proposed an "extreme" solution (since we fiscal hawk types are so frequently called extreme) that I thought you would like: taking 100% of those folks' income as reported by McKinley's own numbers. Problem is, that only funds the government for 40 days. And that brings us back to my question: once you take every dime the "rich" have, and you can only fund your government for 40 days, what do you do for your next trick?

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 08/04/11 - 11:29 am
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(btw - what in the heck is an

(btw - what in the heck is an "unfunded tax cut"??? you don't have to "fund" a tax cut. you do have to fund entitlements, yet somehow they never want to talk about unfunded entitlements. Citizens for Tax Justice--NOT a tea party group :)--claims that the "Bush Tax Cuts" cost $2.5 Trillion over 10 years.

Again, the best way to show how insane liberals are is to pretend that their numbers make sense, then work with those numbers. So, even though government revenues reached record HIGHS under the Bush/Pelosi/Reid/Obama/Boehner tax cuts, let's pretend that those cuts did actually cost us $2.5T over 10 years. That equals $250Billion per year. So, let's see, absent those "unfunded tax cuts," our deficit this year would be a mere $1.35Trillion. Ah, yes, a mere bagatelle...)

142
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Dan White 08/04/11 - 11:48 am
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Progressive Thinker - Closing

Progressive Thinker - Closing the gap between rich and poor through taking more in taxes from the rich and giving to the poor will not solve the problem at hand. The problem is not that the rich are rich and that the poor are poor. That problem will have to wait until a later time to be solved if indeed it can be solved at all.

The problem at hand is that for every dollar that the federal government spends, 43 cents of it is borrowed. That fiscal irresponsibility has now resulted in a debt that is equal to our Gross National Product which is the same ratio of GDP to debt that Italy has, and Italy is sinking fast.

The federal government's debt means that you can take every product and service (the GDP) that the private sector of the United States generates in money and that would pay off the debt. But it leaves nothing for any body. That's the mess our government is in.

All current signs point to the economy going south in a hurry. Every economist has revised downward their growth predictions of the GDP to a little over 1% of growth for the remainder of 2011. With fewer jobs, less industrial output, and less consumer spending, there is going to be little or no wealth generated.

It seems to me that the priority focus of our political leaders should be to stop borrowing money, pay down the debt, and then worry about the inequities between the wealthy and the poor. I don't see how the government can do both in our present malaise.

john.q.publius
0
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john.q.publius 08/04/11 - 11:56 am
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I think that the joke will be

I think that the joke will be on those who insisted that the debt ceiling increase "get us through the 2012 elections." When the US loses its AAA rating in the next few months, how much more will we pay annually in interest charges? Anyone want to bet whether or not we will "get through" 2012 like that?

carcraft
28425
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carcraft 08/04/11 - 03:57 pm
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Progressive thinker-I really

Progressive thinker-I really don't think you will mis 1/32 of your income..a thousand bucks means you might not have electricity and AC a few days a month..you might not be able grill steak once in a while but gee-I am deciding you really don't need to just as many posters here think the rich don't need a 9th home in Aspen-See how easy and painless it was for me to spend your money and decide what you and your family need and don't need? It is sorta fun, and we are only talking about 0.3% of your income..

carcraft
28425
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carcraft 08/04/11 - 03:55 pm
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Oh progressive thinker, I

Oh progressive thinker, I think the government needs more money to fund things like Ethanol production..LOL Yes lets spend billions on a product that takes more energy to produce than it yields, destroys equipement and then the person that cast the deciding vote can say oops! I just wish I could send Al Bore my ruined leaf blower so he could shove it where the don't shine!

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