Paul Krugman brings out the statistical bazooka against the “class warfare” meme.
Among the points and statistics he cites in a new column:
- From 1979-2005, the average real income of families in the “middle” rose 21%
- Over the same period, the average real income of the richest 100th of one per cent rose 480%, from $4 million to $24 million.
- So it’s no wonder that “rich people” are paying a greater share of overall taxes than they used to–because they’re much richer than they used to be!
- Over the past 25 years, the country’s tax burden has shifted “from wealth to work,” meaning that the country places a higher tax on income from working than investments. This is due to both lower taxes on capital gains and dividends and the payroll tax, which only hits earned income.
- One quarter of those who make $1+ million a year pay an aggregate 13% federal tax rate (including the payroll tax). As Buffett notes, this is presumably less than their secretaries.
Krugman also relays a point made by another person the GOP hates: Elizabeth Warren. No one in this country has gotten rich on his or her own. They’ve gotten rich thanks to the help of others (employees, customers) and the “social contract,” which provides the legal, civil, and societal environment in which capitalism functions.
Hard to argue with that one.
(Our own view on this, by the way, is that we need to cut spending gradually, but the deficit cannot be closed with spending cuts alone. So taxes have to increase–including taxes on the wealthy.)
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