Jul 13, 2012 2:23 PM GMT
And yet the extremists believe that they should keep taxing the rich even more. How can it be healthy for a democracy for the wealthy to pay for practically all of the federal government?
The top 1 percent of earners’ pre-tax income dropped 36 percent between 2007 and 2009, while the four lowest quintiles saw a loss of only about 5 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office. During those years, the average pre-tax income for all earners dropped.
The top 20 percent of earners — the top quintile — bore 67.9 percent of the federal tax burden in 2009. The middle quintile paid 9.4 percent, while the lowest paid .03 percent of the federal tax burden.
As the CBO study points out, average tax rates depend both on tax laws and economic conditions. The average federal tax rate was 17.4 percent in 2009 — the lowest since 1979, when the United States was also in a recession.
Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office reported a federal spending deficit of $900 billion for fiscal year 2011.
Economists and policy makers continue to debate the ideal tax rate — and who should pay for the growing deficit.
President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats maintain that joint-filers making more than $250,000 should pay their “fair share.” On Monday, he urged Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000. Those making more than this arbitrary threshold, however, would see their taxes increase.