Monday, April 16, 2007

"The Taxpaying Minority"

Ari Fleischer has a very good Tax Day related op-ed in today's WSJ:

If the tax forms you're filing this year show Uncle Sam entitled to any income tax, you increasingly stand alone. The income tax system is so bad, and increasingly reliant on a shrinking number of Americans to pay the nation's bills, that 40% of the country's households -- more than 44 million adults -- pay no income taxes at all. Not a penny.

Think of it this way. After dropping off your tax forms at the Post Office, you find 100 people standing on the sidewalk. Forty of them will be excused from paying income taxes thanks to Congress. Twenty of them, the middle class, will pay barely a thing. The 40 people who remain, the upper middle class and the wealthy, will pay nearly all of the income taxes.

Look at that crowd again and find the richest person there. That individual will pay 37% of all the income taxes owed by those 100 people. The 10 richest people in the crowd will pay 71% of the income-tax bill. The 40 most successful people will pay 99% of everyone's income taxes. Yet for some lawmakers in Washington, these taxpayers aren't paying enough. Our tax system comes up short in a lot of areas. It doesn't foster economic growth. It isn't very simple. And it certainly isn't fair. The one place where it does excel is at redistributing income...

Click here to read the whole thing.