Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Taxing the top

Robert Reich on taxing "job creators":
The rich are far richer than they used to be, while most of the rest of us are poorer. The latest data show the top 1 percent garnering 93 percent of all the gains from the recovery so far. But median family income is 8 percent lower than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

The gap has been widening for three decades. Since 1980 the top 1 percent has doubled its share of the nation’s total income—from 10 percent to 20 percent. The share of the top one-tenth of 1 percent has tripled. The share of the top-most one-one hundredth of 1 percent—16,000 families—has quadrupled. The richest 400 Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together.

Meanwhile, the tax rates paid by the wealthy have dropped precipitously. Before 1981 the top marginal tax rate was never lower than 70 percent. Under President Dwight Eisenhower it was 93 percent. Even after taking all the deductions and tax credits available to them, the rich paid around 54 percent.