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The rich guy won't be buying in 2012 either

January 03, 2012

Clive Crook at the Atlantic reports that the rich guy is already footing the bill in the United States:

A new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that in the middle of the last decade — i.e., after the Bush tax cuts were introduced — the U.S. income tax was about as strongly redistributive as income taxes in Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. You might have noticed that the CBO report on top incomes was widely quoted, but one finding got less attention: Between 1979 and 2007, “the federal individual income tax became slightly more progressive.”

The awkward truth is that the U.S. income tax system is anomalous not because it taxes the rich lightly but because it taxes everybody else lightly.

Via Marginal Revolution, which also links to a fascinating piece on the incomparable Gordon Tullock.

If the U.S. is unwilling to face up to its spending problem, especially its unfunded entitlement obligations, the resulting tax increases will have to be broad-based -- probably something like a Value Added Tax. Politicians and commentators who say that somebody else will be picking up the tab are either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.

Related: The rich guy still isn't buying the drinks

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