Lately we keep hearing people say tax the rich to pay for our debts. Then the news likes to talk about how tax cuts benefited the rich the most and how unfair it is to poor people. So I did some research on who really pays taxes. The IRS has a lot of info if you look at it.
The most complete data sets I could find were for 2008. We know based weekly reports that 2010 information will make these numbers conservative.
The adult population (18 and over) was 230,000,000 in the US. 142,500,000 filed income tax or about 62%. 52,000,000 of these filers paid NO federal income tax, even worse, some of these people actually received money back, or a return larger than what they paid in. That leave ~39.4% of adult actually paying something towards the tax burden.
If that isn't unbalanced enough, that 39.4% of adults support the entire population, or about 30% of the people at least pay something toward bill for the entire population of ~304,000000 people. And we want them to pay more.
But really, its worse than that because 80% of taxes are paid by just 18,094,688 people who make 100K or more per year. That is less than 8% of the adult population or less than 6% of the entire population is already paying 80% of the entire tax burden!!
How can anyone not think it is absolutely folly to think that this group of people can and should pay more taxes? The tax code is truly unfair. This group of people 5.9% of the population is paying the full 80% burden for everyone else. What happens if even half of those people decide to just quit working and stop paying tax because the burden is too high?
How much more should those people pay? It grossly unfair.
The problem with the deficit is not that the rich are not taxed enough, its quite simply too much spending. But beyond that, the width of the tax base is too small. The burden can't continue to fall on this small group of people.