My Fair Share


Taxpayers with incomes in the top 10 percent of adjusted gross incomes pay about 70 percent of all federal taxes. My income falls in that range, so some people might buy the argument that I pay more than my fair share of taxes, but that’s not true. I pay almost exactly my fair share. My total federal tax bill (income tax, FICA, etc.) as a percentage of my gross income comes to just a bit more that than total federal spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product. I’m just covering my share.

If I’m in the top 10 percent and just barely covering my share, what does that say about the long-term stability of a system where 90 percent of all taxpayers are receiving government services at a discount—and a substantial portion are getting a free ride?

But a larger long-term problem may stem from the fact that the top 1 percent pay around 39 percent of all federal taxes. Given their options to move their wealth around the world, what are they getting from the system that appears to take so much from them? Harvey Weinstein’s fundraising is not even the tip of the iceberg.

8 thoughts on “My Fair Share

  1. We have the most “progressive” rather than “regressive” system on Earth. If we ditched the refundable credits like Earned Income Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit which are just welfare shoved through the Tax backdoor, things would even out. The need to audit would go down since those three credits get abused so much.

    If everybody had just a slightly expanded by a couple lines 1040EZ as the only form to file, our economy would save quite a bit of money. Some companies might go under but that would be inevitable. We can’t keep the current system stumbling forward.

  2. When you’re calculating your share, are you including those taxes paid by corporations (which you and other customers are indirectly paying), or just your direct payments?

  3. Not sure the comparison to federal spending as a percentage of GDP is a good one though. Whole swaths of federal funding is totally wasted such that we’re paying for someone else’s graft. And I’m not talking about things where other people benefit and there’s an arguable benefit to society as a whole (we can debate welfare another time) nor am I talking about the “waste, fraud and abuse” cliché. Straight up, appropriated programs that just are useless. The NIH still has an what amounts to an alternative medicine division (Originally named “Office of Alternative Medicine, then “National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine” Now “National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health” I guess people are more or less forced to forget though name changes.)

    Might as well flush the money for this (around $1.5 billion give or take over the last 15ish) and flush it down the toilet.

    While it’s not that much per capita, it’s something that gives exactly 0 benefit except to the people getting their salaries paid. I’m sure there’s a lot more of it in government.

  4. “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

    — Ronald Reagan

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