Well, it's time to put a stop to the whining about income inequality and those big huge tax breaks the evil rich have received from George Bush. The Treasury Department is about to release the numbers for 2004, and as usual the highest achievers are taking it on the chin.
The Democrats, with no small amount of help from Republicans, are making headway on their goal of shifting the entire federal tax burden in this country onto a minority of income earners. In 2004 the bottom one-half of income earners paid only 3.3% of all federal income taxes. That's down from the Clinton years. In fact, that's the lowest share paid by the bottom half ever.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the majority of American families with incomes less than $40,000 pay no income taxes at all! When you factor in the welfare program known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, many of these families are coming close to getting a completely free ride!
OK ... but what about the evil rich?
In 2004 the top 1% of all income earners earned about 19% of all income. So ... the rich really are benefiting from Bush's tax policies, aren't they? Just 1% earning 19% of all income? Sorry to burst your bubble, but that figure was higher in the Clinton years. During the time Clinton was in office this figure went from 13.8% to nearly 21%. Funny how you didn't read a lot of newspaper stories during the Clinton years about growing income inequality, isn't it? Now, under bush, the share of total income earned by the wicked rich has fallen!
But what about the income taxes! Surely George Bush has all but wiped out income taxes for the nasty rich, hasn't he?
In 2004 the top 1% of income earners -- that crowd that earned 19% of all income -- paid 36.9% of all income taxes. The top 5% of income earners paid a whopping 57.1% of all income taxes. That's an increase under Bush. So much for "tax cuts for the rich."
OK .. well how about the super-rich? What about the top one-tenth of one percent of income earners? Lordy, I don't even know how much you have to earn to be in this crowd. From 2002 to 2004, with the hated Bush tax cuts firmly in place, the top 0.1% of income earners saw their share of total income taxes paid go from 15.4% to 17.4%. That's up a full 2% for those of you who went to government schools.
OK ... that's income taxes. But what about capital gains taxes and taxes on dividends? Bush cut those taxes too, didn't he? That's where the rich are making out like bandits, right? Well ... glad you asked. Since Bush's tax cuts the Imperial Federal Government has seen an increase of 79% in capital gains taxes, and 35% for taxes on dividends.
Just remember these figures the next time you see some Democrat whining about income inequality and the need to redistribute income. It looks like we're doing quite a bit of redistribution as it is.