Monday, January 22, 2007

"It's about time the top 1% paid their fair share"

Listening to NPR this evening I was stunned to hear freshman representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) pull out the long used line, "I think it is about time the top 1% paid their fair share."

When I got home, I thought I'd send her a note and discovered that her email address is not published. There is now a system for sending representatives email. It requires you to enter a valid address in her district.

If I'd been able to write her, I'd have pointed out the following, just to make sure she has an accurate view of reality.

The top 1% of taxpayers paid 37% of all personal income taxes in 2004 according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation website. They paid $365 billion.

That's a useful number, but let's put it in perspective. There about 111 million households in the US and in 2004 there where about 130 million tax returns. So, roughly That is about 1,300,000 tax returns. There are about 1.2 tax returns per household. So, 1.1 million households paid 37% of all personal income taxes.

That amounts to $278,000 per return or $330,000 per household.

Meanwhile the bottom 65 million paid $500 each.

What number does the Honorable Carol Shea-Porter think is fair?

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