At the DNC there was a lot of talk about “Everyone has to pay their fair share.” That seems to be at introduction into a philosophical discussion about what a particular group should pay. What is everyone’s “fair share?”
In Tax Year 2009:
Top 1% paid 36.73% of the total tax bill;
Top 5% paid 58.66%;
Top 10% paid 70.47%;
Top 25% paid 87.30%;
Top 50% paid 97.75%;
Bottom 50% paid 2.25%.
Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service
We live in a country where the top 5% of earners pay over 1/2 of the bill. How much more should we, as a people, ask them to pay? What are the appropriate numbers for this summary? If you asked a progressive, or a liberal, what percentage of the tab should the top 1% pay? How about the top 25%?
And if we’re going to have a philosophical discussion about who pays what, should we not consider the role of payment of taxes plays in simply being a good citizen? Can you be a good citizen, and feel a connection to your country, when you pay nothing? Do free rider’s feel like they are part of the greater community at large?
When Obama says that everyone has to pay their fair share does he mean that anyone’s fair share is zero?