President Obama is worried about the "fairness" of the federal tax code. He says he wants changes to make sure millionaires are taxed at a higher rate than their secretaries. I guess he doesn't know that they already are.
On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 % of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes, and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 % of their income in taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 %.
The latest IRS figures are from 2009 and are limited to federal income taxes; they show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 % of their income in federal income taxes. Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 % in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 %.
The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46% of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes at all this year, although they will pay other taxes.
If Obama wants to make the federal tax code "fair", he's barking up the wrong tree. As shown above through hard numbers, the "rich" already pay more than their "fair share". Obama needs to go after those 46 % of the people who pay not a dime in federal income tax. Wouldn't "fairness" require that everyone pay at least something?