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The Truth about Taxes
04-11-2004, 03:36 PM
Post: #1
The Truth about Taxes

Wasn't sure where to put this, so I'll just pop it in here.

While you're watching the political commercials and listening to the politicians spin their web around unsuspecting and misinformed people...here's a "Reality" lesson in economics from David R. Kamerschen,Ph.D, Distinguished Professor of Economics, 536 Brooks Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. (<http://www.uga.edu/>)

Top 1% earn 21% of all income; pay 37-1/2% of all taxes
Top 5% earn 35% of all income; pay 56-1/2% of all taxes
Top10% earn 46% of all income; pay 67% of all taxes
Top 25% pay 84% of all taxes
Top 50% pay 96-1/2% of all taxes
Bottom 50% pay 3-1/2% of all taxes

Just in case you are not completely clear on this issue, we hope the following will help.

Tax Cuts - A Simple Lesson In Economics

This is how the cookie crumbles. Please read it carefully.

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten people go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four people (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh $7. The eighth $12. The ninth $18.

The tenth person (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten people ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."



So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So, the first four people were unaffected. They would still eat for free.

But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?

The six people realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth person and the sixth person would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal.


So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each person's bill by roughly the same way taxes were reduced, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth person, like the first four, now paid nothing (100%savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).


Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the people began to compare their savings.


"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth person. He pointed to the tenth person "but he got $10!"


"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth person who now was eating free. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh person. "Why should he get $10

back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four people in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine people surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth person didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they

discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our

tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.

(Taken from an e-mail from a US national)

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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04-11-2004, 04:09 PM
Post: #2
The Truth about Taxes
That's very good, even I understood it! and it makes a good point.
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04-11-2004, 04:41 PM
Post: #3
The Truth about Taxes
Except the guys paying more tax claimed their lunch as business expenses!
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04-11-2004, 04:58 PM
Post: #4
The Truth about Taxes
Hi Grouch,
Groucho Wrote:Top 1% earn 21% of all income; pay 37-1/2% of all taxes
Top 5% earn 35% of all income; pay 56-1/2% of all taxes
Top10% earn 46% of all income; pay 67% of all taxes
Top 25% pay 84% of all taxes
Top 50% pay 96-1/2% of all taxes
Bottom 50% pay 3-1/2% of all taxes
These figures look like nonsense to me. Presumably they're UK not USA? Are they figures per person, or per household? Does the "Bottom 50%" include the wives (or husbands Wink ) and children of millionaires? Does "all taxes" really mean all taxes, or just all direct taxes?

The restaurant analogy is somewhat misleading too. Of the ten people at the meal most are paying close to the limit of what they can afford. Any refund they get makes a significant improvement to their quality of life. The richest individual pays the most tax, but unlike most of the other diners he also ends up with loads of money for holidays, cars and high living. The effect of the $10 saving to him is minor in proportion to the effect of the $1 dollar saving on the little guy.

But I take your point about the danger of scaring the rich off completely.

Mick Smile
No fear, no hate, no pain, no broken hearts

For topical debate and vitriolic mudslinging DON'T visit: http://www.greatworlddebate.com cos it's a dead link.

INSTEAD visit http://greatworlddebate.net/gwdsmf/index.php
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04-11-2004, 05:10 PM
Post: #5
The Truth about Taxes
I'm not an expert on the US tax system Mick, but I presume that these numbers only apply to tax payers and I would also presume that they refer to direct taxes.

I'd guess in terms of indirect taxes, the top earners pay an even higher proportion.

The point of the story, imho, is not in the detail, but in the fact that if you squeeze the rich too much, everyone ends up poorer.

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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