I had not seen the figures before. I had only heard Faux News' claim (that twit Brit Hume was the chief culprit) that the super rich already "pay the most taxes." A Vanity Fair article, "Fairwell to All That" (Feb. 2009) shows just how irrelevant and misleading this statement is: the May, 2001 tax cut was "skewed heavily toward the affluent," and the figures and percentages tell the tale. Persons making $1 million a year paid an average of $53,000 in taxes, while persons making $20,000 a year saw their taxes cut by only $375. Do the math: the million-a-year taxpayer's bill totaled 5%; the $20K taxpayer, 18% (more than three times more). This is fundamentally unfair.
Ronald Reagan introduced the concept of a "trickle-down economy," which he and budget director David Stockman dubbed "supply side economics." It did not work then, and it isn't working now. (In fact, Stockman later quipped that he'd only been joking when he came up with the idea, and had no idea Ronnie Boy would actually put it into effect.) The super rich do not invest their gazillions in anything benefitting the poor and middle class (and that embraces most of us). Instead, they buy toys, like private jets, and invest their gargantuan discretionary monies in hedge funds and other things designed to do nothing but make them richer still. They do not NEED tax breaks.
Obama ran on a platform promising an end to crony cuts in taxes. As the Vanity Fair article pointed out, the loss of tax revenue based on the 13% difference between the two segments of the population resulted in a budget deficit of $400 billion by 2004. This was money that could have improved the infrastructure, funded "No Child Left Behind," and mortgage restructuring. In effect, Bush became a reverse Robin Hood, robbing the poor and middle class and lining the pockets of the filthy rich. Even the fabulously wealthy Warren Buffet said it was a total rip-off.
OBAMA! MAKE TAXES FAIR AND EQUAL!
Put tax reform at the top of your list of priorities and many of our economic problems will be solved. DO IT NOW!