Sunday, April 16, 2006

People Think The Tax System Is Unjust

It has to be true, its in the Seattle P.I.,
Most Americans still say tax system unjust


Copies of President Bush's and first lady Laura Bush's 2005 tax returns provided by the White House are shown in Washington Friday, April 14, 2006 . (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
WASHINGTON -- Taxes rise and fall from one administration to the next, but the unpopularity of the income tax system is constant. An Ipsos Poll finds that almost six of 10 people say the system is unfair, a percentage virtually unchanged from two decades ago.

The perception of unfairness is spread fairly evenly across income groups - though their reasons may differ. More than half of those who make less than $50,000 a year said it's unfair, and more than six in 10 of those who make more than $50,000 felt that way.

In fact, unhappiness with the tax system was spread fairly evenly across income groups, age groups and education levels.

A majority of people said the middle class, the self-employed and small businesses pay too much in taxes, the poll found. And they think those with high incomes and big businesses don't pay enough.

The survey was conducted in the days before the mid-April deadline for filing income tax returns.

Some complain the income tax burden remains unfairly placed on those with high incomes - saying the top 5 percent pay an inordinate share. And some grouse about the wealthy getting too many tax breaks.

When the government held hearings almost a year ago on how to make the tax code simpler and more fair, complaints ranged from overly complicated laws to inequitable tax breaks to undue influence of lobbyists.

Dissatisfaction remains high after numerous changes in tax law since the late 1980s.

The Reagan administration led a tax overhaul two decades ago that significantly lowered tax rates and eliminated or reduced several deductions. The first President Bush abandoned his "read my lips, no new taxes pledge" in a 1990 budget deal that raised taxes.

The Clinton administration won passage in 1993 of a deficit-reduction measure that blended tax increases, budget cuts and rebates for the working poor.

And the second Bush administration pushed successfully for tax cuts that lowered the top income tax rate to 35 percent and slashed tax rates for individuals and manufacturers.

More than half in the poll, 58 percent, said middle-income families pay too much income tax. People were almost as likely, 54 percent, to say that about low-income families.

Six in 10 said high-income families were paying too little in taxes. Two decades ago, almost eight in 10 said high-income families were paying too little.

The poll of 1,005 adults was conducted April 11-13 by Ipsos, an international polling firm, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Don't get me started... too late. The problem I have with this is the P.I. lack of setting the record straight. A two minute search on the internet points out that for the tax year 2003, the top 1% of income earners take in 16.77% of the total adjusted gross income but they pay 34.27% of income tax. The top 5% take in 31.18% but pay 54.36%, the top 25% take in 64.86% but pay 83.88%. The top 50% take in 86.01% but pay 96.54%. THE BOTTOM 50% PAY 3.46% OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX.

We are suppose to live in a system where all of the citizens are treated the same regardless of... race, nationality, gender and even income. The Constitution applies equally to all. Bill Gates gets one vote just like someone on welfare. I hear the argument that the rich should pay more because of all of the extra benefits they receive from the system. What extra benefit did Gates or Oprah get that is not available to all of us? They are top 1 percenters because they worked for it, not because our system choose them to be rich.

So who are these 54% of the people that say low income people pay too much tax? What would these people say if retail stores were setup so that you paid according to what you earned? The top 1% people pay $8 for a gallon of milk, the 2-5 percenters pay $6, the bottom 50% pay 25 cents. What would we call that? I would call it Un American.

We need to scrap the current system and go to a national sales tax. A national sales tax would let each person decide how much Federal tax they want to pay. A national tax discourages excess spending, while an income tax discourages, anyone? anyone? Income! Which is often created by productive work. How backwards is that? Our Federal tax system discourages productive work. The reason a national sales tax system will never happen? Anyone? Anyone? Tax lawyers and accountants give lots and lots of money to politicians.


Eric said...

Bravo! w00t!

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