Emily Miller's "Simple Fact" About Tax Rates For Wealthy Isn't So Simple
Research ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON
In an October 13 column, Washington Times opinion editor Emily Miller claimed that "the simple fact is the middle class isn't paying higher tax rates than the wealthy." But a recent Congressional Research Service analysis found that "[a]bout 25 percent of millionaires in the U.S. pay federal taxes at lower effective rates than a significant portion of middle-income taxpayers."
Miller: "The Simple Fact Is The Middle Class Isn't Paying Higher Tax Rates Than The Wealthy"
Miller: "The Simple Fact Is The Middle Class Isn't Paying Higher Tax Rates Than The Wealthy." From Miller's October 13 Washington Times column:
The Oracle of Omaha [Warren Buffett] claimed he earned $62.9 million in 2010 but paid taxes on his adjusted gross income of $39.8 million. As Mr. Huelskamp points out, "Mr. Buffett shelters $30 million, it seems, by giving it away to charitable organizations rather than give it to Barack Obama. He shows with these actions that he doesn't trust Washington with his money." Mr. Buffett also wrote that his secretary, who makes $60,000 a year, pays over 30 percent of her income in taxes. The Internal Revenue Service reports the average tax rate for someone making that amount is 11.6 percent. Even adding on payroll taxes, she isn't paying anywhere near 30 percent.
The simple fact is the middle class isn't paying higher tax rates than the wealthy. The billionaire and his favorite community organizer are simply looking to stir up the base so they will turn out in force for the next election. It's a shame Mr. Obama's focus for the next year is campaigning for his own job instead of helping the 9.1 percent unemployed find useful work in the private sector. [The Washington Times, 10/13/11, emphasis added]
But CRS Study Found That "About 25 Percent Of Millionaires" Pay Taxes At Lower Effective Rates Than "A Significant Portion Of Middle-Income Taxpayers"
CRS: "About 25 Percent Of Millionaires In The U.S. Pay Federal Taxes At Lower Effective Rates Than A Significant Portion Of Middle-Income Taxpayers." An October 12 Bloomberg article on the recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, "Analysis of the Buffet Rule," noted:
About 25 percent of millionaires in the U.S. pay federal taxes at lower effective rates than a significant portion of middle-income taxpayers, according to a legislative analysis.
Preferential treatment of investment income and the reduced impact of payroll taxes on high earners lets about 94,500 millionaires pay taxes at a lower rate than 10.4 million "moderate-income taxpayers," representing about 10 percent of those making less than $100,000 a year, according to the report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service dated Oct. 7.
The findings put the U.S. tax system in conflict with the so-called Buffett Rule, which says households making more than $1 million annually shouldn't pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle class families, says the report, which analyzed 2006 Internal Revenue Service data. [Bloomberg, 10/12/11; CRS, 10/7/11]