In the July 20-26 issue of the Business Times, Bloomberg News op-ed columnist Margaret Carlson is quoted saying that “the top 1 percent pay the lowest tax rate in 80 years.” She makes this remark in the context of suggesting that Republicans play their own role in class warfare.
Her remarks, like those of so many others, play fast and loose with candor. While top income earners do in fact pay lower tax rates, they also pay more of the tax burden than ever before. She and others ignore the reality that the Internal Revenue Code was once replete with deductions and loopholes that permitted the wealthy to greatly diminish their true tax obligation. The current state of the code has pretty much eliminated as deductions everything but mortgage interest and charitable donations.
I wasn’t always part of the top 5 percent (in fact, I spent most of my life well below that status), but I always aspired to it and worked hard to achieve it. Tax-and-spend liberals are doing everything they can to discourage that kind of aspiration, and they gore their own ox in the process. When the aspiration is gone, there won’t be anyone left to pay the giant share of the tax burden that is currently paid by the top 5 percent.
— Karl Willig,
President and CEO
Mission Linen Supply