As you’re probably aware, Republicans commonly make the case for their tax cut plan by arguing it is simply wrong that people should give more than a third of their income to the federal government. They point to the highest tax rate of 39.5% and say that even for the very, very wealthy paying more than a third is simply wrong.
Now as a matter of fiscal policy and morality that may or may not be the case.
But critics of this dishonest argument know that very, very few people ever pay more than a third of their income to the federal government — even including the extremely wealthy, and even including those who fall in that highest bracket.
And as luck would have it today we get a splendidly apt demonstration of this fact.
Today we find that George W. Bush and Laura Bush had a combined, adjusted gross income of $894,880. On this they paid the federal government $240,342.
Now Talking Points twice got Ds in high school math classes (long story!). But doesn’t this mean president Bush paid significantly less than a third of his income to the federal government even though he’s in the stratospheric zone of the income scale and even under the presumably confiscatory Clinton tax code?
Is anyone else noting this rather obvious point.
P.S. The Cheneys do seem to have paid more than a third of their incomes in taxes — this on roughly $36 million they cleared last year by cashing in stocks and stock options from his old employer. So, okay, mega-plutocrats do occasionally pay more than a third when they cash in all their stocks.