President Obama just announced at a press conference that he has directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to demand the resignation of the Acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller. CNN then obtained Miller's resignation letter...
- Wall Street Journal Blog Uses Tax Foundation's Data on Income ...
Wall Street Journal Blog Uses Tax Foundation's Data on Income Tax Progressivity
By Robert Frank
Mitt Romney has a new PR problem: his tax rate.
According press reports, Romney said his tax rate is "probably closer to 15% than anything else." The admission immediately lit up the left-leaning blogosphere and drew comparisons to Warren Buffett, who famously complained that his 17% effective tax rate is less than his secretary's.
Romney will no doubt quickly become exhibit A in the argument that the rich don't pay their fair share.
The White House quickly commented said that "everybody who's working hard ought to pay their fair share. That includes millionaires who might be paying an effective tax rate of 15 percent when folks making $50,000 or $75,000 or $100,000 a year are paying much more."
We don't know how much Romney earned, of course. But his example and the arguments of Warren Buffett don't reflect the nation's true income-tax structure. In point of fact, the 1% as a group pays a higher effective income-tax rate than the rest of the population.
According to the Tax Foundation, the top 1% of taxpayers had an effective tax rate of 24.01% in 2009, the latest year available. The top 0.1% (those making $1.4 million or more) paid a rate of 24.28%. The rate falls as you move down the income ladder. The top 5% paid a rate of 20.46%. The top 10% paid 18.71%. Those in the 20% to 50% groups had a rate of 5.58% and the bottom 50% had a tax rate of 1.85%.
In other words, the more you earn, the higher your tax rate - on the whole.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office took a swipe at a grass-roots citizens’ group over a report claiming people are leaving Maryland for Virginia, beginning a fight in cyberspace between the governor, the citizens’ group and an established...