There has been considerable discussion about the corporate tax system in the U.S. and the IRS’s global reach in the media over the past year. The rash of corporate inversions was the catalyst for the public discussion of...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- "South Park" and Millionaires: The Top 0.17%
"South Park" and Millionaires: The Top 0.17%
Comedy Central's controversial series "South Park" aired an episode last night appropriately titled "1%." As one expected from the press release, it was about class warfare and the various 99%/Occupy [insert place name here] movements around the world.
Via a circuitous (yet not unrealistic) route, the episode illustrates how the 99% movement could theoretically fail and embeds-knowingly or unknowingly-an absolute gem of a tax statistic on the way.
All of South Park Elementary (less Eric Cartman, who is the 1%) forms a 99% movement to change policy. But eventually the fifth graders decide to break from the 99% and form their own 83% movement. This leaves the fourth graders (the main class of "South Park") as the 17%. But one character points out that since this 17% must still be mad at its top 1%, it now must focus its outrage on the top 0.17%.
According to the IRS, this is the exact percentage of 2009 taxpayers who made over $1 million.
Only the writers know whether mentioning the percentage of millionaires was pure coincidence, but it's worth noting that the father of Matt Stone-one of the show's creators-is an economist.
WARNING: The episode described above contains adult language and extremely politically incorrect content. It is intended for mature audiences only.
Follow David S. Logan on Twitter @Loganomix
Subscribe to the Tax Foundation Newsletter
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.