Representation Without Taxation
by Barry Weintraub
The Boston Tea Party, at it’s core, was a protest against taxation without representation. As bothersome as paying taxes has always been, the idea that a government could take your hard-earned income and deny you a say about how it is spent is even more unjust.
Worse still, is to see those who pay proportionately so much less than you do, have the loudest voice in governing. I call that “representation without taxation” and that is the situation America’s wealthiest wage earners find themselves in today.
A chart published this week by Stephen Von Worley at Data Pointed, featuring IRS tax data from 1913 through 2011 as provided by the IRS, shows in amazingly graphic fashion how the tax burden on the wealthiest Americans is lower today than at any other time since 1913.
[There’s] a line for every year from 1913 onward, sized and colored by the tax burden: the amount of tax due relative to the long-term average at each income level. Above-average burdens appear thick and red and below-average thin and blue. We adjusted everything for inflation to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, with the caveat that the effects of Social Security, Medicare, and other taxes are not included. The underlying data comes from The Tax Foundation, IRS, and Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is the same information we used in last year’s bracket graph, updated for 2011.
Even more alarming is to see in colorful detail how those in the middle of the spectrum, earning roughly $70K to $200K, pay more now than ever and carry the load for their much wealthier brethren in the top ten percent.
With the highest tax bracket terminating at $379,150, there is a vast disconnect between the simply well-to-do in the USA and the massively wealthy.
How is it fair for someone making $379K to pay the same percentage of their income as someone pulling in $10 million or more a year? And with our annual deficits far in excess of $1 trillion and a long term debt of nearly $13 trillion, isn’t it time we started to right the wrongs that have been foisted on us all by the false claims of the tax-cutting crusaders? These folks have codified the lowest tax rates for the wealthiest while simultaneously claiming to be oppressed by those very same historically low rates.
The tax code needs to be more fair. The rates need to be eased on wage earners in the middle and raised progressively on those at the very top — the people who use their great wealth to buy access inside Washington which completely influences the tax code.
Most striking when viewing the telling IRS tax graphic is how the period in American history of highest taxation for the rich coincides with the greatest growth, innovation and prosperity we have ever known. It’s only since we began slashing the highest rates for the increasingly small number of super rich that we have witnessed the decline of the American way of life.
Hard-working teachers forking over 25% to 28% of their annual wages to the Federal government are not the people bankrupting this country. Instead, the problem is greedy multimillionaires who point the finger at teachers and other hard-working people. This elite club ironically uses its wealth to buy the loudest voice in politics, purchasing access with all the excess cash they have saved as a result of the massive tax cuts that have benefited only them for the past 30 years. It is time to make the tax code more fair, provide relief to hard-working middle-income wage earners, and put an end to the American system of representation without taxation for the wealthiest of us all.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 Liberaland