Monday, November 9, 2015

Because Dad was a bartender...

Imma focus my tax breaks on the biggest tippers!

Per Christian Post, which claims to have interviewed the guy, it's not actually for Jesus at all. He's an agnostic. Image via Komo News.
Senator Marco Rubio is fond of telling us how his experience of financial adversity makes him uniquely qualified to feel for the problems of ordinary Americans, though he doesn't mention that when he was having that iffy relationship with the Republican Party American Express card he was taking home a salary (apart from his not-generous pay as a part-time Florida legislator) of $300,000 from the Miami law and lobbying firm of Broad and Cassel.

Looking at his income tax proposals in the light of some data and analysis supplied by Jared Bernstein puts Rubio's claims to be helping out the poor in some pretty startling perspective, by focusing on the top 400 tax filers, that's with two zeros, or 0.0003% of US households, those with total earnings (according to the IRS) of $139,633,000 or more in 2012.

You should read Bernstein's piece (although he misses the fact that Rubio has apparently taken back his proposal to give the poorest a guaranteed income of $2000 for single filers or $4000 for joint returns and thus makes Rubio seem less stingy to the havenots than he actually is), but there's this one detail in the IRS data that really jumped out at me, the way the top 400's incomes divide up:
  • $335,694 million average total income
  • $32 million average salary/wage, or 7.5%
  • $20.2 million business income, or 0.8%
  • $84.1 million partnership and S-corp income, or 13.7% 
  • $14.7 million average interest income, or 4.4%
  • $54.3 million average dividends, or 16.2%
  • $191 million average sales of stocks and other capital assets, or 57%
(The percentages are for the totals, not the averages; and they don't add up due to rounding and no doubt general ineptness.)

But Rubio's plan, in addition to cutting the top marginal rate from 39.6% to 35%, eliminates taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains, and thus takes more than three quarters of the income of these unfathomably richest of the rich (most of it already taxed at absurd preferential rates) entirely off the table!

Making his proposal quite a bit more insanely pro-rich than Paul's or Cruz's (let alone the relatively moderate Bush and Trump), and that's saying something.

They never will learn, will they, that the original Tea Party wasn't a protest against tax hikes but a tax cut designed to lower consumer prices to benefit a too-big-to-fail tea monopoly. Those patriots were progressives! Image via SodaHead.

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