Tags: norquist | buffett | rule | tax

Norquist: Taxing the Rich Will Affect Middle Class

Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012 10:01 AM

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History shows that taxes aimed at the rich inevitably end up hitting the middle class. Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal cites case-after-case where taxes designed for the wealthy expanded to just about everyone.

“The Alternative Minimum Tax was imposed in 1969 because 115 households investing in municipal bonds reportedly paid little or no federal income tax,” he wrote. “This tax on the rich who were paying what the president and others call a ‘fair share’ now affects four million households. On Jan. 1, 2013, it is set to hit 27 million more — raising an estimated $120 billion, according to the Obama 2013 budget. In 40 years, a tax on 115 households will have grown to threaten 31 million.

“The personal income tax, brought courtesy of the 16th Amendment, also promised to be a tax on the wealthiest Americans. It began in 1913 with a top rate of seven percent and hit only those with a taxable income of $500,000 or more. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, that would be $11.5 million now.) Today, roughly half of American families pay the personal income tax.”

Norquist notes that “trickle-down taxation” is also at play in the states.
“Maine imposed an income tax in 1969, and the tax that once only hit folks earning more than $308,000 in today's dollars now hits Mainers with a rate of 8.5 percent and kicks in at $19,950. Almost everyone in Maine is now ‘rich.’"

However, when voters are asked about such schemes, the result is different. Washington state voters were asked in 2010 if they wanted to create an income tax for those making more than $200,000. The verdict on the measure similar to one being pushed nationally by President Barack Obama was a resounding no. It was defeated 64 percent to 35 percent.

“One other reason voters of all incomes may keep a firm grasp on their wallets is that Mr. Obama's proposed budget for the next decade calls for spending all money raised on his planned tax increases on the rich,”
Norquist wrote. “Yet despite higher taxes on ‘them,’ it never, ever gets to balance. The president's budget increases the national debt by $6.7 trillion in a mere 10 years. So to actually balance the budget, Mr. Obama will be looking for $6.7 trillion (to start) to come out of the hide of . . . guess who.
“It appears that American taxpayers have noticed this pattern of trickle-down taxation. Such tactics have a shelf life.”

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