About Obama's tax cuts


Moveon.org is encouraging folks to pass on this chart:


They saw it in the Washington Monthly and think it's a good way to show that Obama's plan to roll back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans from 35 to 39.6 percent will still leave them ahead of what they paid under Reagan, Nixon and Eisenhower.

So feel free to share and use in that tax argument you just know are going to have with your wealthy Uncle Stan.



Is there a difference between "what they paid" back in the 1950's and the highest marginal tax rate from back in the 1950's?

Yes. A sizeable one.

The writer appears to not be aware of this...

Posted by Jim on Mar. 13, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

Oh yes, there's a sizable difference. That's because the very rich were a lot less rich back then than they are today. The gap between the top earners and the working class was relatively modest, and thus the number of people actually paying the top marginal rate was comparatively low. (Remember, the "marginal" rate means not all of your income was taxed at 90 percent under Ike; just that portion of your income that went over, say, $100,000 a year (the equivalent of close to a million dollars a year today.)

There's a reason there was far less wealth disparity in this country 50 years ago, and that chart shows exactly what it was. (Oh, and there was also money to build the interstate highway system, and great universities, and to launch Johnson's War on Poverty and Great Cities programs, and send a man to the moon and all sorts of other great stuff than only a well-financed public sector can do.

Posted by tim redmond on Mar. 13, 2009 @ 2:21 pm