Taxing the rich more won’t solve our problems

November 24, 2015

by Nick Novak

This column was originally published by The Washington Times.

I’m sure many of you saw the clip from Neil Cavuto’s show the other week where the leader of the Million Student March, Keely Mullen, said we need to tax the top 1 percent of earners more. At one point, she even suggested taxing them at a rate of 90 percent.

This was, of course, because Ms. Mullen felt the government should provide free college, forgive all current student loan debt and mandate a $15 minimum wage for workers on college campuses.

While many people could laugh this idea off as the fringe on the left, I am not so quick to do so. The most recent Real Clear Politics average of polls for the national Democratic nomination for president has Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders getting 30 percent of the vote.

So, nearly one-third of Democrat voters believe the fix to our country’s problems is more free stuff that “the rich” will pay for. And I would bet that quite a few Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters agree with these ideals, too.

Voters just like Ms. Mullen believe that taxing the top 1 percent into submission will result in a world that is all sunshine in rainbows. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. They are dead wrong.

As Mr. Cavuto pointed out during the show, even if the government taxed the top 1 percent at a rate of 100 percent, we would not have enough money to pay for Medicare for three years.

Obviously, taxing a group of people at 100 percent would be ludicrous. No one would strive to make money in that top bracket because the extra work would not result in any additional income.

Besides, when we actually look at the numbers – yes, the real data – about our tax system, “the rich” are paying more than their fair share.

Thanks to a Tax Foundation report released Thursday, we know that the top 1 percent of earners in America paid a greater share of income taxes than the bottom 90 percent in 2013, the latest available figures.

To break that down in a different way, the top 1.3 million filers paid 37.8 percent of the income taxes in the country. The bottom 124.5 million filers – yes, an amount of people about 100 times bigger – paid just 30.2 percent of the income taxes in our country.

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