What to Read on Taxes

Nine Things the Rich Don’t Want You to Know About Taxes — David Cay Johnston

  1. Poor Americans do pay taxes.
  2. The wealthiest Americans don’t carry the burden.
  3. In fact, the wealthy are paying less taxes.
  4. Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all.
  5. And (surprise!) since Reagan, only the wealthy have gained significant income.
  6. When it comes to corporations, the story is much the same — less taxes.
  7. Some corporate tax breaks destroy jobs.
  8. Republicans like taxes too.
  9. Other countries do it better.

Top Ten Tax Charts — Center on Budget and Priority Policies

  1. The United States is a low-tax country.
  2. Federal income taxes on average families are historically low.
  3. Corporate tax revenues are historically low.
  4. Effective tax rates on wealthiest people have fallen dramatically.
  5. Bush tax cuts heavily tilted to the top.
  6. Rise in debt could be halted over next decade by letting Bush tax cuts expire.
  7. Tax expenditures are substantial.
  8. Income gains at the top dwarfed those of low- and middle-income households.
  9. Top 1 percent’s share of total after-tax income has more than doubled over the past thirty years.
  10. Most of budget goes toward defense, Social Security, and major health programs.


The Socialist Speaks

by Norman Horowitz

In the early ’90s, I was forced by the management of MGM to make draconian cuts in our overhead. Management then wanted us to accelerate payments from our customers by offering them a discount. They went nuts when I told them that almost all of the people who could do that had been terminated.

At Columbia Pictures, I was asked to present an operating budget with a 15% contingent reduction. I sent it to them along with a reduction of our sales. They went nuts and told me they only wanted to reduce overhead, not sales.

Welcome to America, where our politicians believe that they can take out a red pencil and cut spending without a concomitant effect on our citizens.   Continue reading “The Socialist Speaks”

How to Lie with Statistics

What would you conclude if I showed you the following graph?

If you know how to read a scatterplot, you’d probably say that changes in the tax rate have no effect on the number of hours worked. If you follow economic policy debates, you might be surprised by this graph because it contradicts a very common belief: Europe is less productive than the U.S. because their taxes are higher.

But I didn’t show you the whole graph. Here’s how it really looks:   Continue reading “How to Lie with Statistics”

Quote of the Day: Maxine Udall

Here’s a new category of blog posts for you! It won’t be every day, but as I come across good quotes. This one is a few days old, but I couldn’t resist. — AWO

…we bequeath to our grandchildren a world in which they travel a network of gravel roads with barely a high school education, they live in cities and towns with failing sewers and water systems, and risk their and our great grandchildren’s lives crossing crumbling bridges and overpasses.

But their taxes will be low. I wonder if they’ll thank us?

— Maxine Udall (girl economist)