“Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires,” repeatedly proclaims President Obama, arguing for his proposed $1.5 trillion tax increase over the next 10 years. “That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.” In fact, Mr. Obama’s statement is anything but straightforward and not hard to argue against.
Seeking to reverse his declining poll numbers, especially among his increasingly disillusioned base, Obama is attempting to give the impression that America’s millionaires and billionaires are paying lower taxes than their secretaries.
IRS data for 2008, however, the latest year for which the numbers are available, show that those who earned more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid an average federal income tax rate of 23.3 percent.
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Professor Ralph R. Reiland (photo)