More Tax Voodoo

Administration apologist Stephen Moore’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post last Wednesday trumpeted statistics that Reagan’s tax reforms doubled the share of income taxes paid by the top one percent during the 1980s. That claim was linked to a set of tables on the Tax Foundation’s web site. Note that the Tax Foundation, while advertising itself as non-partisan, is regularly referred to as a conservation and/or business-friendly organization.

Well … those Tax Foundation tables (https://taxfoundation.org/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2016-update/), derived from IRS data, not only put the lie to Moore’s claim (it took a full 15 years after the 1980s before the income tax paid by the top one percent doubled) but also uncovered his blatant out-of-context cherry-picking.  During the 25 years it took for the top one percent’s income tax share to double, the top one percent’s share of income itself went up two and a half times.

So, relative to actual income reported, the tax rates clearly must have declined for the top one percent, meeting the never-acknowledged but always-intended objective of Republican tax “reform” efforts, notwithstanding vehement protests by Senator Hatch.

By the way, what do those tables reveal for those of us in the bottom half?  Well, between 1980 and 2005 the share of income accruing to the bottom half dropped by 21%.  But this time we’re expected to fall for the idea that tax cuts for the wealthy (and I include Mitt Romney’s “corporations as people” among the wealthy) will boost middle class income?

Dream on.  In fact, this execrable piece of legislation might as well be re-christened as the “Dream On” Act.

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