Graph of the Day: Tax Cuts

This is a great graph, via Ezra Klein – The Bush tax plan vs. the Obama tax plan in one chart:


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5 Responses to Graph of the Day: Tax Cuts

  1. Vic says:

    This chart is useless by itself to show anything except what you want to to show. You are either a really good lawyer for using it as your sole evidence, or a really bad one for thinking it’s meaningful.

    Look at the actual IRS data. For 2004 – the latest year we have from the IRS (can’t wait ’til they are in charge of health care):

    The bottom 50% of taxpayers (not individuals, but the people who paid taxes) paid 3.3% of the revenue collected. The bottom 90% paid 31.81%, the bottom 99% paid 63.11%. So the top 1% paid almost 37% of all taxes paid. is the top 1% all millionaires? No. They are people earning $265K and up (in a 2 income household of professionals, not at all outrageous). The halfway mark is at about the top 5% (the top 5% of earners paid over 54% of the taxes – and the top 5% is well into the single professional salary range) I wonder where you believe you are in the % of taxpayers, I suspect you think you are somewhere just above the middle, when in reality, I would be very surprised if you weren’t in the top 5%, and are likely even higher than that by 2-3%)

    The long and the short of it is that if you are going to give anyone “tax cuts” then it will quite naturally affect the upper end of the income scale disproprtionately because the upper end PAYS disproportionately. You can’t give tax cuts to people who don’t pay taxes, and you can’t have a viable revenue collection plan that gives more money back in “tax cuts” than is even being PAID by the individual. (Which is what, in fact, our government does)

    Hey, I’m all for lessening some of the tax cuts put in place by Kennedy, Regan, Clinton and Bush, but I also think that if you don’t earn enough to PAY taxes, you shouldn’t get money back as a “tax cut” and you should not get back more than you’ve paid. Raise the “you don’t pay taxes” line a little bit if necessary, but making the taxes paid even more incredibly disproportionate than it is now is economic slow death.

  2. michael says:

    The chart shows the following: the reason the GOP opposes the Obama tax plan is that it fails to continue the Bush policy of huge tax breaks to people earning very large amounts of money.

    I congratulate you on your discovery of our slightly progressive taxation system. It may interest you to know that it used to be a lot more progressive.

  3. Vic says:

    Apparently it also shows that you can fool the gullable by representing partial facts in graphical ways that only confirm what they want to believe.

    It’s one thing when some Humanities professor with an advanced case of physics-envy starts going off the rails with charts stated to prove what they don’t, but you’d think a Law professor, ideally trained in looking at evidence and thinking about logical connections and causes would be more cautious about just brain-babbling and pointing to pretty pictures as evidence.

    What the chart shows, and the ONLY thing the chart shows, is that under the Democratic plan the “rich” would be taxed even more than they are now. That’s ALL it shows. Everything else you think it shows is just your interpretation of what you WANT it to show.

    I agree that for a number of reasons, the richer citizens should shoulder a progressively larger tax burden. I think that is fair. HOWEVER, a fair tax system should be based on need, not entitlement.

    I won’t bother typing any further as you will simply take your ball and go home again, like you do every time anyone doesn’t affirm everything you say. I’m up for rational discussion if you don’t have a pressing engagement playing World of Warcraft or whatever in your basement.

  4. Just me says:


    sheesh…enough with the whole ad hominem attacks thing. You don’t like the chart, fine. We get it.

  5. michael says:

    I gather that the problem with the chart is that it is effective.

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