Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tax Burdens and Progressivity

If you're like most people you've recently completed your tax returns, so this may be a good time to think about the tax structure, and how much "we" pay, wherever we are on the income and wealth scale.

Naturally, the Republicans, tools of the rich that they are, have been arguing for decades that we slash taxes in general and radically reduce the share paid by the rich. Meanwhile, of course, there share of the take generated by our economy, or, to put it another way, their share of the proceeds of our common efforts, has gone up and up and up. Sometimes some of their loonier ideas, like Steve Forbes's flat tax idea, has been taken up by some of the more credulous representatives of the Left, like Jerry Brown.

Here is a good essay on progressivity and why it's important. It also takes on some of the Right's favorite arguments.

Is the key problem facing our country that the rich are overburdened with taxes, while the rest of us are getting a free ride? To listen to some recent commentary, one might think so. The basis for these arguments, though, is profoundly dishonest. The system that we have is, if anything, doing too little to reduce the incredible imbalance in income distribution in this country


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