Linky for my Proggie friends

Get some fukin knowledge.

Obama’s going to unleash his plan to tax the rich. Expect to hear shit like this:

And surely the rich don’t need that 25 percent top rate in the way poor folks need programs like TANF and seniors need Medicare — about 90 percent of all American income gains since the 1970s have gone to the top 10 percent of earners.”

The rich are richer than they ever have been. And the poor are poorer, of course. It’s class warfare, baby. Except for those pesky facts.

When somebody says that that top 1 percent saw its income go up by X in the last decade, they are not really talking about what happened to actual households in the top 1 percent. Rather, they are talking about how much money one has to make to qualify for the top 1 percent. All that really means is that the 3 million highest-paid Americans in 2010 made more money than did the 3 million highest-paid Americans in 2000, the 100,000 highest-paid Americans this year made more money than did the 100,000 highest-paid Americans made in 2000, that the 50,000 highest-paid Americans made more money this year than did the 50,000 highest-paid Americans made in 2000, that the 1,000 highest-paid Americans this year made more money than did the 1,000 highest-paid Americans made in 2000, etc., which is not shocking. But, as the Treasury data show: They are not the same people.

Income mobility. Don’t trust me. Listen to the Treasury:

# Income mobility of individuals was considerable in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period with roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom quintile moving up to a higher income group within ten years.
# About 55 percent of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile within ten years.
# Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996 — the top 1/100 of one percent — only 25 percent remained in the group in 2005. Moreover, the median real income of these taxpayers declined over the study period.

The top 1% is not a fixed group. People are “rich” for a while, then they’re not so rich. People make $300,000 one year, and then $175,000, then perhaps they fall back to $120,000 or less.

Pesky facts.

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2 Comments on “Linky for my Proggie friends”

  1. Hotspur Says:

    You’re on it.


  2. […] time the discussion is framed by class warfare in the guise of taxation, the conversation should be turned back to spending.  It’s a […]


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