Friday, September 21, 2012

"Fair Share": Are We There Yet?

    On Thursday, Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reported that Charlie Rangel made some Twitternews:
New York Rep. Charles Rangel, censured by the House for ethics violations over squirrely financial dealings like failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets and failing to pay income taxes, today called President Obama's goal of killing some Bush tax cuts "paying your fair share!"
Here's the tweet:

    While I am not a good judge of ear perkiness, I do recognize a liberal cliche when I see one.  "Paying your fair share" has probably been around as long as the income tax itself, which incidentally turned 99 this year. (I wonder if the Democrats are planning a 100 year anniversary celebration for the 16th Amendment in 2013?)  Since virtually every discussion of taxes involves some iteration of the rich-paying-their-fair-share canard, I've produced a handy graph summarizing the results of a quick research project looking into how often according to Democrats the rich have actually had to pay their fair share since the advent of the income tax.  Here are my findings:

Note: There were two years, 1944 and 1945, when the top marginal tax rate was 94% and the rich almost paid their fair share, but when 1946 arrived and it was discovered the rich still had some money left, those two years were moved back into the first column again.

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