Fair Taxes and Income

One of the things my Dad reminds me on a regular basis is that one should not think so much about how much they are paying in taxes as listed in this contact form but how much they have left after taxes. Related to that he reminds me that the affairs of government (not a reference to Bill and Monica :-)) have to be paid for some how.

This morning I found this post in the right wing Granite Grok blog. It shows what percentage of the total Federal tax bill is paid by various levels of income earners. The top 10% of income earners (about $109k/year) pay over 70% of the income tax revenue. The top 1% pay almost 40% all by themselves. Is that fair? Honestly, maybe it is. Especially if you think about what people have left after paying their taxes.

The thing that struck me the most is how low the levels are for the top 5, 10, and 25%. Most teachers, who I tend to think of as underpaid, are at least in the top half with a few making the top 25% in some parts of the country. At the top end, Phillips Andover thinks of families making as much as $300,000 as middle class and offers some financial aid for them. I don’t think of people making $100,000 to $150,000 as rich. Well off, sure, but still middle class. And yet those people are in the top 5-10% of income earners? I didn’t expect that.

But it makes me wonder, how are the people in the bottom half making it?

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