The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Norm Luther

Tax disparities aren’t fixed with flat tax

Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

A frequently quoted statistic by those trying to justify the huge disparity in U.S. wealth is that the top 10 percent pays 70 percent of federal income taxes. This is a classic example of a true but meaningless statistic because this situation can happen with all sorts of income and tax rate scenarios. These include some with huge income disparities—and also with flat tax rates that are currently popular with Republican presidential candidates.

As a simple hypothetical example, this statistic would be true of any population in which 10 percent each earn $700,000, the remaining 90 percent each earn $33,333.33, and there is a flat income tax rate of 10 percent; then after t...

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