Letter to the editor: Capitalism & taxes
Capitalism & taxes
Letter-writer Joel I. Last (“Fairness in taxation,” May 2, TribLIVE) argues for “a more capitalistic view of fairness in taxation.” His suggested mechanism is to “calculate the amount of taxes needed and divide by the number of taxpayers, and tax everyone the same regardless of income.” Let’s see how that plays out.
According to the Tax Foundation (taxfoundation.org), in 2015, there were 141,204,625 taxpayers who paid $1.454 trillion in personal taxes. Average taxes paid were $10,299. The top 1% of taxpayers had an average income of $1,412,046 in 2015. An average tax payment of $10,299 approaches “chump change” for someone (or household) making $1.4 million per year.
At the other end of the income spectrum, we have a minimum-wage worker making $14,500 a year. Deduct $10,299 in federal income taxes and other taxes, and our minimum wage worker (absent the Earned Income Credit), brings home $220 a month!
I don’t consider Last’s proposal as equitable or fair. It’s capitalism in the most draconian sense. I would not worry about high-income taxpayers. They have a well-developed sense of self-preservation and the means of accumulating wealth (unrelated to income) that the rest of us can only dream about.