Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why John Edwards Two Americas is Dumb

I do agree that inequality is a problem. But the facts have to be kept straight. A quote I just saw in Time magazine from John Edwards Two Americas speech highlights why he's dumb. Edwards: "One America does the work while another Ameirca reaps the reward... One America pays the taxes while another America gets the tax breaks."

Both of these are just diametrically wrong. The bottom quintile pays only 5% of their income in taxes (or 1.1% of total tax receipts), while the top quintile pays 27% of their income (2/3 of total tax receipts).

Those in the bottom quintile account for only 4% of total hours worked (say maybe 10 hours a week). Those in the top quintile account for 1/3 of total hours worked (at say 60 hours per week).

Inequality does suck, but it is the top quintile paying the taxes, and it is the top quintile doing all the work.


James said...

How is the top quintile doing all the work? It's doing only 33% of the work. (Okay, so that's clearly more than its proportionate share of work, but it doesn't rule out that one of the other quintiles is doing even more.)

It sounds like the middle is doing most of the work, and the middle--or at least the upper-part of the middle--gets screwed by the AMT.

And why are you talking about quintiles? Are you saying there are five Americas?

HoBs said...

well in terms of hours of work per person, the top quintile does the most by far, while the bottom quintile does the least. The middle quintiles are about average (about 35-40 hours per week).

And despite ridiculous rhetoric from the Democrates, it is not the "poor" middle class being hit by AMT. The top quintile starts at around $90,000 per year. The AMT does not kick in until $150,000. Closer to the top decile of Americans.

Back in 2000 and 2004, according to Al Gore and John Kerry, $150,000 made you rich, and we should increase taxes on those groups. Now, the first thing in 2006 congressional democrats wanted to do was a tax cut for the rich that voted for them.

Bah I say!