culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Ultra-rich people, hurry up and die. Because your fat asses deserve to be taxed right out of existence (
The nation's top 400 taxpayers reported a total of $85.6 billion of income on their federal income-tax returns for 2005 -- an average of $213.9 million apiece, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Just to make the cutoff to join this exclusive club, you had to report income of at least $100.3 million, up sharply from $74.5 million the previous year. The average income among the top 400 in 2004 was $172.8 million.
Indeed, the top 400 taxpayers have greatly increased their share of individuals' income since the mid-1990s. The group accounted for 1.15% of total income in 2005, up from 1.02% the prior year -- and more than twice as large as its 0.49% share a decade earlier. It's the highest percentage since the early 1990s, which is as far back as the IRS data go. [...]

The average federal income-tax rate for the group was 18.23%. That's up from 18.16% the prior year, but lower than in any other year since 1992 -- and well below the average income-tax rate of nearly 30% back in 1995, when Bill Clinton was in the White House. [...]

Under current law, the basic federal estate-tax exemption, now $2 million, will soar to $3.5 million next year. In 2010, the tax is scheduled to disappear entirely -- but only for that one year. President Bush has long called for total elimination of what its opponents call the "death tax." But those efforts have fizzled in Congress. A likely compromise might include making the exclusion somewhere around $3.5 million to $5 million and cutting the top estate-tax rate, which is currently 45%.

The IRS numbers might also prompt calls for higher taxes of some kind on the super-rich, such as possibly a higher capital-gains tax rate for those making megamillions a year.
That $213.9 million apiece is for their annual income, not their overall net worth. Their "salary and wages" account for only 8.6 percent of their annual haul — the rest is dividends and capital gains and such, which are taxed at much lower rates than your paltry salary or your tiny wages.

So the ultra-rich are pulling in more than twice the money they used to, while paying two-thirds of the taxes they were under Clinton. Meanwhile, we borrow zillions from China to give tax stimulus checks to every American, whether they borrowed from a crooked subprime-pushing bank or not. It all makes perfect sense. In hell.

At least these rich people have only until 2010 to die tax-free. As I've predicted before, my guess is that 2010 is the year George H. W. Bush will die, because Junior wants his daddy's Saudi-CIA allowance untainted by something as working-class as taxes.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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