Dear Senator Hatch, Most of Us Would Love to Be in the Top Income Tax Bracket

So GOP Senator Orrin Hatch has decided to embrace his inner douchebag:

"I hear how they're so caring for the poor and so forth," Hatch said in remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, in reference to Democrats. "The poor need jobs! And they also need to share some of the responsibility."

...But it was Hatch whose remarks Wednesday raised the idea that the wealthy are already doing too much, even as the nation's effective tax rates are at modern lows since the Bush administration slashed rates in 2001 and 2003. In his view, it seems, the middle class and poor should be picking up the slack.

"The top 1 percent of the so-called wealthy pay 38 percent of all income tax. The top 10 percent are paying 70 percent of all income tax," Hatch said. "The top 50 percent pay somewhere near 98 percent of all income taxes. 51 percent don't pay anything," Hatch said, suggesting the payroll taxes that the poor and middle classes pay towards Social Security yields them an especially generous benefit.

We've been through this before: as a percentage of income, families that earn $50,000-$75,000 pay more federal tax as a percentage of income than the wealthiest 400 taxpayers.

Yes, it's due to the payroll tax--which also covers the one third of Social Security payouts that go to widows, orphans, and the disabled. Not everyone gets a return of that one third of Social Security (obviously). And not everyone lives long enough to collect Social Security and Medicare either, but we don't return the tax the 'early deceased' have paid to their inheritors.

But beyond that, I'm sure most Americans would love to be in a higher tax bracket and pay more income tax--pity the poor household that 'only' earns $250,000 or $450,000 per year.

It's like the Republicans want to be cartoon villains.

I chalk it up to degenerate suburban culture [/snark].

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Hatch: "The poor need jobs! And they also need to share some of the responsibility."

Like the poor are responsible for the mess we're in, right? {sigh}

Of course they're responsible, Min! If they were good, red-blooded Americans, they'd be rich! Instead, they're lazy, evil, leeches. And that's why they're poor. Because they're evil. Like communism.

By Surgoshan (not verified) on 09 Jul 2011 #permalink

And that dirty barefoot hippie leader of theirs, this Jesus H. Christ we all keep hearing about. He's always encouraging them to stay poor - promising them they're first in line for Heaven yet - and condemning the wealthy just for being who they are. If the GOP could just free people from the control of that dirty fucking hippie. Maybe then the poor would want to stop being so damn poor and start paying their fair share!

By ManOutOfTime (not verified) on 09 Jul 2011 #permalink

How can the top 50% pay 98% of taxes and the bottom 51% pay nothing.
Is there 1% of the taxpayers who pay and also pay nothing simultaneously?

By Ashley Moore (not verified) on 10 Jul 2011 #permalink

"The top 1 percent of the so-called wealthy pay 38 percent of all income tax. The top 10 percent are paying 70 percent of all income tax,"

Those "so-called wealthy" pay that much tax because, well, they're wealthy. If they own more than 38% of the wealth, these wealthy are paying less tax than their fair share.

In a capitalist system, the more money you have, the more you are represented, therefore the more you get for being in a capitalist system (as opposed, say, to a communist one).