Re: OWS Protester Wants College Paid for Because That Is What He Wants

by Charles C. W. Cooke

I have had a couple of e-mails pointing out — with varying levels of politeness — that, in my video, I tell the protester that the top one percent of taxpayers pay “40 percent of the taxes.” In actual fact, the top one percent pays 40 percent of the income taxes. This is a fair correction. It wasn’t intended to be misleading, but I’m happy to clarify. But, while we’re at it, let’s take a closer look at the iniquities of this evil, regressive nation, which has allegedly been “lost” since the Reagan administration; particularly the frequent OWS claim that the “rich” either pay no taxes, or that they don’t pay their “fair share.”

In 1987, the bottom 95 percent of American taxpayers paid 58 percent of federal income taxes. In 2007, they paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden — less, in fact, than the 1 percent paid. In other words, in 2007 1.4 million people paid more taxes than 134 million taxpayers. (And over half of all households paid no federal income taxes at all.) The OWS crowd would like us to believe that the country has careered away from some golden age of equality (often cited as pre–1913, before the Federal Reserve System was implemented) and into a dystopian class war. The facts speak to a different narrative.

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