Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

More people view Mitt Romney unfavorably (49 percent) than view Barack Obama unfavorably (45 percent), according to the most recent Reason-Rupe Poll. This, despite Romney being the challenger, while President Obama must live down his sorry record.

By this measure, and others in the poll, Obama’s re-election seems ever more likely. And if you think that’s depressing, wait till you read about the general views of taxing the rich more. The “soak the rich” mentality remains quite strong. But some of this “the rich don’t pay their fair share” notion is based on misinformation. Get a load of this:

Last year, the government collected about $1.8 trillion dollars in income tax revenue. If you were to estimate, about what PERCENTAGE of this total tax revenue do you think the top 5 percent of households probably contributed? Would you say…

<1% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3%

1% to less than 20% . . . . . . . 29%

20% to less than 40% . . . . . . 19%

40% to less than 60% . . . . . . 15%

60% to less than 80% . . . . . . 11%

80% or more . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%

Don’t Know/Refused . . . . . . . 16%

The truth is that America’s Top 5 percenters pay more than 60 percent of income taxes collected. The vast majority of those polled (66 percent) thought the Top 5 should pay less than they currently do.

I’m not going out on a limb, here, to infer a lesson: Were Americans to learn a few more truths about their government, about taxes, and (hey, why not?) real life, they might change their minds on a few crucial political notions.

Education — and by this I don’t mean schooling — is obviously important to political betterment.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    And ignorance is important to maintaining political power.

  2. Jay says:

    And the top 10% or so, EXCLUDING actors, actresses, athletes and the talking heads, CREATE THE JOBS for the other 90%–so that they an have a better life.

    Often forgotten in LIBERAL ILLOGIC

  3. the 13th Doctor says:

    Paul, I usually enjoy your thoughts and insight, but I think your point might not be correct here. While your numbers might be right in the percentage of total revenue paid, we need to keep in mind that those are an unfair means of measurement when considering the total amounts that the government collected. What you are seeing is simple math personified. Please let me give you an example of what I mean:

    100 families = each has 4 people = family income is $32,000.00
    [NOTE: which according to ( is $8,950 above the poverty level.]
    Each family is taxed around 33% and each are paying $10,560.00 per year.

    This creates a total sent in of $1,056,000.00

    Now you have a <1% person: out of fairness, we'll move down the list to Forbes #100, Nancy Walton Laurie, niece of the late Mr. Sam Walton. Her net worth is $3.9 Billion dollars.

    Even if all she payed was 1% of her net worth in taxes, she would still exceed the 100 other families with a whopping $39,000,000.00.

    With that kind of comparison, not even a THOUSAND families would be contributing the same amounts into the Fed's coffers and thus, proves my point.

    Should the rich be soaked? No, but the levels of taxation should be evened out in a manner that benefits those who need it most instead of those who don't. I feel that the tax rate should be no more than 1% for those making so little and higher for those that make more. I'm not going to pretend to have the answers, but anyone can call it when the discrepancies are that obvious.

    Before we start saying things aren't that well thought out, we should get ALL of our "crucial political notions" shored up with ALL the facts, not just some of them.

    "A half truth is still just a whole lie." – a Yiddish proverb

  4. Pat says:

    13th Doctor,

    I think you are closer to the truth than Paul and many others. I have never begrudged ‘the rich’ their wealth. All I ever wanted was to earn a living.
    I see ‘the rich’ paying an ever higher percentage of taxes and I can reach only one conclusion: the rest of us have reduced opportunities to earn our own living.
    Not all of us are entrepreneurs. Many people who want to prove themselves and are ready to work hard simply cannot compete with someone in Asia who needs one fifth of what we need to maintain the same standard of living.
    I would ask just one thing of ‘the rich’: that they pay the same rate on their capital gains that I pay on my wages. As I see it, they are already ahead of the game. Thanks to FICA, I pay a minimum rate of 17.65%. I will pay the marginal rate on the ‘capital gains’ from my 401(k). To say that capital gains are taxed twice is a crock. Income is income.

  5. Erne Lewis says:

    Gary C Kelly, CEO
    Southwest Airlines

    The Commission on Presidential Debates is composed only of Democrats and Republicans. Neither of those political parties wants to see a third party in the debates and accordingly the Commission has established rules for getting into the debates that insure third parties won’t be a problem. Nonetheless, Gary Johnson will be on the ballots of at least 47 states in spite of the expensive legal actions the Republicans have recently pursued to block voters from having that option. Because Southwest Airlines is one of the sponsors of the Presidential debates I believe it is important that you insist that he be given an opportunity to present his views.

    There is insignificant difference between the policies of Obama and Romney. I personally want to hear how Obama and Romney can respond to the policies that Gary Johnson proposes.

    They both support the enormous military industrial complex. Those corporations are a substantial source of their campaign contributions. Whoever of the two wins the election more of the nation’s production will be diverted to military expansion and our national debt will continue to increase.
    Both support the authority of the federal government to spy on Americans without search warrants.
    Both believe the president can arrest without charge and confine without trial any American or foreigner he names.
    Both support confining foreigners, uncharged and untried, in Guantanamo Bay.
    Both believe in secret courts — kept away from the public and the press — that can take away the rights of Americans.
    Both think the president can disregard the Constitution when it comes to the rights of those the government has confined—the accused does not have a right to speedy trials, to confront witnesses and evidence against them, and to counsel of their choosing.
    Both believe the government can use evidence obtained under torture at trials in American courts.
    Both think the president can incarcerate those who have been acquitted.
    Both believe they can fight any war, assassinate any foe or assault any country using the military or the CIA, and they need not ask Congress for a declaration of war as the Constitution requires, nor account to Congress or the public as the law requires.
    Both want American troops to remain in Afghanistan, even though ten years of nation building has been an utter disaster and that nation remains a collection of tribes as harmless to America today as it was when President Bush invaded it in 2001.
    Both think this costly and fruitless war — the longest in American history — is somehow good for American freedom and security, even though most Americans do not.
    Both refuse to understand that the longer we are killing people in foreign lands who cause us no real harm the more likely will people from those lands come to hate us and to bring us great harm.
    Both believe in adding to the government’s $16 trillion debt and letting future generations deal with paying it back.
    Both have budgeted more money for warfare and welfare next year than the federal government is spending this year.
    Both accept FDR- and LBJ-style entitlements, even though they are nowhere authorized by the Constitution and there are not enough present-day workers to tax in order to pay for them.
    Both want to increase federal revenues to pay for increased spending, which will pull more money from the economy causing higher unemployment.

    Mr. Kelly, the system is fixed—Democrats and the Republicans collude to keep third parties out of the debates so that the above issues will not be raised . . . and they use the Commission on Presidential Debates for that purpose.

    Please give Americans a real choice. Time has run out. This nation is on course for certain disaster. Four more years with Obama or with Romney may literally destroy us.

    Please insist that Gary Johnson be let into the debates. His position on every one of the issues above is diametrically opposed to those of Obama and Romney. And if his position is presented it will shine a light on an otherwise dismal and hopeless political debate. Isn’t that why Southwest Airlines is involved?

    Erne Lewis
    181 N Bay Lane
    Port Ludlow, WA 98365

  6. phybrr says:

    The top 5% may pay 60% of taxes but their income is much more than 60% of wageowners so they should pay at least that amount.

  7. Jay says:

    To phybrr

    The last statistics that I had seen ( not these)-

    the top 10% earned about 19% of the total income and paid about 38% of the total income taxes.

    While the top 5% might earn more then 60% of the wage earners, some 50% or so of the “taxpayers” pay NO income tax, and many even get money back ( earned income tax credit).

    (I am not in the top 10% of earners, either).

    And, to 13th doctor–I did not see a reference to wealth, but to income. There is a difference.

  8. linda says:

    we are doomed to the horror that is socialism and throw mulism in that mix = then the worst of all see ugly Madonna strip that will kill half of us patriotic Americans

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