Tax day food for thought

The folks at Reason TV have put together a video that will make you stop and think about the fairness of our tax code.

That’s right:

  • Individual taxpayers spend $27.7 billion preparing taxes.
  • The tax code has grown to more than 67,500 pages.
  • The least wealthy 50% pay less than3% of federal income taxes.
  • The wealthiest 1% pay 39.89% of all federal income tax.
  • The wealthiest 5% pay more than 60% of all federal income taxes.
  • The wealthiest 10% pay more than 70% of all federal income taxes.

The Washington Post recently ran an editorial, which based upon numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, sliced the 2006 taxpayer data a little differently:

  • The top 20% of earners paid 70% of all federal taxes.
  • The very richest — the top 1% of taxpayers paid 28% of all taxes.
  • The lowest 20% of households paid only 0.8% of all federal taxes.
  • The bottom 90% of households paid only 45%.

When President Obama and Congressional Democrats say the “wealthy” should pay their “fair share” what do they mean? Is it fair for 10% to pay 70% of the income tax? How much should they pay? And as Ari Fleischer wrote in the Wall Street Journal the other day — shouldn’t everybody pay a far share of the income tax?