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Outrage: U.S. Has The Highest Tax Rate For Entrepreneurs

In his new book Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America, Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal shows the very rich pay more taxes in the United States than in any other industrialized nation in the world.

The very rich are made up of the top 10 percent of taxpayers. According to Moore, that 10 percent pay over 45 percent of the total tax revenue in the U.S. This is in direct contradiction to the liberal notion that top earners in this country do not pay their fair share.

The National Tax Foundation has prepared the following chart of illustrate the average tax rates paid by that top 10 percent around the world.

Countries that tax the rich the most (current average tax rates):

United States – 45%
Italy – 42%
United Kingdom – 39%
Australia – 37%
Canada – 36%
Germany – 31%
Japan – 29%
France – 28%
Sweden – 27%
Switzerland – 21%

Moore explains: “The United States is actually more dependent on rich people to pay taxes than even many of the more socialized economies of Europe. According to the Tax Foundation, the United States gets 45 percent of its total taxes from the top 10 percent of tax filers, whereas the international average in industrialized nations is 32 percent. America’s rich carry a larger share of the tax burden than do the rich in Belgium (25 percent), Germany (31 percent), France (28 percent), and even Sweden (27 percent).”

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Moore also contends the idea of a shrinking middle class is actually a myth unsupported by the facts. He says the actual trend has been an upward mobility and a better standard of living for the middle class and lower-income earners in the last twenty-five years. Moore isn’t the first one to point this out. The Heritage Foundation has been arguing these facts for years.

Here is what happened each time the U.S. reduced the tax rate significantly:

1920s: The top tax rate fell from 73 percent to 25 percent, yet the rich (in those days, those earning $50,000 and up) went from paying 44.2 percent of the tax burden in 1921 to paying more than 78 percent in 1928.

1960s: President John F. Kennedy slashed the top tax rate from 91 percent to 70 percent. In the ensuing three years, those making more than $50,000 annually saw their tax payments rise by 57 percent, and their share of the tax burden climbed from 11.6 percent to 15.1 percent.

1980s: The Reagan years saw the top rate fall from 70 percent in 1980 to 28 percent in 1988. What happened to the rich? The top 1 percent went from shouldering 17.6 percent of the income tax burden in 1981 to paying 27.5 percent of the total in 1988. The top 10 percent saw their share of the burden climb from 48 percent in 1981 to over 57 percent in 1988.

In fact, more tax revenue returned to the federal government each time taxes were lowered. No period of American history made this more plain that during the final four years of Reagan’s time as president. As the tax rate fell for the rich, federal revenue went up.

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