Lv 6
Tim asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 7 years ago

What is a "fair share"?

I am always hearing this from democrats, usually in the context that the rich should pay more. However, I have never heard what a “fair share” is. So, I ask that question now; given the facts I will lay out below, what is a fair share of the income tax burden for each class or income group?

Here is what I used. I started with the 2009 Statistics of Income (SOI) produced by the Internal Revenue Service. You can find them at irs.gov.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) – income before deductions, exemptions, and credits.

Tax Liability (TL) – the amount of tax actually paid (ie – the check you write to the government)

Effective tax rate (ETR) – TL / AGI

Lower class – AGI below $75k

Lower Middle class – AGI between $75k and $200k

Upper Middle class – AGI between $200k and $1m

Upper class – AGI over $1m

ETR for each class

Lower – 4.84%

Lower Middle – 10.49%

Upper Middle – 20.75%

Upper – 24.42%

Percent of total taxes collected that are paid by each class

Lower – 16.04%

Lower Middle – 33.81%

Upper Middle – 29.75%

Upper – 20.50%

I find this one particularly important. The tax burden is bared mostly by the middle class. The poor do not have the money and there are not enough rich people. The middle class are both numerous enough and have enough income.

Percent of total population for each class based on returns filed

Lower – 79.42%

Lower Middle – 17.78%

Upper Middle – 2.62%

Upper – 0.17%

Your answer should include the class breakdown (feel free to use other breakdowns, this is just my opinion), ETR, and your reasoning for your class and ETR breakdown.

16 Answers

  • jehen
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    There is not a rich person in America that pays so much in taxes that their life, business or desires are in any way restricted by their tax burden, yet the things their taxes pay for - infrastructure, education, R&D, a dignified retirement, security, and the social safety net they seam to hate so much insure that they have a ready, capable work force to hire from, millions of modestly prosperous consumers to sell to, and public investments in a clean, safe, well run, speedy environment in which to conduct business and build wealth.

    But the same cannot be said for the struggling and shrinking middle class. Their tax burden is painful and life diminishing. Most understand that the things above that benefit the rich benefit them too. But these things actually enrich the rich where as they are little more than necessary services to keep the middle class from being poor.

    So a 'fair share' is when your tax burden is affordable, and proportional to the benefits and opportunity gained from the things that taxes pay for. Hands down the rich get the most benefit from the things taxes pay for for the least impactful burden to bear.

    It really is not about rates so much. Taxes are right and fair when all the nations bills are paid, the economy is expanding and the fortunes of the middle class are growing proportionally to the wealth of the nation. Today the economy is expanding, but the nations bills are not paid, the fortunes of the middle class are shrinking while all of the economic gains are concentrated with the very rich. So the system is out of kilter.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    A fair share means that everyone pays the same amount period. Tehy don't charge you less to go see a movie if you make less money.

    That is unpracticle for taxes so we have to go on a percentage. Those percentages are staggered so that the government can get enough revenue without taking all the money from the half of all Americans.

    Taxation has nothing to do with Fair. It is just a necessary evil that has been abused by a factor of at least 40% of everything we pay.

    Source(s): @Mr. Wolf - If you are saying to close all loopholes then I am 100% with you but the tax rates need to also be reduced so that it does not become additional income to be wasted bygovernment.
  • 7 years ago

    I think your class rates are far too hyperbolic. Lower middle class 75 K - 200K?

    My group breakdown is

    0-25K Poverty

    25 K -75 K Lower middle class

    75K- 125 K Middle class

    125 K - 250 K Upper middle class

    250 K - infinity Rich

  • Dallas
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Actually, the word "fair" is nowhere found in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

    Our Creator created us "equal" at birth, but it is not the government's role to make sure we stay that way. Our government exists to provide equal protection under the law -- of our lives, liberty, and property.

    It is not the gvernment's function to ensure equal outcomes by robbing Peter of his property to provide Paul with his "fair share." Even though it may seem fair for everybody to play by the "same set of rules," often the rules themselves are inherently unfair (such as the federal tax law).

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 7 years ago

    It seems that for liberals a rich persons "fair" share is 10 to 30% more than the fair share of the poor.

    I mean what's unfair about one person giving up 10% (and in many case much less) and another having to give up 35%, I just do not see what is unfair of one person having to give three times as much (percent wise) than another (obvious sarcasm)

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    A fair share to liberals is the full amount needed for any program and necessary to make them have zero or negative tax liability simultaneously.

  • Paying a "fair share" is paying the same percentage as everyone else pays, also known as a "flat tax rate".

    Source(s): A Libertarian
  • 7 years ago

    To many, a fair share is someone else paying more than the complainers.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Fair share is a talking point liberals use to justify their tax and spend policies...

  • Mike W
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    It's a subjective and ambiguous term used by politicians and anyone who doesn't want to be specific.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.