Educational Editorial: Taxes and math

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

When proposing his $1.5 trillion tax increase this week, President Obama said, "This is not class warfare, its math." This is not the math taught in schools.

The President offered up the "Buffet Rule" for billionaire Warren Buffett who recently wrote that he paid a lower percentage of his income in federal taxes than 20 staff members in his office. Of course, some of them were probably accountants and attorneys who were hired to lower his tax bill… an advantage that most Americans, wealthy or poor, do not have.

AOL recently questioned whether or not the President's math is correct. In fact, it is not.

According to the Heritage Foundation's "Government Dependence Index", one third of Americans receive more than $26,000 a year in federal assistance and pay no taxes. The IRS data also shows that 10% of the taxpayers pay more than 50% of all federal taxes. The number paying is decreasing and the number receiving is increasing… now what kind of math is this?

And for the economics: a progressive tax, like federal income, increases as your income increases… the more you make the greater percentage you pay. A regressive tax, like the lottery, has the greatest impact upon those who can least afford it. A proportional tax, like sales tax, is the same percentage no matter what you make or spend.

The IRS states that 47% of Americans pay no taxes. While I am skeptical about the President's math, I am sure about his politics… if the majority of voters are receivers and not givers, they will vote for the one who wants to hold their position.

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