The Facts: Fair Share is a Far Cry from Class Warfare

The President’s proposal is about jobs now and ensures that all Americans pay their fair share as we move to craft a balanced approach to deal with our long-term deficits. Republicans are already objecting–claiming “Class Warfare.” As President Obama said today:

It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million…Now, we’re already hearing the usual defenders of these kinds of loopholes saying this is just ‘class warfare.’ I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare.

The Facts:

One of the key principles is the “Buffett Rule” which applies to the top 0.3% of the wealthiest Americans. No house¬hold making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of its income in taxes than middle-class families pay.

22,000 millionaires—making more than $1 million annually—paid less than 15 percent of their income in taxes in 2009.

Nearly 1,500 millionaires paid NO income taxes in 2009 according to the IRS.

The top 400 richest Americans, all making over $110 million per year and making an average of $271 million per year, paid only 18% of their income in income taxes in 2008.

The share of income paid by the wealthiest 400 Americans has fallen by nearly 40%, from 29.9% in 1995, even as their average incomes roughly quadrupled.

Too many middle class Americans pay more than this—especially when payroll taxes are taken into account.

Fewer than 2% of the small businesses in the country face either of the top two tax brackets. Far more, in fact, are in the lowest tax bracket.

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