From, of all places, an Associated Press Fact Check by Stephen Ohlemacher, discussing whether "millionaires and billionaires" really do pay less in taxes than secretaries. They start by quoting Mr. Obama who, to be fair, is only parroting the class warfare nonsense that Democratic politicians have been spouting since the advent of the late Ted Kennedy. (His older brother Jack didn't lead him down this particular path.)
"Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires," Obama said Monday. "That's pretty straightforward. It's hard to argue against that."
Now from the AP:
The data tells a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.
The two questions that remain? One, someone explain to me again what "paying your fair share" really means, in dollars and cents. Two, how can Democratic politicians continually spout nonsense like this?
Mr. Obama says "It's hard to argue against that." Well, it would be hard to argue against if it were true.
9/20/11 1610: Oops...link to AP fact check added. My bad.