A bad ass blogger, Financial Samurai, made a comment on my blog today that really got to me.  His comment was in response to my post Listing Most of Obama’s Proposed Taxes.  Sam, as his random blogger buddies who live across the country call him, said,

It’s one of those things where one should recognize that if they are paying $100,000 a year in taxes, they are probably doing OK for themselves.

Am I nuts because I believe that just because someone is making money does not mean they should be taxed to death?  I guess the definition of ‘to death’ is probably what is really at heart of this whole subject.

Who Pays the Income Taxes in the United States?

It shouldn’t surprise most that what most would consider high earners pay way more than their share of the income tax collected by the United States government.  Luckily I don’t have to do any work, The Tax Foundation does it for me:

I get that we have a progressive system, and I am not entirely sure that is wrong, but how long can you sustain a system where the top 1% of tax payers supports the bottom 95%?

Percentage of People who Don’t Pay Any Income Taxes

The Tax Policy Foundation also provides us with the percentage of people who don’t even pay any income taxes.

2000129,373,50032,555,89725.2%
2001130,255,23735,491,70727.2%
2002130,076,44339,112,54730.1%
2003130,423,62641,501,72231.8%
2004132,226,04243,124,10832.6%
2005134,372,67843,802,11432.6%
2006138,394,75445,681,04733.0%
2007143,030,46146,655,76032.6%

Approximately one-third of tax payers have a negative or zero tax liability.  I am not blind to the fact that some of this may have to do with tax shelters and fraud, but one-third?

So we have a system that is highly progressive…and you should get how how I feel about it, but forget me (just for this post) how do you feel about the situation? Do you think the system can sustain itself at current levels?

Do you feel no remorse for high earners? Just because, they make more than you?  Don’t you strive to be that high earner, if so, will you just bitch when you get there?