- - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I’m sure many of you saw the clip from Neil Cavuto’s show the other week where the leader of the Million Student March, Keely Mullen, said we need to tax the top 1 percent of earners more. At one point, she even suggested taxing them at a rate of 90 percent.

This was, of course, because Ms. Mullen felt the government should provide free college, forgive all current student loan debt and mandate a $15 minimum wage for workers on college campuses.

While many people could laugh this idea off as the fringe on the left, I am not so quick to do so. The most recent Real Clear Politics average of polls for the national Democratic nomination for president has Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders getting 30 percent of the vote.

So, nearly one-third of Democrat voters believe the fix to our country’s problems is more free stuff that “the rich” will pay for. And I would bet that quite a few Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters agree with these ideals, too.

Voters just like Ms. Mullen believe that taxing the top 1 percent into submission will result in a world that is all sunshine in rainbows. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. They are dead wrong.

As Mr. Cavuto pointed out during the show, even if the government taxed the top 1 percent at a rate of 100 percent, we would not have enough money to pay for Medicare for three years.

Obviously, taxing a group of people at 100 percent would be ludicrous. No one would strive to make money in that top bracket because the extra work would not result in any additional income.

Besides, when we actually look at the numbers – yes, the real data – about our tax system, “the rich” are paying more than their fair share.

Thanks to a Tax Foundation report released Thursday, we know that the top 1 percent of earners in America paid a greater share of income taxes than the bottom 90 percent in 2013, the latest available figures.

To break that down in a different way, the top 1.3 million filers paid 37.8 percent of the income taxes in the country. The bottom 124.5 million filers – yes, an amount of people about 100 times bigger – paid just 30.2 percent of the income taxes in our country.

The top 1 percent of taxpayers also paid the highest rate of any other group. Those making more than $428,713 – the definition of the 1 percent – paid an average rate of 27.1 percent. That is eight times higher than the average rate for the bottom 50 percent of earners – those making less than $36,841 a year – which is 3.3 percent.

This is the data that the left tries to overlook when they are making their claims that the rich do not pay enough.

There is another point that so-called progressives hide when talking about taxes, as well. While claiming they want to lift up the middle class with more government spending, they ignore the fact that raising taxes on higher-income earners will have a likely lethal impact on many small businesses in our country.

This is because 50 percent of workers in our country are employed by pass-through companies. These are small businesses that file as individuals and pay the individual income tax.

If taxes are raised on them, it would simply give bigger corporations – which employ powerful lobbyists and lawyers – the upper hand. And guess what, that wouldn’t favor the middle class – just Clintons’ Wall Street donors.

So, instead of growing the size of government and increasing taxes, voters need to start looking at ways we can shrink the size of government and lower taxes. The more government gets out of the way of consumers, workers and businesses, the quicker our economy can recover.

And to the Keely Mullen’s of the world, perhaps an intro to an economics course would be a good idea.

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