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Ohio's Patriots Can Overcome Class Envy Rhetoric with Facts

edbell | 25 January, 2012 07:36

Like it or not, we Buckeyes, including many folks who are woefully uninformed, will play a primary role in electing the next President.  So, Ohioans have a massive responsibility to spread the facts about fairness and equality.  The President's State of the Union Speech contained numerous references to fairness, while planting implications that successful Americans were not contributing their 'fair share'.  The rhetoric was compelling and devoid of the facts...convincing.   In his SOTU speech, the President said,  "we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. … We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. …Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than a million dollars a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.

James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute offers a few facts to discredit the false statements we can expect from the President's campaign over the next nine months:

1. The top 1% pay 36.7% of fed income taxes, earn 16.9% of adjusted gross income (as of 2009).

2. The top 0.1% pay 17.1% of taxes, earned 7.8% of adjusted gross income.

3. The average income tax rate for the top 1% is 24%. The bottom 50%? Just 1.85%.

4. The bottom 50% pay just 2.3% of income taxes.

5. Buffett chose to leave most of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, avoiding 55% estate tax.

6. Buffett actually pays 50% tax since capital gains and dividends taxes are a double tax on corporate income.

7. Taking half of yearly income from every person making between $1M and $10M would only decrease the nation’s debt by 1%

8. Taking every dollar from everyone making more than $10M per year would only reduce nation’s deficit by 12% and the debt by 2%

9. IRS will give out roughly $110 billion in “refundable” tax credits this year to households that pay no income taxes.

10. If taxable income in 35% bracket taxed at 49%, federal income tax revenues just $78B higher (Tax Policy Center)

11. To get deficit to 2% by 2020 using Obama’s budget baseline, it would take 91% top rate by taxing just the rich

The politics of envy is a powerful opponent and the truth rarely gets adequate media time.  Lies about the rich, fairness, and job creation will dominate the conversation in 2012, leaving informed Buckeyes to spend our time and treasure correcting the record.  Mr. Obama said: “We can go in two directions. One is towards less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for…building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.

A wealth of information is available to rebut fictitious rhetoric as we engage the electorate.  Concerned Ohioans can arm themselves by visiting Heritage, FreedomWorks, The American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and the Cato Institute.  All of these organizations produce excellent research, insight, and facts to cut through the campaign fog. 


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