Ari Fleischer wants lower earners to pay more taxes:
In 2001, the bottom 60% paid 16.3% of all taxes; by 2005 their share was down to 14.3%. All the while, this large group of voters made 25.8% of the nation's income.
Joe Weisenthal responds:
As a matter of math, Fleischer is probably right. The idea that we can continue to raise revenue, while shifting more of the burden onto fewer and fewer people is a pipe dream.
Think of the grand scale of the government's ambitions, from fighting wars to providing universal healthcare. Are we really to believe that all this can be done via a tax increase on the top 2%? That's obviously hogwash. What's more is that top 2% is getting sharply poorer fast, given the collapse of the financial industry.
So does Radley Balko:
Ari Fleischer says everyone should have to pay some income tax. That isn’t going to happen, though I agree with his main pointthat it isn’t healthy for an increasingly small percentage of income earners to be funding a rapidly growing federal government. Milton Friedman argued for a negative income tax for the poor instead of deductions, which seems like a more politically palatable way of addressing the problem. At least then, everyone feels the bite when government grows. Personally, I don’t like the privacy violations, money laundering laws, and control over our lives the government gets by funding itself with an income tax. But switching to a national sales tax probably isn’t going to happen, either.