Increasing taxes on the nation’s wealthiest Americans would collect $450 billion in new revenue, while discouraging financial speculation, strengthen the economy and provide greater transparency, fairness and simplicity to the tax code, according to a new proposal released Wednesday.
During the past 50 years and specifically the past decade, America’s highest earners benefited most from tax cuts, according to a new study released by Wealth for the Common Good, an organization of high-net worth individuals and business leaders calling for tax increases for those with incomes above $250,000.
Letting the Bush tax expire would generate $43 billion more in revenue, according to the group.
During the past 50 years, the share of income paid in federal income taxes the nation’s wealthiest dropped from 51.2 percent in 1955 to 16.6 percent in 2007, while taxes on the middle class have increased slightly, according to the study.
In the past 10 years, Americans making more than $250,000 a year have cost the federal government $700 billion in revenue and it would cost $826 billion more in the next decade if the tax cuts are extended.
“After 50 years of tax cuts by Kennedy, Reagan and Bush II, the middle class is paying the same share of income as they did in 1960,” said Chuck Collins, co-founder of the group. “The richest 3 percent have gotten the gargantuan share of tax cuts.”
The group cites a recent Quinnipiac University poll that found 60 percent of Americans across political parties favor an increase of income taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year.
On its Web page, the group says it’s calling for the Bush tax cuts to expire because “we feel it’s time to rebalance the economy so that it works for everyone, not just the wealthy.”
“Our country is facing unprecedented economic challenges right now: We all need to pay our fair share to resolved these issues and make our long overdue investments in education, health, energy and infrastructure.”
To read the study, click here.