Friday, October 17, 2008

New Republican Tic: "Spreading the Wealth"

The Republicans are making a big deal about Barack Obama's words to Joe the Plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth".

This looks like it may be on the verge of becoming a new Republican tic.

Let's look at what it really means: Obama's tax plan would increase taxes for all people and businesses earning more than $250,000 a year - less than 5% of the population. Those earning under $200,000 would see a reduction in their taxes - this reduction would be enjoyed by more than 90-percent of the population.

So what "wealth" would be spread?

1. Not any "wealth" earned by more than 95% of Americans.

2. For Americans earning more than $250,000, their tax rate would increase from 35% to 39%.

So, "spreading the wealth" is in fact spreading a tiny bit more of the wealth (39% instead of $35%) from a sliver of the population (less than 5%).

Are such small numbers really best described as "spreading"? Perhaps "shaving" or "tipping" would be better adjectives.

Now, admittedly, the phrase "spread the wealth" came from Obama. But he also said "it's good for everybody".

That's certainly true for more than 90% of the population. And it was true for everyone when Bill Clinton was President, and the tax rate for people earning more than $250,000 was - 39-percent.

Would you like to know what your tax will be under Obama's program? Check it out right here:

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