In the wake of President Trump’s release of a tax reform outline, CNN’s Sally Kohn took to Twitter to explain her take on prospective legislation:
Translated Trump's tax plan for ya pic.twitter.com/86NtekvAzY— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) April 26, 2017
This is not how taxes work.
There is a basic inconsistency here for Kohn. She is correct that higher taxes on a relatively small percentage of the middle class via reduction of tax deductions would involve the government taking more money from those affected. But she then suggests that wealthy Americans paying less taxes somehow amounts to reallocation of resources from those middle class Americans to those in the top tax brackets. So, in other words, taxation is theft when it is applied to those who aren’t in the top quintile of income earners, but for those rich folks, taxation is an expected tribute to be paid to the government.
Here’s the question: at what income cutoff does taxation become good? She doesn’t say. But this is pure, illogical class warfare.
When told this on Twitter, Kohn responded that she didn’t appreciate “mansplaining.”
Mansplaining is caring, amirite? https://t.co/HZ2nBXkrRv— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) April 27, 2017
Sally, it’s called economics-splaining, and we wouldn’t have to do it if you would logic-understand.
Kohn also ignores the fact that the rich pay the overwhelming majority of net taxes in the United States. According to the Tax Foundation, in 2014, 35 percent of Americans paid no income tax, while those earning more than $250,000 paid 55 percent of the entire income tax burden. The top 20 percent of earners paid 84 percent of all income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center. According to the Congressional Budget Office report on distribution of taxes in 2013, the top 1 percent of households paid 34 percent of their income to federal taxes; the middle 20 percent paid just 12.8 percent. The top quintile of income households paid an average of $57,700 into federal tax coffers in 2013 when you include any wealth transfers they were paid by the government; the fourth highest quintile paid $2,600; the middle quintile actually made $7,800 from the feds, the second lowest quintile made $12,200, and the lowest quintile made $8,800. Bottom line, according to the American Enterprise Institute: “the highest income quintile is financing 96% of the entire system of transfer payments to the bottom 60% AND funding the operation of the federal government.” So no, the rich aren’t undertaxed. They’re paying for the whole operation. We actually have “the most progressive federal tax system among all OECD-24 countries.”
But keep banging that drum, Sally.