American Elephants

Where Have All the Millionaires Gone? Redistribution by Recession. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama has had one great success as president. Liberals are deeply worried about income inequality.  The poor aren’t getting any poorer, and there has been increasing amounts of help for them. Since the bottom 50 percent of the income distribution don’t pay taxes, the problem obviously lies at the other end  — with the rich.  But there are fewer of them these days. According to the Wall Street Journal,in 2007:

390,000 tax filers reported adjusted gross income of $1 million or more and paid $309 billion in taxes.  In 2009, there were only 237,ooo such filers, a decline of 39%. Almost four of 10 millionaires vanished in two years, and the total taxes they paid in 2009 declined to $178 billion.

There’s nothing like a recession to level incomes. These disappearing millionaires do a lot to explain why tax revenues have sunk to 15% of GDP in recent years. How many of these millionaires and billionaires are businesses reporting their taxes as individuals, the article did not say. I see a lot of empty storefronts and space available signs around my city, as I imagine you probably do.The Journal went on to say:

The best way to produce income equality is to destroy trillions of dollars of wealth.  Everyone loses, but the rich lose relatively more than the poor and the middle class.  By that measure, if few others, Obamanomics has been a raging success.


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