Media Misinformation Campaign Succeeds: 'Most Americans Say Tax System Favors Wealthy'

For months, President Obama and his faithful media minions have been engaging in a shameless class warfare campaign to convince the American people that regardless of the facts, rich people pay less in taxes than average citizens.

On Tuesday, CNN.com reported the news that this misinformation campaign has succeeded, and almost 70 percent of the nation now believes the tax system favors the wealthy:

As procrastinators rush to file their 2011 tax returns by the Tuesday deadline, a new poll shows more than two-thirds of Americans believe the revenue system benefits the wealthy while being unfair to average workers.

In the CNN/ORC survey, 68% of respondents said the current tax system benefits the rich and is unfair to ordinary workers, compared with 29% who disagreed with that view.

Although it clearly doesn't matter - especially to Obama, Democrats, and the corrupt media that serve them! - nothing can be further from the truth.

As this IRS table clearly shows, people making $200,000 and up most definitely pay a higher federal income tax rate than those making less:


On top of this, numbers provided by the Congressional Budget Office not only demonstrate that the rich pay far more of the total percentage of all federal taxes collected, their contribution has continually increased since 1979:

This first chart totally destroys the liberal orthodoxy that taxes have shifted from the rich to lower income earners since the Reagan revolution began. In fact, nothing can be further from the truth.

"Total federal tax liabilities" include income taxes, corporate taxes, social insurance taxes, and excise taxes. As you can plainly see, the share of these taxes paid by all quintiles EXCEPT the highest one has declined since 1979.

By contrast, the top quintile has seen its share of total payments go from 56.4 percent in 1979 to 69.3 in 2006. The wealthiest one percent have seen their share go from 15.4 percent in 1979 to 28.3 percent in 2006.

But they don't pay their "fair share."

Now let's break this down:

Notice how the two lowest quintiles have seen their share of individual income taxes go negative. This is because the lowest 40 percent of wage earners on average are receiving money from the federal government rather than paying income taxes, a dramatic shift since Reagan was first elected.

Notice, too, how that quintile in the middle has seen its share drop from 10.7 percent in 1979 to 4.4 percent in 2006. Yet the top quintile has gone from 64.9 percent to 86.3 percent, with the wealthiest one percent seeing its share more than double from 18.3 percent to 39.1 percent.

But they don't pay their "fair share."

Now let's look at social insurance taxes (Medicare, Social Security, unemployment):

The lowest quintile still pays roughly the same percentage it did in 1979, while the next three quintiles have shown modest declines.

Not surprisingly, ALL of the gain has come from the top quintile going from 35.9 percent in 1979 to 43.5 percent in 2006. The richest one percent saw their contribution go from 1.3 percent to 4.0 percent.

But they don't pay their "fair share."

Now let's look at corporate income taxes:

Once again, the four bottom quintiles - or 80 percent of Americans! - saw their share decline since 1979. But not the top quintile, which saw its share of corporate income taxes go from 76.5 percent in 1979 to 87.2 percent in 2006. The top one percent saw their share go from 37.8 percent to 57.1 percent.

But they don't pay their "fair share."

As for federal excise taxes:

No really significant changes here.

Add it all up, the Reagan revolution has actually been quite beneficial for almost all Americans when it comes to federal taxes EXCEPT for the upper income earners who have seen their share of the total collected do nothing but go up.

Yet "68% of respondents said the current tax system benefits the rich and is unfair to ordinary workers."

The media should be so proud of their ability to thoroughly misinform such a large percentage of the public into this state of pitiful ignorance.

Joseph Goebbels would be tremendously pleased.

*****Update: The link for the CBO data is no longer functioning due to a recent update to include 2007 numbers. Here's the new link.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.