Reason TV: Are the rich paying their fair share of taxes?

posted at 3:10 pm on May 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

This week, Hillary Clinton stated that the wealthy in America aren’t paying their fair share in taxes — claiming that she wasn’t speaking for the Obama administration in making that public claim. Whether that was an official policy position or not, it certainly fits well within the class warfare offered by the Obama administration and Democratic Party leadership, who have repeatedly attempted to add “surtaxes” and fees on Americans earning higher incomes, both as part of the ObamaCare bill and in attempts to penalize Wall Street. Reason TV looks at whether Hillary was right, and it doesn’t take long to reach a conclusion:

Frankly, this meme is so old and busted that Hillary’s attempt to use it practically qualifies as nostalgia. Not only are the rich paying more than their fair share, almost half of the country isn’t paying income taxes at all. The ObamaCare effort to transform most of the middle class into welfare recipients won’t help restore an actual balance. Be sure to follow the links back to Reason’s blog for more detail on exactly how wrong Hillary is.

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Hillary looks really…old. And tired, too.

changer1701 on May 29, 2010 at 3:17 PM

HilRod is morphing into Madeleine Albright,
I think Hopey has a dark plan in operation,
she better get out before the transformation
is complete!(snark).

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 3:23 PM

“Frankly, this meme is so old and busted that Hillary’s attempt to use it practically qualifies as nostalgia.”

Enough about Hilary’s vaj-vaj…

… What’s up with her face?

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

He’s absolutely right…when liberals say the rich aren’t paying their fair share, what they mean is that the rich can always pay more. Nice to have someone put it so succinctly.

What Hillary and her kind don’t say is how much “the rich” also pay in state income taxes, and property taxes, and excise taxes, and capital gains taxes, etc. etc. In New York and New Jersey, the top combined tax rate is close to 50%. I wonder how much “fairer” these people think it should be. God only asks for 10 percent!

rockmom on May 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Kind of besides the point, but, is Chelsie married yet? Has she had any kids?

Count to 10 on May 29, 2010 at 3:31 PM

The real question should be; Are there are too many government employees getting paid too much?

ray on May 29, 2010 at 3:33 PM

If the left really wanted fair they would base it on assets and NOT income. The rich are those with large valued assets, not those with only high income. But a lot of the people rich in assets are liberal, and they want to keep the up and comers with rising income down, so they tax their income. This is about power, not fairness.

ray on May 29, 2010 at 3:36 PM

He finally decided to lose the leather jacket.

aengus on May 29, 2010 at 3:42 PM


We should take all their money and then, then….

We’ll take buses to their homes and protest while their children hide in closets, and then…

We’ll have mock trials in Kangaroo Courts, and then…

The long last ride in the Donkey cart.

Wow, life will be good once we get all that money they earned.

hawkdriver on May 29, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Hillary looks really…old. And tired, too.changer1701 on May 29, 2010 at 3:17 PM

No kidding. At the risk of being catty I wonder if the taxpayers are footing the bill for a hairdresser? If so someone is AWOL and apparently no one else in the entourage knows what a a hairbrush looks like.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2010 at 3:44 PM


That should be the immediate response of anyone – at a minimum, Republicans – whenever a Democrat/Leftist makes this stupid remark.

Think “the rich” don’t pay enough?
Politicians, actors and musicians make loads of cash.

I support the Pay Up Suckas Bill of 2010:

any jackass who says the rich should pay more should him/herself be required to double their tax payment and pay it immediately…and the taxes of all politicans, actors and musicians will go up 1% with each utterance of this inanity.

Lockstein13 on May 29, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Well,I caught this a few days ago,and its a tas of a mind
blower,but,were talking Liberals here!

This is still part of Reasons TV point!

Clinton quoted the Brazilian model:

“Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what — they’re growing like crazy,” Clinton said. “And the rich are getting richer, but they’re pulling people out of poverty.”

So,the Rich are getting richer,and the destitute are moving
up to the poor level because of higher taxes,and its a great
model in Brazil and it a work’n!!!!

Heres in her own words,same video as Reason TV,with
her Brazilan line!!

Clinton: ‘The rich are not paying their fair share’

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Ugh,curses,should be a tad bit of a mind blower!

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 3:51 PM


So,ummmm,the Oil leak,isn’t really stopped!!

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Fair taxation? Start with this:

Every mentally competent adult who earns an income shall pay a minimum federal income tax of $100. Everybody competent earner. No exceptions. No deductibles or shelters.

Right now, almost half of all households pay no tax at all, and a large portion of them get money transfers.

They pay no taxes yet they participate in politics and government by voting, organizing, speaking out, etc. This is representation without taxation. We’re a long way from 1775!

And how burdensome is $100? L:et’s see:
– Three or four tanks of gas
– Ten buckets of chicken at KFC
– Less than a pair of Nike tennis shoes
– Less than an iPod (except the ones their clearing out at Wal-Mart)
– Six regularly priced current music CDs
– Five movie for you and someone special. Four if you stop at the concession stand.
– One and a half trips to the beauty parlor, maybe less
– One month of cable-internet-phone package

Also, the $100 floor should remain flat until the income reaches the poverty line (no, NOT some fraction above the poverty line, as many federal agencies list, e.g., 150% or 200% of poverty). When your income exceeds the poverty line, the tax very gradually increases, say, $5 or $10 for every $1000 of income, or such, until another level, when the regular tax tables kick in.

Everybody can afford $100. Every income earner should pay some amount of income tax. Otherwise, no one should pay any attention to their political opinions until they “put some skin in the game,” as they say.

CO2MAKER on May 29, 2010 at 3:56 PM

As a person with a 12 yo Honda and a 11 yo truck I say RICH PEOPLE ROCK! Every Friday they show me their love.

Limerick on May 29, 2010 at 3:56 PM

The car and the truck are paid for and run like tops. If I wanted a couple of $750 monthly payments then I’d sign the contract.

Limerick on May 29, 2010 at 3:58 PM

… What’s up with her face?

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Seven Percent Soultion: Me thinks,Hopeys Purple Shirt Thugs
have switched HilRods botox out for
a placebo,haha!:)

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

When you gonna move to Texas? We need more reformed Canucks here.

Limerick on May 29, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Dennis Hopper has passed.

Born To Be Wild and Easy Rider (Slipshotfilms)

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 4:15 PM

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM
When you gonna move to Texas? We need more reformed Canucks here.

Limerick on May 29, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Limerick: Open and Free,sounds like a State for me:)

If the wife was ever to depart before me,
or gawd forbid (1861–1865),I’ll be down to
ride shotgun with you,ahem!!:)

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 4:20 PM

If we had an AG, we could go after all those who ripped off the mortgage industry with fraud. We have a huge excess of lawyers who could use the work.

And don’t worry about the law on retroactivity or due process. This administration tossed that aside long ago.

IlikedAUH2O on May 29, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Yes, Obama is waging class warfare, and I think he hopes to incite violence.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM

I am sure the Clinton’s do not pay their fair share of taxes, hence they think no one else does. Typical national socialist demofats.

Dhuka on May 29, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I don’t really think that “fairness” is necessarily what should dictate tax policy, but it’s hard to really have this argument either way because it’s hard to agree on what’s “fair.” Is paying the name actual amount fair? Is paying the same percentage fair? Is starting taxes only after taking out living wages fair? You could argue all these things.

Some people argue that the rich should pay more because they benefit more from government providing defense and keeping the economy intact, since they have much more value to lose. Which is probably true to some extent. How that translates in to tax dollars is not really obvious, though. I don’t think this is really a good argument for either side to have, because there are many notions of what’s fair, and they don’t necessarily translate into a workable system anyway.

tneloms on May 29, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The long last ride in the Donkey cart.

hawkdriver on May 29, 2010 at 3:44 PM

hawkdriver: And over the cliff,haha,Donkey Cart,lol!:)

canopfor on May 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Kind of besides the point, but, is Chelsie married yet? Has she had any kids?

Count to 10 on May 29, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Nope. But she has a very close friend.

justltl on May 29, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Barry’s voters should pay their fair share of taxes.

bayview on May 29, 2010 at 5:37 PM

So what’s new? The left always wants to raise taxes. More taxes, more “control”! Simple equation tried and failed endlessly.

Seems like some King Dude tried that over 200 years ago and created the birth of a new nation.

We dont need a new nation. We just have to make sure that we follow the rules of the one we have.

AnthonyK on May 29, 2010 at 8:35 PM

CO2MAKER on May 29, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I agree. No “representation without taxation.” When you have a stake in the game, you care what’s going on. One who pays $100 per month in taxes won’t be eager to pay $110.

Sloan Morganstern on May 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM

There is only one way to make this fair for everyone and that’s to trash the existing tax code, with all of its credits and exemptions and marginal rates, and either charge everyone — EVERYONE — who earns any ordinary income a certain percentage of said income, or to go to a straight consumption tax on every purchase except food, clothing and medicine.

NoLeftTurn on May 29, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Welllllll if you parse you words like a Clinton she is correct.
The “rich” do not pay taxes as we do not tax wealth.
High earners pay lots of taxes as we tax income.
So if you have 10 Million sitting in a bank you are only taxed on the interest, but if you earn 10 million be prepared to cough up ~50%.
That is why John Kerry had a lower tax rate that I did when he was running for President.
I earned my money he married his.

LincolntheHun on May 29, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Ugh, Hillary. To borrow a phrase from a Billy Crystal movie, City Slickers, she looks like, ” a saddle bag with eyes.”

Over30 on May 29, 2010 at 10:53 PM

As long as it is legal for the ‘rich’ to hide money in foundations, they will be able to pay less taxes. Buffet has one, his secretary doesn’t. It isn’t even amusing anymore when Bill & Hillary who are rich trot out this old socialist platitude.

Kissmygrits on May 30, 2010 at 9:22 AM

John Kerry and his “spouse” Teresa revealed they were paying 12% tax on their millions in income.

Hillary and Bill are worth over $200 million. Are THEY paying their fair share of taxes?

Al Gore is coming up the stretch with well over $100 million.

Tom Daschle, little Timmy Geitner and Charlie Rangel skirt their tax obligations with ease and shamelessness.

I guess it’s just the conservative rich that are being targeted.

honsy on May 30, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I have caught the Reason folks in so many lies, I cannot accept anything they say as truth without researching and studying it myself. Therefore, why even bother to post articles by them?

Blake on May 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Some people argue that the rich should pay more because they benefit more from government providing defense and keeping the economy intact, since they have much more value to lose.

tneloms on May 29, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The only “fair” way to tax is to charge the same percentage regardless of income. The rich will pay more simply because they have more money to tax. Anything other than that is simply denying people their freedom. And that’s what this whole “fairness” crap is all about; busybodies, in this case progressives, don’t like how others use their freedom and want to “make” them do the “fair” thing by force of government.

cartooner on May 30, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Keep hitting on the rich and they leave town. Attention New York and New Jersey. Both states have lost millions with that logic. Look it up it’s really surprising.

mixplix on May 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM

CO2MAKER on May 29, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Your point that everyone should have some skin in the game got my attention. All those who don’t live on the street or in a shelter should pay some tax, even if it’s $5.00, just as you suggested. The Republicans or the Tea Party should frame this as part of the argument for conservatism. Everyone would feel an ownership in the system. And hopefully, they would examine their political thoughts.

There’s no doubt some deep psychological pride, possibly minute, that would not be denied if one became a part of the system as opposed to a leech on the system. Even symbolically. We need to sppeal to this pride. Then, psychologically speaking, eveyone would own the system. It would awaken curiosity, perhaps in just a few, to find out just what is really going on.

People have to deny some deep psychological truths about themselves when they choose to be on the taking side of the societal equation. One might think that some of them don’t really have any morals, or standards, self-respect, or conscience. Perhaps they don’t. Perhaps they’ve convinced themselves of that. But it doesn’t make them happy when they look in the mirror. They avoid thinking about their life.
But when they see a better way of looking at themselves, a small quiet jolt of freedom and anticipation shoots through them as they contemplate the possiblity of self-determination. And they wonder how well they could do if they played on a level playing field. It’s this little spark of life that can change things.

oh – uh sorry for saying ‘psychologically’ so much.

CSK on May 30, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Welcome to Hope & Change — Obama’s New Class Order. Obama’s New Class Order has 3 basic classes — the Privileged, Collectors, and Serfs.

The Privileged are the unions (especially public unions), greens, attorneys, left wing politicians, and assorted others. They generally live by their own set of rules outside of the normal dynamics of market forces, derive most of their benefits sucking from other’s life energy and are protected by various self constructed legal and PC firewalls from common sense behavior. After they’ve prettied themselves with other people’s life energy, they pass any trickle of life energy that’s left back to the Serfs to keep them happy.

The Collectors are the successful folks in the private sector economy whose life energy creates, supports, and/or manages much of the private marketplace. They’ve been selected by the Privileged to collect and pass on the necessary life energy from the private sector to support the Privileged. Currently, the magic number defining oneself as a Collector appears to be $250,000 of income a year. Expect the Collector barrier to drop, or inflation to make many more fits this niche in the near future.

The Serfs are basically everyone else struggling along in the private sector. They spend most of their life energy toiling away so they can buy the basics of the private sector from the Collectors, who in turn pass that revenue to the Privileged. The Privileged return a trickle of the Serf’s own life energy back to the Serfs so the Serf’s can appear to afford various essential benefits of a civilized society. The Privileged use this trickle of the Serf’s own energy back to the Serf’s to buy the votes and continued loyalty of enough Serfs to keep the New Class Order moving along to the general benefit of the Privileged.

Privileged’s Hope is that no one will notice the fatal flaw in their New Class Order. Everything adds up just fine when it comes to counting votes, but not so well when counting money. Obama’s New Class Order is a quick multi-trillion dollar lined path to moral and fiscal bankruptcy for our freedom and liberty loving society.

Be not worried, the Privileged have secured their golden parachute when the crash comes.


drfredc on May 30, 2010 at 11:42 PM