From THOM HARTMANN
Truthout (article with footnotes here)
[Thom Hartmann now available locally on KMEC. Hartmann offers us full sets of actual facts to refute and rebut the repugnant Republicans... -DS]
You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessings. ~ Andrew Jackson
When I was in Denmark in 2008 doing my radio show for a week from the Danish Radio studios and interviewing many of that nation’s leading politicians, economists, energy experts, and newspaper publishers, one of my guests made a comment that dropped the scales from my eyes.
We’d been discussing taxes on the air and the fact that Denmark has an average 52 percent income-tax rate. I asked him why people didn’t revolt at such high taxes, and he smiled and pointed out to me that the average Dane is very well paid, with a minimum wage that equals roughly $18 per hour. Moreover, what Danes get for their taxes (that we don’t) is a free college education and free health care, not to mention four weeks of paid vacation each year and notoriety as the happiest nation on earth, according to a major study done by the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.
But it was once we were off the air that he made the comment that I found so enlightening.
“You Americans are such suckers,” he said. “You think that the rules for taxes that apply to rich people also apply to working people, but they don’t. When working peoples’ taxes go up, their pay goes up. When their taxes go down, their pay goes down. It may take a year or two or three to all even out, but it always works this way—look at any country in Europe. And that rule on taxes is the opposite of how it works for rich people!”
My Danish guest was right. So before we get into the larger consequences of tax increases or tax cuts for the nation’s economic health, let’s parse this business about what tax increases or cuts mean for the rich and for the not-so-rich.
Unequal Taxation and the Conservative Spin
If a wealthy person earns so much money that he doesn’t or can’t spend it all each year, when his taxes go down his income after taxes goes up.