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View Diary: Warren Buffett calls for A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy (107 comments)

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  •  Exactly the right question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Roger Fox, LilithGardener
    No one paid close to the marginal tax rate back in the 50's due to all the deductions.  What was the effective tax rate?
    All the discussion of top marginal rates prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 are completely meaningless, because of the vastly different scheme of deductions and exemptions. People should be focused on EFFECTIVE tax rates.  

    And I haven't seen any real analysis of the effective tax rates from the Eisenhower years.  The CBO has data back to 1979, and it shows that the Clinton rates were the highest effective tax rates on individual earned income ever during that time -- higher than when top marginal rates were 70%.   See the SECOND chart here.

    •  but there are other distinctions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, elwior

      that make a difference, deductions for plant and equipment, for owning real factories that produce jobs, or FIRE dominating the picture and casino debt.   Less income inequality,   if CEO's make ten times versus five hundred times the average salary of the workers, one is addressing a different policy problem.

      Effective tax rates matter, so does effective tax policy that supports growth overall in the economy, not just to 1-2% of the taxpayers.

      •  I think I agree... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        ...CEO compensation limits make people feel better - its the fairness thing.   But it has no impact on solving our real problem - income stagnation in the middle class.

        So I care about what do you do with a meaningful amount of incremental tax dollars (and I don't think CEO comp limits will supply enough).   Again - education and training....

        And an intelligent industrial policy - credits for hiring locally, credits for manufacturing facilities, and yes, a big tax cut for repatriating offshore earnings IF you use the money to hire locally.

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