Mitt Romney is getting quite a bit of attention for recent statements about his federal taxes being “closer to the 15% rate” than the much higher rate the rich are expected to pay, and Newt Gingrich received applause for his outlandish stance on child labor in the recent Republican debate, so my question is: Who would pay higher taxes–quarter-of-a- billionaire Mitt Romney or Newt’s child janitors?
Technically, the unfortunate rich man would have to pay more in federal taxes than the lucky children–lucky because they’d be given the opportunity to work and go to school at the same time, while earning less than minimum wage!
The children would be making too little money to pay federal taxes; however, since the poor and middle class pay higher state taxes than the rich in every state but Vermont, according to ThinkProgress, the unfair-to-the-rich tax discrepancy might even out by the time all taxes are paid.
Thank goodness for that.
Sure, it’s important that the child workers learn the value of work ethic since that’s a big part of Gingrich’s brilliant plan to put children to work, but it’s more important that they learn something else: If they’re going to stay poor, then they need to pay more than their share of taxes.
It’s the new American way, brought to you by an abundance of Republican policy in the past 50 years or so. While the super-rich paid just over 50% of total federal taxes collected as recently at 1955, they paid close to 17% of total revenue in 2007.
Tax rates in the 1950s may very well have been excessive for the super rich in the post-war 1950s, but that was when we believed that wars needed to be paid for and that taxes should be raised, not lowered, in order to do so.
President George W. Bush went in a completely different direction, of course, by concurrently slashing taxes for the rich and conducting two expensive wars that were not accounted for in his budgets, effectively running the wars on credit.
And how does the Republican party of 2012 respond? By insisting that taxes not be increased on the rich and making outrageous suggestions like having school children work as janitors in their own schools.
And Republicans wonder why their candidates have a difficult time connecting with average Americans.