The White House put up a website designed to foment class envy – not by displaying how rich the rich are but by deliberately hiding the amount of taxes the “rich” actually pay – but thanks to the Daily Mail in the UK, they get a little help with the math:
The Obama administration disclosed Monday, perhaps inadvertently, that a taxpayer earning $240,000 per year is paying into the national defense budget what an $80,000 earner contributes. The same is true of food stamps, veterans benefits, public health services and government pensions.
But Americans will have to know how to file someone else’s tax return to see for themselves.
The administration rolled out a ‘tax receipt’ Web page on Monday, coinciding with the deadline day for Americans to file their annual returns. But while the White House made it easy to see how much — or how little — lower-income and middle-class earners pay to Uncle Sam, it made it difficult for ordinary taxpayers to learn how much the wealthy pay toward federal spending.
The online receipt was set up to itemized what Americans’ income, Social Security and Medicare taxes actually pay for, broken down along a long list of categories. It also provides a handful of example calculations.
The White House’s typical $80,000 earner who is married and filing jointly, for instance, pays $4,590 in federal income tax. Of that, more than $1,130 is devoted to national defense, another $1,030 for health care-related costs, and $792 to a category that includes food stamps, housing assistance and unemployment insurance.
The calculator makes it easy to see numbers associated with its $80,000 example, along with four others ranging in income down to $25,000.
But no examples are provided for upper-income earners, despite the President’s frequent argument for a ‘Buffett Rule’ tax that would ensure Americans who make $1 million or more would pay at least 30 percent of their income to the federal government.
While taxpayers who make more than $80,000 per year can consult their own tax returns for the numbers required to operate the calculator, lower-income earners would need to know how to use several online tools in order to estimate those numbers for someone who earns dramatically more than they do.
It took MailOnline 35 minutes to calculate the taxes paid by a hypothetical $240,000 salaried earner who is married and filing taxes jointly with a spouse, using the same conditions as in the White House’s example for an $80,000 earner.
That $240,000 salaried employee, would contribute toward every federal program more than 10 times what the $80,000 employee chips in, despite earning just three times as much money.
Under the same assumptions as the White House used, his or her $48,287 in federal income taxes would include $11,897 for national defense, $10,840 spent on health care-related costs, and $8,334 for the broad ‘Job and Family Security’ spending category.