McCaa Uncut: Searching for truth in political discourse

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by JOHN McCAA

Bio | Email | Follow: @johnmccaa

WFAA

Posted on September 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 30 at 9:55 PM

Did you see that story on making millionaires and billionaires pay a higher tax rate than their secretaries?

It has caused a lot of confusion, particularly in the media. It's this week's Uncut commentary.

Last week, President Obama said, "Warren Buffett's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett."

He wants more money from the wealthy going into federal coffers. That statement has left many people with the impression that the poor and the middle class contribute more than the rich in income tax.

That is not true.

The Congressional Budget Office keeps up with those numbers. It said the top 10 percent of Americans in household income pay over 70 percent of the federal income tax collected. The Tax Policy Center said even more, if you add in other federal taxes.

It is true that in 2009, about 1,500 of your fellow citizens making over a million dollars paid no income tax. However that was 1,500 out of 237,000 who filed that year.

Those numbers come from the IRS.

That's not to say our current system is fair; It's not, particularly for the middle class.

But it is does say the election is coming, so we reporters need to monitor what the political parties claim.

Each will announce a plan can save us with a minimum of pain, and that their numbers come from a think tank -- more like a stink tank.

No matter which candidate or officeholder is talking, when you hear they can restore American economic honor, remember what Englishman Johnson warned about long ago: "that the louder he talked of his honor... the faster we counted our spoons."

Those are my thoughts, tell me yours: jmccaa@wfaa.com

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