On the campaign trail, one thing you're guaranteed to hear from the Obama team is how the evil rich have gotten away with paying little or no taxes during the last six years because of the Bush tax cuts.
The only problem with this claim is that it's completely false. In fact, the exact opposite is true: the rich already pay all of the taxes. A recently published study by the non-partisan Tax Foundation demonstrates this: the nation's wealthiest taxpayers now pay a higher percentage of the tax burden than ever before. As of 2006, the wealthiest 1% of wage earners paid a whopping 40% of the nation's tax burden, up from 36.9% in 2004, while earning only 22% of the country's income. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal goes into greater detail.
So the liberal redistributionists are correct to say that a plurality of the gains made during the last 7 years have gone to those at the top, but they conveniently fail to mention how those at the top are now forced to pay a percentage of the tax burden that nearly doubles their share of the national income.
The scariest part of all of this new data goes left unstated, however: the bottom 50% of wage earners now pay only 2.7% of the federal tax burden. This, of course, allows them to vote themselves benefits they won't have to pay for and to support tax increases that won't affect them.
Senator Obama claims he'll raise taxes on the rich so he can give more cut taxes to "the people that actually need them" (i.e., lower income earners). But how do you cut taxes on people that don't pay any in the first place?