tax lessons for teabaggers

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Joseph Thorndike writes "Four Things You Should Know About the Boston Tea Party"--the sort of history lesson needed (to be fair) on both sides of tomorrow's Teabag protests:

1. The Tea Party was not a protest against high taxes.
2. The Tea Party was prompted by a corporate bailout.
3. The Tea Party was a grass-roots movement -- with an element of AstroTurf.
4. The Tea Party wasn't always a touchstone of American nationalism.

H/t: Bruce Bartlett, who adds:

Since the original Boston tea party is the subject of so much mythology, which animates many latter day tea partiers to this day, it's important to set the record straight.

NYT's David Leonhardt helps set the record straight on taxes, writing that "understanding who really pays what in taxes" is essential to "get[ting] a sense for our country's fiscal options:"

The answer is that tax rates almost certainly have to rise more on the affluent than on other groups. Over the last 30 years, rates have fallen more for the wealthy, and especially the very wealthy, than for any other group. At the same time, their incomes have soared, and the incomes of most workers have grown only moderately faster than inflation.

So a much greater share of income is now concentrated at the top of distribution, while each dollar there is taxed less than it once was. It's true that raising taxes on the rich alone can't come close to solving the long-term budget problem.

Citizens for Tax Justice note that 44% of teabaggers believe that Obama raised their taxes--despite the fact that 98% of them received tax cuts last year. To help correct that imbalance, CJT published a list of resources titled "Be Informed and Take Action on Tax Day." It, along with Chuck Collins' constructive advice on "How to Talk to a Tea Party Activist" from The Nation, could help to make tomorrow a bit less contentious.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 14, 2010 9:10 PM.

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