EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 13, 2012

Column: Hooray for the contributions of America’s 1 percent


This group earned 11.7 percent of national income, but paid just 2.4 percent of all income taxes. The reviled 1 percent coughed up 16 times this amount.

Also, the entire bottom half of tax filers paid a 2.4 percent average tax rate, while the top 1 percent paid 23.4 percent — nearly 10 times more.

So much for the vicious lie that the poor and middle class bear America’s tax burden while the rich laugh all the way to the Cayman Islands.

Second, many 1 percenters launch and expand companies, invest their earnings, purchase goods and services and conduct economic activity that creates and sustains the jobs and careers of less wealthy Americans.

According to Bloomberg News: 53 percent of business income reported on individual income tax returns is earned by taxpayers who would be affected by Obama’s proposal” to boost taxes on those whom Obama denounces as “millionaires and billionaires.”

Of course, Obamathematics defines “millionaires and billionaires” as married couples who earn at least $250,000 and individuals who make more than $200,000.

Third, the top 1 percent handsomely finance charities.

The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy in conjunction with the University of Indiana’s Center on Philanthropy surveyed 701 Americans with an average net worth of $10.7 million.

In 2011, 95 percent of these “plutocrats” gave to charity. Among the general population, 65 percent made charitable donations.

These wealthy individuals last year donated $52,770, on average, or 8.7 percent of personal income.

Beyond writing checks, 89 percent of these people volunteered.

These Americans volunteered an average of 254 hours in 2011. This equals more than 10 full days or 31 eight-hour shifts, in which they rolled up their sleeves to advance their favorite causes.

So, are 1 percenters monsters?

You bet!

These monsters pay most of Uncle Sam’s bills, keep companies running, underwrite charities and even contribute their valuable time.

Americans in the 1 percent deserve a pat on the back, not the back of Obama’s hand.


Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

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