A challenge to prove Senator Gramm a liar
This is a half page opinion given for free by the WSJ to the GOP, and I believe it is a blatant lie, and I mean blatant, with much smoke and mirrors and pretend economic crap.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it (as they used to say), is to verify or debunk my basic assertions listed below.
In a nutshell, this article by ex Texas Senator Gramm and Mr. McMillin from another “think tank” called U.S. Policy Metrics makes claims that I believe are both wrong numerically, and deliberately framed so as to be even more wrong by being misread.
I list only part of their number manipulation for illustration, but only part is needed to prove a lie.
Gramm states that Sweden collects 28.5% of it’s GDP from income taxes (the USA is now about 16%). He then proceeds to say that the top 10% of tax payers contribute 7.6% and the bottom 90% pay 20.9% (he says get “hit by a backbreaking”).
One might very likely think that means that the bottom 90% are taxed at almost 3 times the rate of the rich, and he in fact continues to say that if the USA taxed in this way then the bottom 90% would have their taxes doubled.
I call bullshit.
He ignores completely the disparity in wealth ownership between the USA and the countries he compares with and he suggests, deceptively by wording, that the percentages above are real tax rates, not contributions to the total percentage of GDP. My numbers come from Google searches and I have normalized to 20%-80% comparisons since most clear numbers available online were for 20%, not 10% . Differences between data years and sources may give somewhat different results, but I believe the primary principles remain the same. If you care to do the same comparisons for 10%-90% as Gramm did, feel free.
In Sweden 20% of the people own 32% of the wealth, and pay 27% of the total tax revenue. 80% own 68% and pay 73% of taxes.
In the USA 20% of the people own 84% of the wealth, and pay 64% of the total tax revenue. 80% own 16% and pay 36% of taxes.
In short, in the USA those who own the least pay more than twice the tax rate on their wealth than the rich do, whereas in Sweden the income tax contributions are within a few percentage points of the actual wealth owned.
This is completely the opposite of what Senator Gram, GOP, suggests in this WSJ opinion and I call liar liar pants on fire because people who run “businesses” called U.S. Policy Metrics must know they are liars.
Your opinions will be appreciated.