allen: extras (extras)
[personal profile] allen
From the CBO
projected deficit for 2014: $475 billion

estimated GDP for 2014: $17,606 billion

From the CIA Fact Book

estimated GDP for 2007: $14,560 billion

From the IRS, 2007 tax statistics
number of income tax returns with adjusted gross incomes over $1 million: 391,261

total income of those earners: $1,401,087,152,000

taxable income of that $1.4 trillion: $1,243,801,387,000

2007 GDP = 14,560. est for 2014=$17,606 billion. so that's a 20.85% increase. if we scale linearly:

taxable income: $1,503,133,000,000
# of filers: call it 400,000
amount of taxable income over $1,000,000: $1,103,133,000,000

additional tax surcharge required to balance budget using only income of over $1 million: 43%

current highest tax bracket: 35%

new $1 million tax bracket that would cover the entire 2014 deficit: 78%

So if somebody is worried about future US deficits, then maybe we should start by proposing a new 78% tax bracket for all income over $1 million (with the associated AMT and capital gains taxes to make it stick). And we can negotiate from there.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-17 01:28 pm (UTC)
nathanjw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nathanjw
Well, we had a 70% highest marginal rate until 1981; there was a 77% rate in 1969, and a top rate over 90% from 1951-1963. I really don't want to take the postwar period as representative, but this seems entirely plausible. I would like to hear from some folks on the incidence of tax cheating as it compares to high marginal rates.

I'd also like to compare this to corporate income taxes - my understanding is that we have relatively high marginal rates, by international standards, but enough loopholes to drive a Citibank-sized truck through, so the actual tax incidence is comparatively low.

The capital gains tax is an curious beast. It's not clear that it should exist at all (that is, capital gains should just be income, not that they should be untaxed).

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-17 01:33 pm (UTC)
nathanjw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nathanjw
Also, my pedant hat compels me to point out that, mathematically, the Laffer curve is true *somewhere* on the 0-to-100% tax range. Certainly not where we are now, and probably not where you propose, but still.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-17 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember reading, several years ago, a series of posts on the blog Angry Bear which came to the conclusion that based on the existing historical evidence, the Laffer curve reaches its maximum (that is, tax revenue is maximized) when the top marginal tax rate is between 50-60%. Which is not much less than the top marginal rate around the time that the Laffer curve became a popular argument for reducing taxes, and certainly higher than it is now.

I tend to think that the social benefits of having a higher tax rate than that would outweigh any negative impact on economic growth, but I'd be happy if anyone started making a Laffer curve based argument for raising taxes.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-17 06:21 pm (UTC)
dougo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dougo
I'd be happy if anyone started making a Laffer curve based argument for raising taxes.

Apparently, 19th century Republicans did that.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-17 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
cactus at Angry Bear wrote a very long series of posts based on comparing economic measures under Democrats to under Republicans. Here is a representative post about the Laffer curve. These were all empirical, so cactus looked at actual economic data as the marginal tax rate changed to attempt to determine the maximum in the curve. There isn't a lot of data, and there are obvious missing data points, but the results are at least suggestive.

This was part of a very long series which mostly looked at performance relative to which party was in power. The short conclusion is that almost regardless of what measurements you use for economic performance and for political power, the Democrats come out ahead.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-17 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I went to the trouble of embedding the link in a tag so the huge URL wouldn't spew all over the comment box. Apparently I wasn't entirely successful.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-21 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Laffer curve is basically the fundamental theorem of Calculus, isn't it? (Taxes collected at rate 0%: 0. Taxes collected at rate 100%: 0. We have empirical evidence that we actually DO collect taxes at a rate somewhere in the middle. So there must be a peak somewhere.)

I don't think that actually is the fundamental theorem of calculus, but it's close.