The logic and research apparent in Hans Schultz's letter, asking "How much of the income tax load should the rich be sharing?" was compelling. Mr. Schultz points out that in 1980 the top 1 percent of earners paid 20 percent of the tax burden while today they shoulder 40 percent.
But every statistic needs context. Based on IRS statistics the income gain of the top 1 percent from 1979 to 2007 was 192 percent. The gain for the next 19 percent of earners was 68 percent. And that gain was lower in each lower income bracket. So it looks like the gains for the "rich" were far outdistancing the additional burdens of being extremely wealthy. For further context, the latest figures show that the top 1 percent earn over 50 percent of all income in the United States.
The rich are definitely getting richer. And they are not getting (or staying) wealthy in a vacuum. Their wealth comes from contributions across society. Are workers fairly compensated for their contributions to this wealth? If compensation were truly equitable we would not see the constant widening of the gap between rich and poor. If one segment of our society garners a vast amount of the benefits (in terms of wealth) shouldn't that segment also be responsible for contributing the lion's share of support for that society?
So how much of the tax load should the rich be sharing? Statistics say it could and should be more.