How much are your taxes going up this year? Well, you won’t get that answer if you read the Wall Street Journal, who did the public an admirable service by revealing they understand absolutely nothing about economics or ethics by posting the above infographic, which charts the effect of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for those making over 450k a year and the payroll tax on some very, very well-off people while pretending they represent the average American.
So let’s raise our hands. Whose friends here make a 180k-650k a year? Anyone?
There’s a reason for that, actually! Let’s take the WSJ’s baseline estimate for what they seem to think retirees make: $180,000. That would place you in the top 6% of Americans. Their next jump – to $230,000 – would place you in the top 4% nationally and in the top 2%-3% across much of the country.
$180,000 is, apparently, what the Wall Street Journal thinks is reasonable number to judge the effects of supposed tax increases on retiree income. Retiring from what, designing fur coats for handbag terriers?
$230,000 is apparently tough to get by for a single person, judging by that suit-wearing Asian lady’s inquisitive scowl. Maybe she won’t be able to afford another pearl necklace. Wait, she will. Weird.
And God forbid that a single parent making $260,000 should see a tax increase – she might not be able to take her sad-looking kids sledding on a Lamborghini next year, or something.
I would make a snarky comment about a family that makes $650,000 somehow being a martyr of crushing tax increases, except people that make that much usually have armed security.
One could just wave and shrug their shoulders, and ask what else could you expect – they’re called the Wall Street Journal for a reason.
Unfortunately, their elite-skewed editorial page has played a central role in the charge on virtually any economic policy that threatens the predominance of the highest-earning Americans.
This is ridiculous, and just goes to show you that the WSJ’s perspective on economics – and everything else – is completely skewed out of whack in favor of a small clique of elites.
Why doesn’t the WSJ make an infographic about spiraling income inequality? You know, the thing that has been spiraling completely out of control for the past three decades. From 1979 to 2007, the income of the top 0.1% grew by 362%. From 1989 to 2010, the average income of high school graduates – or as the Wall Street Journal editors call them, “the help” – grew 4.8%. That’s not even close to approaching inflation.
At the same time, taxes for the super rich fell dramatically. Over the past 12 years, the taxes for the richest 400 Americans fell by half.
Yes, there are things in the American Taxpayer Relief Act that will constrict the incomes of average Americans, namely the expiration of a 2% decrease in the payroll tax. That same payroll tax is capped at $110,100 this year. The very rich don’t pay that.
And let’s not even mention the myriad ways in which the moneyed elite in this country possesses a stranglehold over virtually the entirety of our political and economic discourse.
The WSJ doesn’t seem to care.
We have real economic priorities that don’t involve sniveling over the very rich having to pay their fair share in taxes, and we have better things to do than take umbrage over minor tax increases for bankers, CEOs, sommeliers, celebrities and art dealers.
So, I have an infographic for the WSJ:
UPDATE: Not convinced? Redditor shaggorama posted the following chart, showing just how far off the WSJ really was in their estimates (hint: it's about 774%):