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IRS to Celebrate a Century of Progressive Redistribution

Written by Ivan Betinov

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February 2013 marks the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, authorizing the collection of a national income tax and the creation of the Internal Party Communists CelebrateRevenue Service. As a duly self-appointed member of the Inner Circle of the Party, I hereby issue an executive order proclaiming 2013 as

The Year Of Coercive Redistribution

In celebration of this momentous milestone, let's take a trip back to the thrilling and heady days of yesteryear and see just how far we have come in the science of Progressive Wealth Redistribution.

In 1913, anyone making over $3,000 per year was required to file a federal income tax return. This was the equivalent of slightly more than $68,000 in 2011 dollars. Currently, anyone making more than $9,500 per year is required to file a return with the IRS.

Even in 1913 the government was mindful of making the evil rich pay their fair share, which has to be a bigger share than anyone else. What they lacked was the audacity of hope in their demands. Let's take a quick look at the 1913 tax tables included on the venerable Form 1040.

Adjusted Gross Income............................................Per cent Tax Due
$0 - $20,000............................................................................1%
$20,000 - $50,000.....................................................................1%
$50,000 - $75,000.....................................................................2%
$75,000 - $100,000...................................................................3%
$100,000 - $250,000..................................................................4%
$250,000 - $500,000..................................................................5%
$500,000 and up........................................................................6%

Thus, while a person who earned $50,000 in 1913 owed the federal government $500 in taxes, the person who earned $75,000 in 1913 owed $1,000. If the taxpayer was truly greedy and stole $100,000 from the working class in 1913, he had to pay $1,750 in taxes, while a true enemy of the people earning $250,000 was forced to redistribute $6,000 of his ill-gotten gains to the federal government. And for those "captains of industry," as the arch-imperialists used to call themselves, men who earned $500,000 per year, they had to pony up $20,250 in taxes.

It was a good start, but before we get too dizzy with success here, we must realize that the percentages involved were truly minuscule. A person earning $100,000 paid only 1.75% in taxes. The millionaires and billionaires who earned $250,000 in a year paid but 3.1%, and the blood-drinking corporate fat-cats earning a cool half million bucks only turned over 4.05% of their earnings for redistribution.

This is something about which we can be proud in this new era of progressive redistribution: although the rich are still not paying their fair share, we are making progressive progress in forcing them to return a higher percentage of the money they have stolen from the people. Let's just do a little conceited comparison of 1913 rates to 2012 rates:

Taxable Income....................1913 tax (per cent rate)....................2012 tax (per cent rate)
$100,000.............................$1,750 (1.75%)...............................$21,454 (21.45%)
$250,000..............................$7,750 (3.1%)................................$67,029 (26.81%)
$500,000..............................$20,250 (4.05%)............................$151,761 (30.35%)

While it does warm my heart to realize that a person earning $100,000 today is paying well over ten times the tax rate as a person earning the same amount a century ago, we can't say the same for the person earning a half million dollars a year, and in any case, these evil rich people are not paying their fair share even at these rates.

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One thing we can be proud of, even in the light of these still obviously far too light tax burdens, is the standard deduction rate. In 1913, the personal exemption on a tax return for a person filing single was $3,000. In 2012, that standard deduction is $5,950. Here is somewhere we have truly held the line, dear comrades. Remember, $3,000 in 1913 was the equivalent of a bit more than $68,000 in 2011 dollars. For the standard deduction to remain on par with 1913, we would have to allow tax filers an exemption of over $130,000! Yet we keep them content by showing our largess in allowing them to exempt a mere $5,950.

So let's raise a cup of vegan soy latte in toast of a century of progressive expansion of the Internal Revenue Service and the coercive redistribution of wealth. Be a patriot and pay those taxes, and vote for those candidates who see their duty to raise taxes to an even more equal rate.

Remember Comrades: The Obamaphone does not pay for itself!

Source: The Peoples Cube

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