This issue is particularly important now because massive, unfunded entitlements are coming due as the baby-boom generation retires. We simply cannot afford higher taxes if we want an economy able to bear up under the strain of those obligations. And beyond the issue of our annual federal budget is the nearly $9 trillion national debt that we have not even begun to pay off.Well it makes sense from the point of view of a contender for the Republican nomination for president, who very likely understands, but cannot explicitly acknowledge, that many members of his target audience would prefer that the government stop providing these entitlement benefits altogether.
Personally, I found another of Thompson's complaints even more preposterous:
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this success story is where the increased revenues are coming from. Critics claimed that across-the-board tax cuts were some sort of gift to the rich but, on the contrary, the wealthy are paying a greater percentage of the national bill than ever before.As of 2001, the richest 1% of Americans controlled 33% of the nation's wealth. Meanwhile, the richest 10% controlled 70% of the nation's wealth. Note that that is not only more than is controlled by the bottom 60%, but also more than is controlled by the bottom 90%. So it's not clear what to make of Thompson's comment, here, except to assume he thinks that under a fair tax regime, people pay a share of the taxes identical to their share of the population, with no reference to income or wealth. I say we call that the Super-Flat Tax, and give Thompson all of the credit for it.
The richest 1% of Americans now pays 35% of all income taxes. The top 10% pay more taxes than the bottom 60%.