Harvard's Dr. Mankiw mostly likes the tax deal between President Obama and the still-minority Republicans. He also points to some useful number-crunching from the Tax Policy Center that breaks down who gets what from extending the Bush tax cuts for the next two years. Compared with current law—i.e., the taxes everyone would pay if we let all of the deficit-busting Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, as originally intended—the top 0.1% of income earners each get $360,469 more in their pockets each year.
$360,469. That's enough to cover the salaries of Kristi Noem and John Thune. Normal annual pay for members of Congress: $174,000.
The way I calculate it, the 259 richest Americans could take their gains from this tax deal and buy every member of Congress.
But they seem to have already done that.
Or let's slice that locally. About 400,000 South Dakotans file federal income tax returns. 0.1% of them would be 400 taxpayers. (South Dakota's own Fortune 400—that is a list I'd love to see.) 400 × $360,000 = $144,000,000.
$144 million more dollars staying in the richest South Dakotans' pockets... at the same time that Governor Rounds wants to cut $23 million from K-12 education. Hey Dennis! I think we just found our replacement for the stimulus dollars to fix the state budget deficit!
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