May 09, 2003
A chart is worth 11,483 words

Mike T has an excellent chart, taken from a study by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) on the effect of the proposed tax cut on dividends. If you believe that proper presentation is the key to winning political battles, take note of this.

(Yoo hoo, Democratic Presidential candidates! You can use this chart, too!)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 09, 2003 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack
Comments

Hmmm. Interesting graphic. As is prudent with any chart produced by a politician, I would like to know Congressman Waxman's sources and data. I don't doubt the number for the highest 1%. that strikes me as probably reasonably accurate. But I have some serious questions regarding the figure for the bottom 80%.

I'd also like to know where the missing 19% of people would fall.

Regardless, before Mr. Waxman feverishly incites the masses to rise up and strike those nasty wealthiest one percent of Americans, he needs to make sure the oppressed mobs don't whack Bill Gates and Ted Turner until after they have paid their sizable tax bills and made their very generous charitable contributions.

Posted by: Patrick on May 9, 2003 8:55 AM

The accompanying PDF file makes the claim that 70% of taxpayers will get nothing from a dividend tax cut. I find that to be not too surprising, since most people don't own stocks, and many stocks don't pay dividends (that may change if this bill goes through).

I agree that this graphic doesn't tell the whole story, but that's not what it's about. It's trying to make a point, and it's clearly pretty effective at doing so.

As far as the feverish mobs go, Waxman just has to ask them to wait until Bush's 2001 tax bill expires, at which point the estate tax will be restored to its prior levels. :-)

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on May 9, 2003 9:48 AM

Regardless, before Mr. Waxman feverishly incites the masses to rise up and strike those nasty wealthiest one percent of Americans, he needs to make sure the oppressed mobs don't whack Bill Gates and Ted Turner until after they have paid their sizable tax bills and made their very generous charitable contributions.--

Of course, their tax bills would be more sizable if they didn't make those charitable contributions...just saying.

Posted by: jesse on May 9, 2003 11:29 AM

This is why I missed the blogging world, Chuck. People like you. Reading your site for the last week...well, when exactly is the Democratic Party going to hire you as a consultant? Hell, when are you running for office??? You've got my vote. :)

Posted by: Amy on May 9, 2003 12:15 PM

Of course, their tax bills would be more sizable if they didn't make those charitable contributions...just saying.

Yeah, I know. The tax break for charitable contributions does seem to call into question a personís motivation. But I really believe the tax break, while undoubtedly is a nice bene, is not the primary motivation for a most people. I know it is not for my wife and I.

Posted by: Patrick on May 9, 2003 2:30 PM

I can't speak to Ted Turner but Bill Gates and at least one other notably non-poor individual (Warren Buffett) are very vocally against the tax cut.

Posted by: Charles M on May 9, 2003 2:39 PM

I can't speak to Ted Turner but Bill Gates and at least one other notably non-poor individual (Warren Buffett) are very vocally against the tax cut.

Which is exactly why the indiscriminate invitation to class warfare offered by Mr. Waxman and his report merrily entitled "The Dividend Tax Cut: Fortune 100 Corporate Executives Who Would Reap Huge Financial Benefits" is not really helpful to discussing the issue on a rational level. This is a visceral appeal intend to incite through division. It serves to demonize Bill Gates as the number one guy on the list without making mention that he in fact opposes the legislation. I can think of other reasons to demonize Bill Gates but this ain't it.

Posted by: patrick on May 9, 2003 4:33 PM

Please, please, please, can we add the absolute income levels? As I understand, 19% of people think they're in the top 1% of income. But I'm sure those extra 18% know they don't make $370K a year (I think that's the cutoff for top 1%).

I think the point is not to incite the masses to hang the rich people. Just to point out that we masses aren't getting diddly from this stupid bill, and a bunch of people who are already doing fine, thank you, are getting a lot.

Posted by: Matt Weiner on May 9, 2003 5:11 PM

Oh, and "class warfare"? The Republicans are practicing class warfare, and that chart proves it.

Posted by: Matt Weiner on May 9, 2003 5:12 PM

What that chart is also saying is that currently the wealthiest 1% are paying THAT DISPROPORTIONATE of an amount of tax on dividends. Remember--this is not a "give away", this is money that people would ordinarily pay but won't have to now and is based on a percentage of what they earn as part owners of publically traded corporations! So, fellow bottom 80%ers, are we doing OUR PART?

Posted by: Andy on July 24, 2003 10:40 PM