The NYT has a useful piece on this principle that millionaires and up shouldn’t face lower taxes than the middle class.
–as an ever-increasing share of the growth has flowed to those at the top of income and wealth scale, changes in tax policy have generally served to lower their tax burdens.
–these tax policy changes have been particularly significant for wealthy households with income from non-labor sources, like capital gains and dividends. From the article:
Recent Treasury Department data gives a more detailed look at the group of taxpayers the administration is aiming at. In 2009, 238,000 households filed returns with adjusted gross incomes of at least $1 million. One-quarter of them paid an effective federal income tax rate of less than 15 percent, the data shows, and 1,470 paid no federal income tax at all.
–thus, in the interest and both fairness and the need for revenues to support critical government functions, advanced economies can no longer afford to support tax structures that allow the wealthy to shelter so much of their income.
There’s a powerful graphic documenting how 9 to 28 percent of households with incomes above $1 million pay federal income taxes that amount to less than 15% of their income (bottom panel), and the top end of that range—28%–refers to households with incomes over $100 million.
(Source: NYT–link above)
Now that right there is some serious class warfare.