Here are some quips from an interesting article: http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/31/news/economy/tax_debate.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008040211 "The first surprise for most people is the large proportion of Americans who don't pay any income tax at all. The number of people who actually get money back - not a refund, but a net payment - through the income tax system, is huge. In 2005 (the most recent year for which data is available), the bottom 40% of Americans by income had, in the aggregate, an effective tax rate that's negative: their households received more money through the income tax system, largely from the earned income tax credit, than they paid. That means that the number of people who actually pay America's income taxes - totaling almost $1 trillion in 2005 - is surprisingly small. Of those who filed returns (themselves a subset of the population), just half accounted for 97% of the Treasury's total income tax revenue. The top half's share of total payments has been growing steadily for the past 20 years. The top 10% of taxpayers kicked in 70% of total income tax. And the famous top 1% paid almost 40% of all income tax, a proportion that has jumped dramatically since 1986. Now consider some of the heated tax controversies of recent years. Did Bush cut taxes for the rich? Yes. But he cut taxes for the poor even more. If we look at the measure that really matters - the change in effective tax rates - the bottom 50% got a much bigger tax cut than the top 1%. Did the dollar value of Bush's tax cuts go mostly to the wealthy? Absolutely. It could hardly be otherwise. Since the well-off pay the overwhelming majority of taxes, any tax cut with a prayer of influencing the economy would have to go mostly to them. You could completely eliminate income taxes for the bottom half of the population, and the Treasury would hardly notice. The real issues here are clear. One is having a shrinking minority of citizens pay most of Washington's bills. Social cohesion falls apart. The majority who pay nothing resent those with higher incomes; the minority who pay heavily resent those who don't pay. More fundamental is why some people's incomes are growing so much faster than other people's incomes. That, and not taxes, is what the supposed tax debate is really about. Watch to see if the candidates make substantive proposals for dealing with the issue, including how low-income citizens can get some of the earning power now going heavily to the better educated, plus how U.S. workers in general can be worth their high cost in a global labor market. It's a lot harder than changing income tax rates. " Ok so the way I see it the tax system is not fair to the rich. But in our hearts we feel that it is not fair that they make so much money to begin with. If they are earning it wrongly then by all means stop whatever injustice there is. But no one is arguing that they are criminals. That we would know what to do with. They're just better at earning money than most of the rest of us. Is the solution to punish them or to empower everyone else? Our public schools in the cities are more likely to kill a person than to graduate them (hyperbole), racism though improved is real, the masses are content to watch tv rather than work harder, health problems which are largely the result of eating fast food four times a week drastically reduce a families earning potential, welfare recipients find themselves in a pattern of dependence, etc... What would you do to reduce the vast difference between the haves and the have-nots? Do we need to do anything?