MacIver Relies on Old Friend (Intellectual Dishonesty) to Argue for Cutting Wealthy's Income Taxes

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
The Maciver Institute is using the tired ploy of cherry-picking one of Wisconsin's taxes, comparing it to surrounding states, and then feigning outrage that the wealthy are over-taxed:
Under the current tax code, an individual with taxable income of $11,000 in the State of Wisconsin would pay a higher state income tax rate than a millionaire in Illinois, Indiana, or Michigan.
They also have an alarming graphic that shows Wisconsin collecting nearly twice as much in income taxes as Michigan:
With taxes, of course, you have to look at all the taxes that each state collects and when you do, the total per-capita taxes looks like this, according to the 2012 U.S. Census numbers:
Minnesota: $3,822
Illinois: $2,830
Average: $2,767
Wisconsin: $2,575
Iowa: $2,548
Michigan: $2,425
Indiana: $2,402
As you can see, Wisconsin's per-capita taxes of $2,575, are below the average of our neighboring states: $2,767
The Maciver institute is also dead wrong when they suggest that the rich are somehow overtaxed in Wisconsin.  In reality they pay a lower tax rate that the poor:  According to the most recent numbers from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is that top 1% in Wisconsin pay only 6.9% of their income toward state taxes, while the bottom 20% pay 9.6%.
In addition, considering that the relatively high-taxing Minnesota has the highest median wages (translation:  people are netting more even with the higher taxes), has the best short term job growth, second lowest unemployment rate, and has been forecasted to have the best job growth in 2013, MacIver's ascertions that the need to lower taxes to create good, high-paying jobs is way-off as well.

Asking the wealthy to pay their fair share and investing in our future aren't just cliches-- they actually work.  We need only look to our neighbors to the West to see that that this is true.