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Deroy Murdock: Give the 1 percent a pat on the back, not a tax hike

December 13. 2012 8:27PM

President Obama has lied so often about "the 1 percent," that even House Speaker John Boehner and some wobbly Republicans have swallowed Obama's toxic fiction that "fairness" requires the rich to surrender more of their money to Washington - albeit through narrower deductions rather than higher tax rates.

Washington's problem is not a paucity of revenues but a nicotine-like addiction to blowing other people's money. Thus, Republicans should reject tax hikes on anyone, especially to put America's most successful citizens in their place.

Obama has had America's top earners in his crosshairs for years.

-- "I do think at a certain point, you've made enough money," Obama said in April 2010.

-- "If asking a millionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber makes me a class warrior, a warrior for the working class," Obama stated in September 2011, "I will wear that charge as a badge of honor."

-- "Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1 percent - 1 percent," Obama announced in December 2011. "That is the height of unfairness." For this statement, The Washington Post awarded Obama three Pinocchios and added, "An administration official conceded the White House had no actual data to back up the president's assertion."

While Obama loudly excoriates the wealthy, the Tax Foundation quietly analyzed the latest IRS data. The facts pulverize Obama's lies.

First, the top 1 percent does pay its "fair share" of taxes.

The top 1 percent of tax filers - Americans with Adjusted Gross Incomes of at least $369,691 - earned 18.9 percent of national income. And they paid 37.4 percent of all income taxes.

The top 10 percent made at least $116, 623 each. They earned 45.2 percent of national income and paid 70.6 percent of all income taxes.

If these taxpayers are not paying their fair share, Obama should specify a "fair" percentage.

Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers made less than $34,337 each. This group earned 11.7 percent of national income, but paid just 2.4 percent of all income taxes. The reviled 1 percent coughed up 16 times this amount.

Also, the entire bottom half of tax filers paid a 2.4 percent average tax rate, while the top 1 percent paid 23.4 percent - nearly 10 times more.

So much for the vicious lie that the poor and middle class bear America's tax burden while the rich laugh all the way to the Caymans.

Second, many 1 percenters launch and expand companies, invest their earnings, purchase goods and services, and conduct economic activity that creates and sustains the jobs and careers of less wealthy Americans.

According to Bloomberg News: "53 percent of business income reported on individual income tax returns is earned by taxpayers who would be affected by Obama's proposal" to boost taxes on those whom Obama denounces as "millionaires and billionaires." Of course, Obamathematics defines "millionaires and billionaires" as married couples who earn at least $250,000 and individuals who make more than $200,000.

Third, the top 1 percent handsomely finances charities.

The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy (in conjunction with the University of Indiana's Center for the Study of Philanthropy) just surveyed 701 Americans with an average net worth of $10.7 million.

In 2011, 95.4 percent of these "plutocrats" gave to charity. Among the general population, 65.4 percent made charitable donations.

These wealthy individuals last year donated $52,770, on average, or 8.7 percent of personal income.

Beyond writing checks, 88.5 percent of these people volunteered. These Americans volunteered an average of 254 hours in 2011. This equals more than 10 full days or 31 eight-hour shifts, in which they rolled up their sleeves to advance their favorite causes.

So, are 1 percenters monsters?

You bet!

These monsters pay most of Uncle Sam's bills, keep companies running, underwrite charities and even contribute their valuable time.

The 1 percent deserves a pat on the back, not the back of Obama's hand.

Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

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