Go ahead, tax the rich … let’s run the numbers

I heard a radio ad today promoting Gov. Dannel Malloy’s (D-Conn.) budget plan which mentioned some sort of “Do the Math” website. OK, let’s do some federal math. If you confiscated every dime from US taxpayers with returns that showed an adjusted gross income (AGI) of more than $1,000,000, how many days could the federal government operate?

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Baselines: I’m using AGI figures from the 2008 tax year to run the federal government during 2009, when there was a $3.55 trillion budget and a $1.42 trillion deficit. I know, my dates are a bit off when it comes to budget cycles, but stick with me on this.

So, if you outright took every single dime from the individuals and families who had an AGI of more than $1,000,000 – those rich bastards – how many days? How many days could we run the federal government?

Calculating in your mind are you? Those millionaires .. there are a bunch of them and they are living the good life aren’t they?

Tax the rich!

There were quite a few “millionaires” back in 2008. As a matter of fact, more than 321,000 returns were filed with adjusted gross incomes of $1 million or more. The problem is, even if we confiscated every single dime they made in 2008, the federal government would only be able to operate through April 11. That’s 111 days.

Keep in mind, this is only the federal government, with absolutely no consideration at all for states, local municipalities or cities. They would have to get there money elsewhere since the feds took it all.

So, why don’t we grab more? Let’s say we confiscate every single dime from individuals and families who made more than $200,000 in 2008. How many days could we run the federal government? Certainly, we’re casting a very wide net that includes people who are making really good money, so we should be able to run the federal government in 2009 with plenty left over.

Not so much. Those 4.75 million individuals or families won’t be able to cover the tab. Take it all and you can run the federal government through Sept. 10. Only 253 days.

Other Notes

  • Those 2008 millionaires – all of them – could barely pay off 75 percent of the 2009 federal deficit of $1.42 trillion, let alone anything else.
  • We’d have to confiscate more than half of every dime earned by individuals and families in 2008 who made more than $100k, and every single dime of those making $200k to fund the federal government in 2009.
  • My numbers come straight from the IRS website, which only lists income up through 2008. I’d be happy to run the same numbers if someone can point me to 2009 IRS figures. (2010 won’t be available quite yet I assume.)
  • “Millionaires” in 2008 made up a whopping .2 percent – that’s point two percent – of wage earners, and contributed 24 percent of the $1.032 trillion of income tax collected.
  • Those earning more than $200k in 2008 made up 3 percent of wage earners, and they contributed 52 percent of the income taxes collected in 2008.
  • Those earning more than $100k in 2008 made up 12.7 percent of wage earners, and they contributed 75 percent of the income taxes collected in 2008.
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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Lucinda on April 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks, Steve, for this very interesting post showing us that the "rich" already pay way more than their fair share.


  2. steve418r on April 14, 2011 at 3:20 am

    This as a great post. It tells us what we already know. However, I have found that liberals are so consumed by idealistic values, that facts do not matter. Their idea is "if is wish it so, it will be".  When the rich are nonexistent, we will just "go see the great wizard" and he will grant our wishes.

  3. mynoc3 on April 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Has anyone realized that to make things "fair" they should increase the tax rates of the poor and middle class.  Afterall, the rich pay at a higher rate and use less of the government programs. 


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