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Friday, March 05, 2010

Top US Tax Rates

This weekend Bob Brinker said there a great deal of misinformation being spread around the country right now. Brinker said people have been complaining this year that their taxes were just raised. Brinker said the reality for the 2009 to 2010 tax year is 95% of Americans have received a tax cut but when they take surveys, they get the opposite answer. Bob singled out the "tea baggers" (Tea Party movement) as being guilty of not recognizing the recent tax cuts.

I think I know why Brinker is confused by the polls that say people think their taxes went up and will explain it below.

From the table "Top United States Federal Ordinary, Capital Gains & Dividned Tax Rates by Year"

Top US Tax rates
Years Top ordinary
Income rate
1970s 50%
1982 to 1986 50%
1987 38.5%
1988 to 1990 28%
1991 to 1992 31%
1993 to 1996 39.6%
1997 to 2001 39.6%
2002 38.6%
2003 to 2010 35%
2011 to ???

For more US Tax rates see:
Why Brinker is confused by the polls that say people think their taxes went up last year.

I believe Bob Brinker claims he resides in the state of Nevada for tax purposes so he doesn't have to pay state income taxes. Many if not the majority of the country lives in states like California and New York that recently raised taxes since they can't print money like the US Government. In California, our income tax rate, our sales tax rate and for many of us, our property taxes went up in 2009 over 2008. For us if California, if you don't count the one time US tax credits to stimulate the economy such as cash for clunkers, our overall 2009 tax rates have gone up significantly over 2008!


  1. Brinker isn't confused, many taxpayers are however.

  2. Art Laffer (AL) InterviewMarch 09, 2010 7:51 PM

    Bob Brinker (BB): You know, one of the things I don’t understand right now, Art – as you know, President Obama, first thing he did when he came in, is he cut tax rates on about 95% of the people who file tax returns. He cut tax rates for 2009 and 2010, so far this year that’s the outlook, and yet he’s getting no credit for that at all. What’s that about?

    Art Laffer (AL): He hasn’t cut tax rates on anyone. He cut taxes, but he didn’t cut tax rates at all.

    BB: Well, he cut taxes, alright. He cut taxes, though.

    AL: Yeah, but that’s a big difference, see. That’s the difference, see. When I go to work, on the margin, I look at what I’m going to receive on the margin for my work effort. And, you know, when those ratios go up, and I get less current goods and services, or less foreign goods and services, or less future goods and services, I don’t want to work. If you tax people who work, and you pay people who don’t work, don’t expect that you won’t get a lot of people not working – which is exactly what’s happened. Bush did the same thing – don’t get me wrong, it’s not just Democrats, it’s both parties – but tax rates are the key, not infer marginal taxes, those don’t work. Tax rates do. Reagan cut tax rates, and so did Kennedy. And so did Bill Clinton, by the way.

    BB: This is what bothers me – it seems to me that both parties on the fiscal side are almost identical. They spend like drunken sailors, and purely fiscally, they seem almost identical. What are your thoughts on that?

    AL: I think on the spending side, they have both been extremely bad. Especially in the last couple of years with [President George W] Bush, it was terrible, and it’s been just out of control with Obama as well. And if you look at it, it’s a really sad situation. The best President on spending, as you know, was Bill Clinton. I mean, he cut government spending as a share of GDP by 3.5 percentage points – more than the next four best Presidents combined.

  3. U.S. Sales Tax Rates Hit Record High
    by William P. Barrett
    Monday, March 8, 2010

    "While President Obama's push to raise federal income taxes for the wealthy gets lots of attention, the continuing upward creep in the sales tax rates imposed by state and local governments has gotten less notice.[Especially from so called money experts like Brinker]

    But Vertex Inc., which calculates sales tax for Internet sellers, reports that the average general sales tax rate nationwide reached 8.629% at the end of 2009, the highest since the Berwyn, Pa., company started tracking data in 1982.

    State level sales tax generally accounts for only about two-thirds of the total sales tax bill. The rest comes from levies assessed by counties, municipalities, Indian tribes and special-purpose taxing districts funding mass transit, urban renewal and even stadiums. Among lower level jurisdictions such as counties and towns, Vertex counted 649 new or increased sales tax rates during 2009 and just 192 reductions.
    Right now Chicago has the highest big-city rate, 10.25%. But in a move forced by Cook County lawmakers, the rate is scheduled to drop on July 1 to 9.75%, matching that of Los Angeles. In New York City the total bite is 8.875%. Other high big-city rates include San Francisco and Seattle(9.5%), New Orleans (9%), Houston, Dallas and Charlotte (8.25%), Las Vegas (8.1%) and Philadelphia and Atlanta (8%).

    In Arizona, voters will go to the polls May 18 to pass judgment on a 1% rise in the state's 5.6% rate for three years. If approved, the rate in Phoenix would jump from 8.3% to 9.3%.

  4. I agree it's not only Brinker who is confused, rather every citizen is confused. Earlier, recession took away the savings and now more of taxes.


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