Professor Caroline Heldman was on Tucker Carlson advocating for much higher tax rates on the 1%ers, claiming that Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations were examples of what it meant to ‘pay their fair share’.
Eisenhower: In 1954 the adjusted gross income of all tax returns amounted to about $229 billion, with a total tax liability of about $26.7 billion or roughly 9% tax revenue on all income.
In 2015, the IRS raked in $3.25 Trillion in tax revenue, of that $1.54 Trillion was individual income tax. Total payroll in 2015 was roughly $16 Trillion. That equates to roughly 9% tax on revenue. The same as during the Eisenhower administration.
So what is a fair share?
What is the current distribution of tax revenue? The top 1% of all income earners paid 45.7% of all federal income taxes, but earned 17.1% of all income in the U.S. The top 20% paid 83.9% of all federal income taxes, after earning 51.9% of all income in America. The middle 20% of income earners paid 5.9% of all federal income taxes, but earned 14.8% of all income.
During Eisenhower, the top tier tax rate applied to those making $400,000 which converts to about $3.622 million in today’s dollars. The problem is the fair sharers are using $390,000 as the 1% measure. That would equate to about $38,000 in 1950 which was taxed at roughly 48%.
But even this isn’t a fair measure because it doesn’t account for all the revenue that is diverted out of the US in order to avoid/evade tax. Income concentration today is roughly the same as it was post The Great Depression in the 1920’s when most of the wealth was held by the top tier elites. Taxing them to death is not going to create a ‘redistribution’ of wealth, it only means they will ‘evade’ further through tax havens.
Taxing the wealthy is rather simplistic. It doesn’t solve income disparity, it merely means the government is potentially wealthier, thus expanding their already burgeoning expenditures and welfare. In addition, Mz. Heldman failed to note the economic, political, and social courses of the Eisenhower administration.
His cabinet was dubbed ‘eight millionaires and a plumber’. His policies were geared toward the annihilation of communism, securing Iranian oil, threatening China, demanding Russia agree to a reduction of nuclear arms, massive infrastructure spending, fighting the far right GOP good ole boys, promoting technology development, thawing the Cold War, balancing the budget, and putting America First.
He wasn’t the best, made blunders, and had failures, but he had successes too.
That being said, Mz. Heldman’s view is certainly not of the caliber of someone whose education includes a PhD given it was driven without any statistics, proven analysis, or in-depth thinking and deserved the response she got from Carlson – a laugh.
Interestingly, Mz. Heldman has a number of bio’s that offer different accomplishments including co-founder of New Orleans Women’s Shelter, co-founder of critical Response, leadership position with Common Ground, co-founded End Rape on Campus, and more. Oddly; None of these organizations mention her by name as having anything to do with their leadership or founding…?
Her bio also states she wrote a book; The War On Women’s Bodies in 2016 – but oddly it doesn’t come up in any Google search?
Her Occidental bio also states she ‘co-authored’ the book, Rethinking Madame President, when in fact she ‘co-edited’ the book. Oops. It’s important to truthful.