Letter Re: U.S. Income Tax and the Galt’s Gulch Retreat Option

I am not sure if the majority of SurvivalBlog readers are interested in the following, but I am. It was inspired by your quote of the day for April 13, 2007, by Robert Nozick.

Here is a summary of an article at the Tax Foundation’s Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data, by Gerald Prante. It discusses the Federal portion of the US income tax burden. As one will see in the following, one productive American family works to support the burden of two American families, 100% of the time. Another productive family pays the bill for ten(!) families 70% of the time. Think about that each time you go out for supper with a bunch of friends and it comes time to pay.

This illustrates the mounting stress that is built into the system of “one person, one vote,” given the 16th Amendment. Will the productive family continue to operate in the same way and pick up the dinner tab each time? Will the free-riders finally vote to kick in something before the productive family pulls out and moves to its retreat? Will the collective “They” come to the retreat and take property in lieu of the lost income tax to pay for the free-riders?

Here is some data from the above referenced report, which cites the IRS as the source of the data:

1. Between 2000-2004, pre-tax income for the top 1 percent of families grew by 7 percent. On the other hand, in that same time period, pre-tax income for the bottom 50 percent of families increased by 10.6 percent. The poor are getting richer and that’s great.
2. The top 1% group of American families pay 37% of all Federal income taxes.
3. The top 10% group of American families pay 68% of all Federal income taxes.
4. The top 25% group of American families pay 85% of all Federal income taxes.
5. The top 50% group of American families pay a whopping 97% of all Federal income taxes.
6. The bottom 50% group of American families, half of us, pay 3% of the burden, essentially zero.

Yes, payroll taxes are taxes in addition to income taxes that come with the promise of specific benefits to the payer. They are supposed to pay for Social Security and Medicare when workers become eligible. My guess is that the top 25% group of American families (i.e. the rich with an annual family income of $60,000) are getting angrier. They are going to stop paying for dinner 85% of the time someday soon? Will they retreat [into non-taxpaying self-exile, like “Galt’s Gulch” in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged]? I don’t know. Will the rules change to squeeze them if they do?
Thank you again, James, for the inspiring quote of the day and your important work. – The DFer