Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hmm, maybe there's a spending problem

Justin Hohn has done some back-of-the-envelope calculations to put government budgets in perspective.  Keep in mind that his calculations are based on there being no behavioral responses to tax rates:
The data indicate that 17,446,537 tax returns showed an income over $100,000.  These returns represented a total income of $3.765 trillion. Estimated 2012 spending comes in at $3.796 trillion. This is still $30 billion more than a 100% confiscation of the annual income of all Americans that reported more than $100K of income for 2009.
The bottom line is that we cannot fund our current levels of spending even if we make unrealistically charitable assumptions about taxpayer response to confiscatory tax rates and confiscate the entire annual income of every American who made more than $100K in 2009.