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Ask Obama about a truly progressive income tax

ASK THIS | March 24, 2009

In the World War II era the marginal tax rate was 90 percent, starting at incomes of $250,000. Obama is asking for a modest increase of a few percentage points, to 39.6 percent, at upper income levels.

By Morton Mintz

Your proposed tax bracket for families earning more than $250,000 a year is 39.6 percent, a modest increase over the current top rate of 35 percent. In 1941, in stark contrast, President Roosevelt signed an executive order imposing a 100 percent tax on all income over $25,000, or roughly $250,000 today. Although Congress invalidated the order, it nonetheless allowed a marginal rate of 90 percent on the highest incomes.

Taxes stayed at that rate through World War II and a short time afterward. Strikingly, during that time the American people, in annual Gallup polls, highly praised the fairness of the tax system. In the years 1943 to 1946, Gallup asked this question: "Do you regard the income tax which you pay this year as unfair?" In 1943 and 1945, 85 percent of those interviewed said their taxes were fair. In 1944, 90 percent said their taxes were fair. In 1946, the figure was down some – but still at a near consensus level: 62 percent said their taxes were fair.

So, President Obama, this is my question:

Q. What would be your objection to, say, a 90 percent tax on income exceeding $3 million annually?

Posted by Nara
03/29/2009, 11:57 AM

For this to pass we need 60 progressive votes in the senate. We need a super majority of progressives in the country for that to happen.

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