JERB CREATORS  1:22 pm June 6, 2012

Poor Rich People Lost 25 Percent Of Their Speech In 2009

by Kris E. Benson

So much to sayPoor rich people! The IRS recently released its latest annual analysis of the tax returns from the 400 filers with the highest adjusted gross incomes, and looks like they had 29% less income speech in 2009 than in 2008.

From CNN Money:

The 400 tax filers at the top of the income scale hauled in an average of $202.4 million in 2009 — a 25% haircut from the prior year, according to the latest tax data from the IRS.

But there is good news–two pieces of good news, in fact! First, Citizens United hadn’t passed yet. If it had, we the unwashed public would have been deprived of 25% of these people’s speech, thus hindering Democracy and the free exchange of ideas. And second, for job creators (also known as “the .01%” by Art Majors) money speech doesn’t just come from “income” (which is vulgar); it comes from tax-exempt income, such as interest from municipal bonds, or from investments with low effective tax rates, like capital gains. It is therefore possible that their money speech was not reduced quite as much as 25% between 2008 and 2009, since the IRS was only counting “income.” Also, the astute reader will note that they barely have to pay any taxes, but, as CNN Money notes (for balance, because this is journalism) this is only FAIR since all of the Poors have been living it up for ever.

Overall, the top 400 as a group paid an average effective tax rate of 19.9%, up from 18.1% a year earlier. The average effective tax rate is a measure of one’s total income tax bill divided by AGI. Individually, however, about 40% of them paid an effective rate higher than 25%. But close to a third paid an effective rate below 15%, which is also the case for the majority of Americans. Lower-income households have very low effective tax rates thanks to a host of credits, deductions and exemptions that cancel out much if not all of their tax bill.

But just in case, because it’s better safe than sorry, they made up for it by cutting back on charitable donations:

Their average charitable contributions, which made up nearly half of all deductions claimed, dropped by 28% relative what they’d been the year before.

[CNN Money]

 
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{ 136 comments }

nounverb911 June 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

"Mission Accomplished?"

Barb June 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Romney is walking around with a hard-on that could cut diamonds and the Kock brothers nearly broke hips from doing running and jumping belly bumps all night over Walker's victory. Fuck you very much, Citizen's United!

Seriously, this could happen again in the Presidential race.

MrFizzy June 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Need Scalia and Thomas to croak.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

From your lips to deity's ears, etc. Please god, take those four: Scalia, Scalito, Thomas, Roberts. I won't ask for anything ever again, even when being pork-sworded in Biely's molten lake of fire.

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm

They should croak anyway.

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I was going to say "retire" but the only way they'd retire is if there's a Republican in the White House to replace them with someone even more extreme.

Boojum June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

But did anyone notice that the Democrats took back the Wisconsin Senate? So, while Walker still has the Governor's Mansion, we now own his penis.

Exhausted66 June 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Here's to small victories.

justkillmenow June 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I see what you did there.

Callyson June 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Here's hoping their new Senate Majority Leader has the cojones to stand up to Scotty…

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I did. In the ensuing investigation into Walker's corruption, it will prove useful.

pdiddycornchips June 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Could it? That would be horrible. I mean, these last four years have been such a wonderful time of peace and prosperity. It doesn't make any difference who wins.
The first item on the agenda is destroying the social safety net. If Obama wins, we'll raise the retirement age, cut benefits to the most needy among us and the rich will get a tax cut. If Mittens wins, we'll raise the retirement age, cut benefits to the most needy among us and the rich will get a really big tax cut.

MrFizzy June 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

That's gonna hurt the job-creation machine.

FlownOver June 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

You misunderestimate the Riches. They already had most of the country's $peech socked away from the Bush years. One bad year can't keep 'em quiet – or honest.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

And, if you haven't already heard, they're determined to hold the whole goddamn country hostage until we give them a FULL Republican slate. They will not invest a penny until that happens. They've already said so live on the media.

TootsStansbury June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

This and more has been said; by elected officials no less, yet it passes unnoticed. Why are these things only discussed in quiet rooms – or rubber ones like here on the Wonket.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Because the constant influx of stimuli has caused us to (1) lose our memory, and (2) require ever more stimuli just to create any interest. People don't seem to remember anything that happened more than 24 hours ago.

Does anyone here remember Senator Jay Rockefeller announcing that he, and other Democrats on the Security council had been threatened with death, personal harm, or imprisonment for even discussing the buildup to the Iraq war?

noodlesalad June 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

It's not our fault the poors can't pay thousands of dollars for personal accountants to actually do the math and find these deductions, which might allow them to actually achieve the theoretically possible (lower tax rates than the wealthy).

Dashboard Buddha June 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Crying real tears here.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

(Hugs the little bobblehead) It'll be OK, sweetie. We'll just weep together for a bit, then it's time to buckle on our figurative armour and leap back into the fray. It ain't over till it's over. We'll fight this one through.

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm

NOTHING IS EVER OVER UNTIL WE SAY IT IS!!

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Damn right!

Dashboard Buddha June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

[snif] Thanks, MB. I'll buck up and I won't rest until the wealthiest people are paying negative taxes!

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hey! HEY! Come back here, you! (hotfoots offstage chasing the little bobblehead)

Wrong slogan! WRONG SLOGAN!

Dashboard Buddha June 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

LOL—

nounverb911 June 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

But how does this effect Romney's Swiss bank accounts?

anniegetyerfun June 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

My guess is that the top 400 richest people simply opened a few more of those Swiss accounts and that's where all their money is.

chascates June 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Lower incomes are trickling up?

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

They sure are! We've got less, and we're gonna have even less, and they're just getting more of whatever they can before they run off someplace else.

ManchuCandidate June 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

/playing world's smallest violin/

SayItWithWookies June 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Okay, so come the revolution, I'd agree to sending 25% fewer of them to the re-education camps than I wanted to before.

Generation[redacted] June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Re-education camp? I was hoping for nut-kicking camp. (and before you say what about the rich wimmenz who have no nuts, I say that's not an issue, wimmenz don't make as much monies)

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

The richest person in the world right now is an Australian woman (I could be wrong). And the wimmenz who DO make much munniez, like Meg Witless, and Carleton Sneed Fiorina, are just as nasty as the rich men. How about the guys get nut-punches and the galz get face-punches?

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

"and before you say what about the rich wimmenz who have no nuts, I say that's not an issue"

Or we could send them to kick-them-in-the-boobies camp…

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

*Some*body's in a *mood* this morning.

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

It's OK. I'm wearing a bra, so the cupcakes are protected from my comment, which might otherwise cause them anxiety.

Wile E. Quixote June 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I had a woman tell me that getting kicked in the ladyparts hurts pretty bad.

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

A word to the wise: STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THE POMMELHORSE IN GYM CLASS!!

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I knew a girl who hurt herself on one of those things. REALLY hurt herself.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

That's not how it works, Wooks~! Just send them to 25% LESS camp. They all still gotta go.

FlownOver June 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

25% smaller caliber, maybe.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Good suggestion. 25% fewer floggings. 25% less nails in the cat o'nine tails.

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Texas rich guy on simpsons: Aw, I'm sure you'll have a good time in the…
Haw haw haw!
[sneering] MILLIONAIRE'S camp!

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

They'll find some way to turn it into a status contest, I'm sure. "Oh, look, I got 25% more holes in my integument than you, I must be the worse badass."

mrpuma2u June 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

How about they stay 25% less long, if they dig 25% more ditches?

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I like the way you think. Hard work should have them dropping like flies in no time.

mavenmaven June 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

The saddest part, as we've seen in WI, is that they've convinced the truly poor people to feel sorry for them and vote for the Rich's best interests over their own.

EatsBabyDingos June 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Sadly, the "25%" actually refers to words that the rich used to use, like "charity" or "community" or "fairness."

SorosBot June 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Can we at least have some delicious cake?

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Only if they let us eat it.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

You'll have to fight the other peasants for the scraps. And it might be a little … grubby, anaconda the riches flung it in the street for the peasants to fight over.

But, sure, you can have lots of delicious cake. Good luck finding it.

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Bet you want to fucking eat it too, ya socialist.

bagofmice June 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Isn't that a lie?

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

The cake is a lie.

Blueb4sunrise June 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

No Bentley for me this year.

el_donaldo June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I'm speechless.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

They are going to have to drink the slightly less expensive 150 year old brandy in Galt Gulch tonight.

PuckStopsHere June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I blame teachers and their thug unions. Look what they've done: How can anyone live anywhere near comfortably on only $202.4 million/yr?

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm

This guy on Fox News said teaching is a part time job, so it must be true.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I'm assuming that those top 400 who paid less than 15% in income tax were using the rest of their money to keep their families feed, sheltered and clothed and their beater car running, just like the poor Americans that pay less in taxes, right?

fartknocker June 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I was much happier reading about sideboobs than about the average really rich person lost $50 million and still has $200 million. My theory is the rich folks didn't loose 25% – rather, they just put it into SuperPacs thanks to Citizens United vs. FEC.

el_donaldo June 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

The average really rich person is also still looking at a hell of a lot more sideboob than you or me.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The average rich person is surrounded by boobs.

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

This story is about 2008 and 2009?

Good job staying current, CNN.

Any breaking stories on the Obama inauguration or what Michael Jackson's been up to that you'd like to share?

Wile E. Quixote June 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Any breaking news from CNN about Generalissimo Francisco Franco? My modem isn't working so I haven't been able to dial in and check CNN's page on MySpace.

weejee June 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

This is because our beloved bankers got blanked.

The Wall Street Bull weeps.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

It says those who got increases were mostly junior workers at the vice-presidential level or below.

Not a word about the toiling masses, of course.

fuflans June 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

i swear to god i read 'the wall street bull burps'.

memzilla June 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

On the bright side, the IPO of Amalgamated Hobo Beans is coming up. If it merges with Consolidated Cardboard Housing, the .01%'ll all be more rich free-speechier!

scvirginia June 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Meaning that we can literally get in on the ground floor?

OneYieldRegular June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Roll out the tumbrils.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

A la lanterne!

scvirginia June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Isn't there probably a difference between '400 top income-tax filers' & 400 richest people? Rich people don't stay rich by paying income tax, nu?

BigSkullF*ckingDog June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Oh no! Now what will trickle down?

weejee June 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

The same golden shower the Laffer Curve promises.

proudgrampa June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Well said, Wee.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

HEY! That's Weej.

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Maher had both Laffer and Paul Krugman on at the same time a couple of weeks ago. Everyone was cordial and well-behaved, but honestly think it was only because Michelle Bernard was sitting between them.

George Skullfry June 7, 2012 at 1:18 am

SOS

weejee June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

OT

Ray Bradbury passed. Can we make with the Farenheit 451 thingy on say the dead tree National Review and the Weakly Standard? Do any of our html geeks know how to do the same with the electronic versions?

scvirginia June 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Possibly they will spontaneously combust? (That's not a sideboob joke, is it?)

Schmannnity June 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Time for a 25% tax cut.

Blueb4sunrise June 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Coincidental quote on another web page…………..

"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." Xenocrates (396-314 B.C.)

deanbooth June 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Martin Niemöller disagrees with Xenocrates.

prommie June 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I know that one as "a closed mouth gathers no foot."

Baconzgood June 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

(again unrelated to this post)

C'mon Department Director Dale Part II, your just supposed to monitor what I do here…NOT BLOW MY FUCKING DEALS!!!!!!!!! Answer the phone when I'm on the other line "Monkey Boy, Baconz is on the other line let me take your #"

(this comment is 100% snark free)

Chichikovovich June 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Ricky Roma: WHAT YOU'RE HIRED FOR, is to help us… does that seem clear to you? TO HELP US, not to… FUCK-US-UP… to help those who are going out there to try to earn a living… You fairy. You company man.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

(Rubs the little piglet's belly) Poor Baconz. Department Director Dale sounds like a right royal pain-in-the-arse of a Republican. Hopefully, he'll twist a testicle annoying one of your deal dudes and be dragged off in extreme pain.

Baconzgood June 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm

My clients know me. They ones who don't like me left many years ago. The ones that like me are loyal because we have the same tastes in life: Lotsa booze, big yucks, and being the loudest and mostest swearest people in the room.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

That's why I like you too, Baconz. Nobody but you and me and Fakakta that swear like we do. It's like being in fucking college all fucking over again.

Generation[redacted] June 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

This proves that liberals are waging The Real War on Women[tm]

Mumbletypeg June 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Go ahead and weep, one-percenter dandies with marginally less statuesque trophy wives in the forecast and barely diminished shine to your shoes! You'll never know what it is to have a rag-bone shop of the heart. Or even just to be down to rag-clad bare bones, let alone a shop that needs sweeping. I'll explain these Yeats'ian references to you someday. I'll never in my lifetime be able to explain to you about having a heart.

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

The only way I could ever get a trophy wife is if it was a participation trophy.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Why would you want one? If you don't already have a sweet man/woman to stand by you in your time of need and love you and hold you and share all the joys of life with you, someday you will. And that's worth a thousand trophies.

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I'm divorced, so fuck that noise.

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

TESTIFY, BROTHER!

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I'm sorry. Not about your divorce or not. It was not my intent to upset you.

Chichikovovich June 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Those guys don't need "having a heart" explained. Rupert Murdoch alone has a whole fridge full of 'em.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

You do realize that I have a very active imagination, don't you? (Lurches away retching)

hagajim June 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

So if they gave 28% less to charity, that about balances the loss. So when the richies lose the charities lose too.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

You don't think those sons of bitches have any interest in *charity,* do ya? All they want is the tax write-off, and when they make less, they need it less.

OneYieldRegular June 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

This has actually been demonstrated empirically, and not just as a matter of Wonkette style snark.

MittBorg June 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

There was a time when people took their *obligations* to the rest of their community seriously. When did the "me-ism" start?

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

So, does this prove that the 99% are winning that whole "class warfare" thing, or what?

Troglodeity June 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

And since the number of jobs created was also down by 29% from 2008 to 2009, that just proves beyond doubt that giving the rich more money automatically creates more jobs: just like the Republicans say!

Wait, what?

OneYieldRegular June 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Jobs created down 29% – charitable giving by the rich down 28% + math = "We are the 1%."

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I know I ____ lost about 25 ____ of my words. _____ W. Bush's tax ____ have forced me __ economize and budget _____ I say.

BarackMyWorld June 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Replace every blank with "fucking" and it still almost makes perfect sense.

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Gee, you think this drop in income for the wealthy would have anything to do with the 50% decline in the stock market late in 2008?

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Their average charitable contributions, which made up nearly half of all deductions claimed, dropped by 28% relative what they’d been the year before.

Income dropped by 25% but deductions dropped by 28%, so they earned 3% anyway.

Estproph June 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

OK, now I'm confused. Poor rich people? I thought the poors were the poor people. So the rich can't even be just the rich, now they have to be the poors too? Haven't they taken enough from the poors as it is?

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

They want it all. This way, they qualify for moar gubmint handouts

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

"Haven't they taken enough from the poors as it is?"

Having stolen everything but our underdog status, now they want that, too.

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

They're white and Christian, that should have been enough oppression for one lifetime.

tessiee June 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Smithers: You know his name; it's Monty Burns.
Mr. Burns [interrupting]: That's MISTER Burns!
Smithers: Why, he's worth TEN TIMES what he earns!

prommie June 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

This particular member of the masses is in dire need of opiates. I was promised opiates, dammit! And free love! Where is my Tomorrowland future of tomorrow! I want a jetpack and a Hazel robot to clean up after my opiate and free-love orgies. The fucking future ain't what it used to fucking be.

mormos June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

! shit, epiphany. Since citizens united declared that money is speech, doesn’t that mean that taxes are an abridgment of free speech? Doesn’t that mean that taxes are unconstitutional? Discuss.

bureaucrap June 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I somehow suspect that's where this is all heading.

DerrickWildcat June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Is this good or bad?

Doktor StrangeZoom June 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

By coincidence, Terry Gross just interviewed Joseph Steiglitz about some of this yesterday. Then again, he has a Nobel Prize in economics. What a snob!

Doktor StrangeZoom June 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Sigh…I see that Ray Bradbury died yesterday. So it goes.

I'm still mad at him for defending Bob Packwood's sexual harassment years ago, saying it was just what any virile man would do, but still, what a writer.

EDIT: John Scalzi has lovely essay about Bradbury, a reprint of his introduction to a recent edition of The Martian Chronicles.

actor212 June 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

So it goes.

VONNEGUT LIBEL!

Doktor StrangeZoom June 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hi-ho. *

——————————————–

*(Vonnegut term deserves another, you know)

Biel_ze_Bubba June 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I can only conclude that the country is running out of money for them to scarf up.

bureaucrap June 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I've always had a place in my heart to pity the rich. Not nearly as big, though, as the place to pity the rest of us. This is definitely one spot where the rich don't get more than the others.

Guppy June 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm

The income they report to the IRS went down 25 %.

I hear the weather in Switzerland is nice this time of year. And let's not forget the Caymans, soon to be renamed "Romnesia."

pdiddycornchips June 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

This simply will not do. We must enact retroactive tax cuts for the rich post haste. Every rich person should have as much money as the Sultan of Brunei. That's the American Way. We have to resolve to end this immediately. The not rich will have to work harder and longer and for less pay of course but that's what shared sacrifice is all about

owhatever June 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Math is hard. Just give the uber rich all our monies. They'll create jobs and do the right thing.

Blueb4sunrise June 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Related:

'Vampire' skeletons found in Bulgaria near Black Sea
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18334106

CleverSobriquet June 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I'm thinking "job creators" doesn't mean what they think it means.

Antispandex June 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Well, it looks like the only reasonable thing to do is just give all of your money away, live on minimum wage, and avoid paying taxes to this corrupt government that is out to steal all of your job creating abilities. That'll show 'em!

Mumbletypeg June 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

8" of hair

*Gawd.* I had to wait and wait to get my hair long enough to qualify for the cut-your-hair-to-donate-for-cancer-patient-wigs charity that I finally found which would accept that minimal length. It chastened me to think I didn't even have enough hair on my head to give away and feel charitable-like!

ttommyunger June 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Too bad I'm not going to be around to see what our schools produce after using the Bible to teach history and Atlas Shrugged to teach Social Studies/Business/Government. Every day will be a holiday and every meal a feast-for the 1%.

Negropolis June 7, 2012 at 2:51 am

Honestly, who gives a fuck about years-old news, now, and during the recession, no less? I'm much more interested in what happened to the income in between the end of the recession and now.

lulzmonger June 7, 2012 at 3:20 am

These things are relative.

There was just NO WAY they'd be able to match the sheer titanic bulk of profit they sucked from The Great Bait-&-Switch Of 2008 two years running. Not to mention, what with all the bankruptcies & foreclosures, everyone else was just cold out of money for them to purloin by then.

Why, at this rate by 2014 the rich are going to have no choice but to start robbing each other.

WHO WILL THINK OF THE CHILDREN KARDASHIANS???

badgitator June 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Why would anyone want to be rich? Haven't they heard all the other rich people talking about how to get on the welfare if you want to live like a king?

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