Alan Reynolds is in today’s Investor’s Business Daily:
Personally, I’d prefer individual tax rates of 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% with a low flat rate on dividends, capital gains and estates and a 25% rate on corporate profits. But even such a modest move in the right direction would be ruled out if current law could somehow be made permanent.
By partially co-opting the banal Republican talking point about “making the Bush tax cuts permanent” Obama is really trying to cram through his own tax policy proposals from the moribund 2011 budget. He is belatedly pushing the same proposals from the same budget that Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress have totally ignored since February.
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After the dividend tax rate came down, average dividends among the top 1% surged to $52,814 in 2004 and $83,072 by 2007. Reported dividends of the top 1% in 2007 were twice as large as the previous peak in 2000. That can’t be coincidence.
Since 15% of $83,072 is larger than 38.6% of $30,673, even that drastically reduced tax rate on dividends did not significantly reduce average revenues collected from the top 1.4 million taxpayers. But the lower dividend tax clearly did result in high-income taxpayers holding more dividend-paying stocks than ever before in taxable accounts.