See Brian Balfour’s letter to the Cary News, which cuts up the guilt-envy-mythology of some leftist arguing by omission. Some juicy bits:
Ms. Wiehe attempts to exploit class envy veiled behind the mantra of “fairness.” Her article includes several numeric data points to support her argument, but failed to include some that readers may find interesting. According to the 2007 North Carolina Comprehensive Annual Report, the top 17.5 percent of income earners in the state contributed 69.5 percent of all income taxes paid in 2005. Further, the top 1.6 percent of taxpayers paid more than $2.5 billion in state income taxes alone, equivalent to roughly one-sixth of all General Fund tax revenue for that year.
Also missing from Ms. Wiehe’s calculations are the billions of dollars worth of public assistance received by the low-income households included in her comparison. Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, child care subsidies and a litany of other social programs significantly reduce the actual tax burden for low income households, but are not included in Wiehe’s estimates. Further, Wiehe leaves out the fact that people are highly mobile in terms of income. Today’s low-paid intern is tomorrow’s upper-middle class manager. Wiehe’s data merely represents a snapshot in time, and distorts the lifetime tax burden of today’s upwardly mobile society. Her recommendations would serve to expand government programs at the expense of economic growth, disproportionately harming the very same low income households she claims will be helped.