Are tax cuts unfair to low earners?Here is a story that may give you another view if taxes and tax cuts are unfairly advantageous for higher earners.
Suppose that every day, ten people go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four people (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1
The sixth would pay $3
The seventh $7
The eighth $12
The Ninth $18
The tenth person (the richest) would pay $59
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten people ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So, the first four people were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'? The six people realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth person and sixth person would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal.
So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each person's bill by roughly the same amount and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:
The fifth person, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings)
The sixth now pays $2 instead of $3 (33% savings)
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings)
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings)
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings)
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings)
Each of the six was BETTER off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But, once outside the restaurant, the people began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth person. He pointed to the tenth person "but he got $10!". "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth person. "I only saved a dollar too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh person. "Why should he get $10 back when I only got $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four people in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine people surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth person didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But, when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.
