America Suffering Shortage of Millionaires

To the extent the Democrats have a plan for dealing with the nation’s budget crisis, they intend to get the trillions of dollars they need from the country’s “millionaires and billionaires.” So this is highly inconvenient: the country’s supply of millionaires is dwindling:

[B]ased on 2009 IRS figures,…the number of taxpayers reporting annual income over $1 million fell 39 percent between 2007 and 2009; the number of super-wealthy individuals making over $10 million annually plunged 55 percent.

The carnage wasn’t confined to millionaires. The number of taxpayers earning over $200,000 per year also decreased by 612,000 – or 13 percent.

This is, of course, the result of the recession. The trend line no doubt has continued to be bad since 2009, as the Obama Recovery has failed to get off the ground. The moral of the story is that if you want to base your fiscal strategy on soaking the rich, you had better not implement policies that decimate the ranks of the high earners.

Liberals like to cite statistics showing that a relatively low percentage of personal income is now going for federal taxes. Of course: nearly all federal income taxes are paid by high earners, so when upper-income Americans take a hit, so does the federal government. If liberals had any sense, they would be pro-rich people. Which, come to think of it, they are, at least as long as rich people sign on to their agenda.

UPDATE: It is also worth noting that the concept of a “millionaire” has undergone a unique sort of inflation. Until very recently, a millionaire was someone who had a net worth in excess of a million dollars. Nowadays, there are many such individuals. Being a millionaire in the old-fashioned sense doesn’t make you rich, or even wealthy. So the left has redefined “millionaire,” for purposes of demonization, to mean someone who earns more than a million dollars in a given year. Such people are highly prosperous, and, if they do it year after year, can become wealthy. Unfortunately, under current economic conditions there are few enough such “millionaires” that you could steal all their money and still not be able to satisfy the federal government’s spending addiction.

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