America's lowest-earning one-fifth of households received roughly
$8.21 in government spending for each dollar of taxes paid in 2004.
Households with middle-incomes received $1.30 per tax dollar, and
America's highest-earning households received $0.41

See this full new report here.

When it comes to Federal spending, most of it appears to be spent on things that cause more harm than good. I wonder if the difference is taken into account and how they distinguish the harmful from beneficial spending.

- Steve


  Yes, people should be aware of the inequalities of the tax system. On the other hand, there are many ways in which poor people are more greatly disadvantaged and less advantaged by government in the United States than are the wealthy. Quality of government services received (police protection, schools, roads, parks, etc. all tend to be better in wealthier areas), licensing laws, zoning laws, business taxes and fees, and numerous other anti-entrepreneurial bureaucratic obstacles that are difficult to overcome without a lot of resources, the "War on Drugs" (disproportionately aimed at the poor), wage restriction laws that cause unemployment among the poor, inability to work and live openly without fear of deportation (for the estimated 11 million mostly poor people in the U.S. without documentation), non-progressive government fees such as parking and traffic tickets that are a greater burden for those with fewer resources, etc.

  Clearly the answer is not to "reform" the tax system by shifting more of the burden to the poor, any more than the problems above should be "reformed" by making government more onerous and services of poorer quality for the wealthy. Government should be cut across the board, so that everyone is better off. Given that poor people have it worse than wealthy people in objective terms, that helping the poor is more politically popular, and that libertarians are seen by some as defenders of the wealthy who lack compassion for the poor, I would argue that the movement and the LP should focus mainly on how government is harmful and oppressive to the poor. But you are technically correct that in the narrow area you focus on, the system socks it to the wealthy, and we should certainly be open to acknowledging this truth even while realizing that it is at odds with the larger reality of a statist system that benefits those with wealth and power more than those without it. In the United States, the gap between rich and poor has been growing for decades, even as government has undergone a huge expansion. I don't think that's a coincidence, do you?

Love & liberty,
        <<< starchild >>>

Beautifully said, Starchild.