Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every
day, ten men 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
* The first four men (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 man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men 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 men were unaffected. They would still eat for free.
But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up
the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?
The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man
would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal.
So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each
man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the
amounts each should pay.
* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $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 men began to compare
"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to
the tenth man "but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.
It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man 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, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction.