Can We Pay Down the Deficit by Further Taxing the “Rich”?

Most industrialized countries have been grappling with large budget deficits since the start of the financial crisis in 2008. Among the solutions often put forward is increasing the tax burden of the “rich.” In the United States, following an opinion piece written by billionaire Warren Buffett, President Barack Obama suggested to Congress that it should raise taxes on the rich. This is also the case in France, which just enacted a “temporary” surtax of 3% on incomes over 250,000 euros and of 4% on incomes over 500,000 euros. There too, wealthy citizens suggested this path, notably L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. Among other European countries, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Italy have all increased their top marginal tax rates.

Update [June 1, 2012]: Following a request by the MEI, Revenu Québec has released more precise data on very-high-income taxpayers (total annual income of one million dollars and over). These data show that in 2010, there were only 2,604 such taxpayers (0.04% of Quebec taxpayers) and that they paid 3.62% of Quebec’s personal income taxes (87 times their demographic weight).

Media Release :: We would need to raise taxes on the “rich” to over 100% in order to eliminate Quebec’s deficit

Download “Figure 1 – Proportion of income taxes paid by taxpayers declaring $50,000 or more (2008)” in JPEG or EPS format.


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Higher taxes? That’s rich! (Toronto Sun, December 7, 2011)    
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