April 17, 2012 13:29 Age: 2 yrs

Brown’s CNN Editorial: U.S. Progressive Tax System A Myth

Today is tax day and President Barack Obama revealed last week that his family was taxed at an effective rate of 20.5 percent on an adjusted gross income of $789,674.

However, his secretary, who makes about $95,000 annually, pays a higher rate than the first family, said Emory Law Professor Dorothy A. Brown in an opinion article published April 17 by CNN.

Further, it is projected that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will pay a 15 percent effective tax rate, Brown says.

“Their household income was just shy of $21 million,” Brown writes. “In a true progressive tax system, the Romneys would never pay a lower tax rate than the Obamas.”

Both examples illustrate the brokenness of our tax structure, Brown says.

She argues the idea that the U.S. has a progressive tax rate is an illusion that should be replaced with a flat tax that would apply to all income, including stock earnings.

“Most flat tax proponents … want to exempt income from stock completely,” Brown said. “That would mean Mitt and Ann Romney's already low 15 percent effective tax rate would be cut even further. That would be wrong-headed tax reform.”

Related links:

Read the CNN editorial

Professor Brown’s profile


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