Paul Krugman: Well, it seems as if a number of people in the media have decided that (President) Obama was fibbing when he said that some millionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries – because, as the usual suspects triumphantly declare, on average millionaires pay higher average taxes than middle-income Americans.
This is, of course, stupid: the operative word is SOME.
And we’re not talking about one or two exceptional guys, either … If you look at the numbers since 2004, you’ll see that in a typical year between 30 and 40 percent of those super-high-income players paid an average tax rate of less than 15 percent; most of them paid less than 20 percent.
…. what becomes clear is that the Obama/Buffet claim is absolutely, totally true.
So why the attack? Probably because it’s such an effective line. And we can’t have populism that actually strikes a chord with the public, can we?