Taxes on the top 1%

From Conor Clarke is this chart plotting the effective federal tax rate of the upper 1%.

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First off, never trust a chart that doesn’t start at 0 but anyway. What’s interesting is that this is the effective rate being paid (not the marginal rate).
Here’s some related information that shows how income has grown for the wealthy. This is also the chart that makes a great argument that income inequality isn’t representative of an educational gap. Presumably, the top 10% have all received comparable educations — yet the top 1%’s income has grown even more.

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And in the most recent past, the very highest earners did very well indeed, capturing almost three-quarters of total income growth in the economic expansion of 2002 to 2006, while the remaining 99 percent of the U.S. population split among themselves the final 25 percent of the increase.

Unemployment post-recession

This graph has been making the rounds (I got it from Barry Ritholtz’s). It shows the percentage change in unemployment (Y-axis) and the months since the official start of the recession.
What’s particularly dramatic about this is employment continues to worsen and over a much longer period of time than past recessions. E.g. this recession is going to be deeper and longer than past ones.

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What I don’t like about this chart is that it is the percentage change in a rate. For example, the unemployment in 1960 was ~6%. A 50% increase brings it up to 9%. In 2007, unemployment was 4.5%. A 100% increase brings it up to 9%, too.

Cash-for-Clunkers

It looks like Cash-for-Clunkers has passed. I could get $4,500. The way it’s supposed to work is you give your old car to the dealer and the dealer discounts the price of the car. I think the car is supposed to be junked so it’s not clear there’s any trade in value.
Here are some notes:
In a nutshell, your vehicle qualifies for trade-in credit if:

  • It is at most 25 years old.
  • It gets 18 miles a gallon or less.
  • It is drivable.
  • It is registered.
  • It has been insured for the past year.

You can find out what gas mileage your car or truck should get here.
I’m not sure my car qualifies! According to the web site my car gets 19mph! I don’t believe it!