LARRY KUDLOW: President Biden hates rich people

Biden loves class warfare, Kudlow says

Joe Biden hates rich people. He's always attacking them, insulting them, trying to punish them, of course raising their taxes, and, of course, blames Donald Trump and Republicans for them. 

Ironically, it's Joe Biden's Democratic Party that has become the party of the rich and the elites in Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Whereas Donald Trump's Republican Party has become the party of middle-class, blue-collar working folks, a.k.a. the non-rich. 

We know Mr. Biden is memory-impaired, so he can't be expected to remember any facts underlying this class warfare he loves so much, but take a listen to some of President Biden's anti-rich people rants over a period of time: 

JOE BIDEN: "The next big battle is going to be whether the very wealthiest among us begin and the biggest corporations begin to start paying their fair share. // We should be reducing the deficit by making sure that the wealthy and large corporations and just pay their fair share. // We're going to continue cutting the deficit and cutting subsidies to Big Pharma and ensuring wealthy and big corporations begin to pay their fair share of federal taxes." 


There you have it. Kind of a sad tale. So, the only problem with Mr. Biden's class-warfare screed is that it bears no similarity to any known facts. For example, nowadays, according to the National Taxpayers Union, the richest 1% of the American economy, with earnings of roughly $680,000 and above, paid 46% of the federal income tax. That's in the year 2021, from the latest IRS statistics on income. 

By the way, the bottom 50% of Americans — all those below the median income of about $48,000 — pay less than 2.5% of the income tax. You know what's unfair? That is. Know what else is unfair? 

The top 1% of Americans make 26% of all the income, but they pay nearly half of all taxes. That's unfair. By the way, for what it's worth, the wealthiest 5% of Americans actually pay two-thirds of all taxes. So, every time Joe Biden or his minions start going off about "tax unfairness" or "tax fairness" or start attacking the rich, just cite these statistics. They are facts. 

Now, here's something else that's interesting. Every time the top marginal tax rate has been reduced, successful earners actually pay more in taxes. 

Before Ronald Reagan slashed tax rates, the top 15% of earners paid less than 20% of the income tax burden. By the end of the 1980s, with the top tax rate cut from 70% to 30%, the wealthiest share of the tax burden went from 17% to nearly 40%. Lower tax rates, greater payment. They shouldered more of the income tax. 

More recently, when Donald Trump lowered corporate and individual tax rates, the tax share paid by the wealthiest moved up to nearly 50%. One key reason for this? Lower tax rates remove the incentive to shelter income. People don't need tax shelters near as much because their marginal rate is so much lower. 

Final point, massive deficits and debt under Joe Biden have come entirely from higher spending. Tax revenues, even at the lower marginal rates, have been rising for years. 


We had $2 trillion of revenues in the year 2000. Probably, about $4 trillion in revenues in 2010 and, heading towards $5 trillion in 2020. Last year, revenues were $4.8 trillion.

The government spent $1.8 trillion in 2000. It spent $3.5 trillion in 2010. It spent $6.6 trillion in 2023, and I'm going to give a hat tip to the New York Sun's Ira Stoll for these numbers. So, here's the thing, kids. Want to stop the government from borrowing nearly 120% of GDP, or close to $50 trillion, in the next few years? Reduce spending, stupid. Keep tax rates low, grow the economy, and stop blaming rich people because they pay most of the taxes. How about that?  

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the Feb. 22, 2023, edition of "Kudlow."