Last night in the debate, John Kerry spoke how he thought rich people — such as himself, President Bush, and Charlie Gibson — ought to pay more in taxes. While others have focused on Kerry’s presumption that none of the audience makes more than $200,000 a year, I was struck by the hypocrisy John Kerry was exhibiting.
Several years ago the Democrats tried to raise Massachusetts income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.85%. They would have succeeded, but the Republicans (who are vastly outnumbered in both Massachusetts houses) stuck a little “poison pill” into the law. The higher tax rate was OPTIONAL, and the taxpayer must actively CHOOSE the higher rate — the default level is the lower one. At last count, the percentage of Massachusetts taxpayers who have opted for the higher rate has failed to reach one-one-hundredth of one percent. (.01%, or less than one in ten thousand.)
Would anyone care to guess at which rate John “the rich must pay more of their fair share” Kerry has been paying for the last couple of years?
Update: I went searching for Kerry’s state tax returns for the last two years, and turned up nothing. But I found general confirmations of the allegations here, here, here, here, and here. They all confirm my own recollections, though, so I’m gonna stick by this one. And I know a couple of them are of dubious reliability (I can NOT believe I’m linking to Rush Limbaugh’s site — gag, retch), but the New York Post’s copy of Howie Carr’s column (talk-show host and long-time columnist/gadfly around Boston) has gone into the Great Beyond.