## Monday, September 19, 2011

### How many million dollar income tax returns are there?

Let's head on over to the IRS Income Tax Stats page. Currently, 2009 is the most recent year for which the All Returns: Selected Income and Tax Items table is available.

Let's open that file and add up the number of returns showing adjusted gross income of \$1,000,000 or more. I get 236,883 such returns.

New York Times and other "news" outlets have been running stories with titles such as Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires under a scheme inspired by one of Warren Buffett's asinine anectodes.

How much more would Mr. President ask of millionaires and billionaires?

Well, I keep hearing the \$1,500,000,000,000 figure mentioned a lot today.

\$1.5 trillion, and all of it will come from millionaires and billionaires.

Mr. President says it's simple math.

Here is some simple math: \$1,500,000,000,000 divided by 236,883 is approximately \$6,332,239.97. That is, Mr. President wants to extract more than \$6.3 million from each tax return with adjusted gross income of at least a million dollars.

According to the same IRS stats, there were 321,294 such returns in 2008.

That is, in just a year, the number of million dollar tax returns fell by 26%.

At this rate, Mr. President and Warren Buffett will succeed in destroying the American dream. I doubt Mr. President's math will ever work out, however.

To "make it" in this world, there are two options: One way, (not the Solyndra way) is to work hard, spend less than you make, and accumulate wealth. Of course, you can only consume and save out of what you are left with after you pay the government the taxes due on your income.

The President will succeed in rapidly eliminating all those pesky millionaires and billionaires for whom he seems to have so much contempt.

He seems to have a soft spot for Warren Buffett. Eventually, Mr. President might have to collect all of that \$1,500,000,000,000 from a single "billionaire" taxpayer ;-)

So much for law school math.

P.S.: The President has not changed. He entertained such fantasies even as a senator.

He has just become a little more ambitious: Back then, he was only trying to extract an extra \$446,000 out of each million dollar tax return.