"This year, the U.S. Mint will churn out 4.3 billion pennies, more than twice the annual output of all other coins combined. Because the penny costs more than a cent to produce, the Treasury loses more than $100 million per year on the coin’s production."
— John Fund, in The National Review online
"The U.S. imposes the highest corporate rate in the world now, but companies like GE don’t pay any taxes because they exploit provisions in the tax code, such as credits for energy-saving equipment, to such a degree that they owe Uncle Sam nothing. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the complexity of our tax code is a major reason why the U.S. is not growing the way it should. People and companies make decisions based on the tax implications, not on what is in their best economic interest. He advocates pairing lower rates with many fewer deductions. (President Obama has said the same thing at times, but he never sticks to that position.) In that kind of world, Mitt Romney might still pay 15%, but it would add up to a much larger amount of money. Less wealthy people would pay less. GE would have to pay taxes."
— Greg David, in CRAIN’S NY Business
"The top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers reaped 93 percent of the $288 billion in new income created in the course of 2010. Those wealthier taxpayers saw their average income increase by 11.6 percent that year, while the remaining 99 percent received an average of $80 more in annual pay per person than they had the previous year."
— Steven Rattner, a long-time Wall Street executive, in an OP-ED in The New York Times
"Congress is … making the tax code more complicated every day: In 2010, lawmakers voted in 579 changes to the code. Right now it tops out at 3.8 million words, four times as long as War and Peace."
In other news, the U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world.
Average Yearly Income Per Family
Top .01% - $27,300,000
Top .01-1% - $3,200,000
Top 1% - $1,100,000
Top 1-10% - $164,600
Bottom 90% - $31,200
Since 1979, after-tax income grew 277% for the top 1%. For the bottom fifth, after-tax income grew by only 18%.
-Bloomberg Businessweek, April 9th
"Now it costs a lot of money to win an election. In the House of Representatives, for example, it can cost anywhere between $1 million and 2 million dollars to win a competitive seat; which means most lawmakers and candidates try to raise thousands of dollars every single day. Not surprisingly, campaign contributions flow to members of the committees that big donors are really interested in — like, say, the ways and means committee, which oversees the tax code."
Average annual American salary: $45,230.
Median chief executive pay: $14,400,000.
Top hedge fund managers collectively earned: $14,400,000,000 last year.
New York Times