WERE YOU SURPRISED that Obama was re-elected? I wasn’t. I can do the math. According to IRS Tax Data in 2010:
- 50 percent of the U.S. population pays a mere 2.7 percent of federal income taxes each year. (We’re talking incomes of less than $33,048 per year.)
- The top 25 percent of earners pay more than 86 percent of all federal income taxes.
- Approximately 47 percent of income earners pay zero federal taxes.
- If you earn more than $113,799 per year, you are in the top 10 percent of all income producers. The top 10 percent earn 45 percent of the gross income in the U.S., but they pay 70 percent of federal income taxes at a higher tax rate.
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Obama’s message during the campaign was clear: The rich need to pay their fair share. My response: “Mr. Obama, based on the data the ‘producers’ in America are already paying more than their fair share. In fact, the top 1 percent pays 38 percent of all taxes. How much is fair to you?”
I still hear the election woes from dealers across the country. But as I told my account executives the day after the election, “Today is what you make of it. Neither Obama nor Romney would have added $1 to your bank account this week. Only you can do that.”
SO, NOW WHAT?
I recommend you start off your new year just as you should have started 2012: by setting goals. The very act of setting and writing down your goals will help you attain your goals.
Perhaps you know the story where interviewers back in 1979 asked new graduates from Harvard’s MBA Program about their goals: They found that 84 percent had no specific goals at all; 13 percent had goals but they were not committed to paper; and only 3 percent had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them. In 1989, they were interviewed again: The 13 percent who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. Even more staggering: the 3 percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent put together. (continued)