2 you may be right that the top 1% earn more, but by definition there aren’t that many of them. If you take their entire wealth and share it out among the other 99% it wouldn’t go very far.
The limitations based on these numbers seem to escape the high-tax crowd.
When Mr. Obama raised taxes on the upper 1% from 35% to 39.6%, that non-trivial tax increase raised about 60B, which is less than the bailout package for Superstorm Sandy. I hesitate to refer to it as a “rounding error”, but it only increased tax revenues by 1.7%. That’s how frigging big the federal tax receipts are.
If you want to raise taxes enough to pay for European-style social spending, there’s just not enough rich people to pay for it all. Can’t happen. You’re going to have to hit the middle class, and ask them to cough up approximately double of what they pay now.
You see the same “arithmetic confusion” in discussions about CEO and executive compensation. Yes, corporate executives make a crazy amount of money, but that’s not why corporations don’t give raises or why they lay people off. If you took all the accessible money the executives make at any major corporation, decided to pay them only 100K each, and distributed the rest among the employees, the “raise” they’d get would be a penny or two an hour, no more.