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Students Open to Evidence on Taxes

Summary:
Interviewers at campusreform.org often go on campuses to interview college students about their knowledge of various current issues. There has been a lot of talk lately about whether “the rich” in the United States pay “their fair share” in taxes. Of course, “fair” is almost never defined. That’s part of what makes this 5-minute video, titled “WATCH: Students stunned when they hear how much ‘the rich’ already pay in taxes” so interesting. When many of the students hear how much “the rich,” which in this video is taken to mean high-income people rather than wealthy people, pay, some actually advocate cutting taxes for “the rich.” Notice that up to about the 2 minute point, most of the students they show don’t have a clue about the threshold for the top 1% of income

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Students Open to Evidence on Taxes

Interviewers at campusreform.org often go on campuses to interview college students about their knowledge of various current issues. There has been a lot of talk lately about whether “the rich” in the United States pay “their fair share” in taxes. Of course, “fair” is almost never defined. That’s part of what makes this 5-minute video, titled “WATCH: Students stunned when they hear how much ‘the rich’ already pay in taxes” so interesting. When many of the students hear how much “the rich,” which in this video is taken to mean high-income people rather than wealthy people, pay, some actually advocate cutting taxes for “the rich.”

Notice that up to about the 2 minute point, most of the students they show don’t have a clue about the threshold for the top 1% of income earners. Most of the interviewees dramatically overstate it, in a few cases by one to three orders of magnitude. Then at about the 2:10 point, the interviewer informs them.

Watch from about 2:48 on, when the students give their estimates of the percent of income the rich pay in taxes now. Watch how they switch, based on this information, at about 3:17. Watch the guy who wanted to tax them more who switches to wanting to cut their taxes (at about 3:26.) Watch the woman who wants to force people making $750k a year to pay only 5 to 10 percent of their income in taxes (at about 3:48.)

The interviewer, Addison Smith, has a nice soft touch. Watch the whole thing.

David Henderson
David R. Henderson (born November 21, 1950) is a Canadian-born American economist and author who moved to the United States in 1972 and became a U.S. citizen in 1986, serving on President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.[1] A research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution[2] since 1990, he took a teaching position with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1984, and is now a full professor of economics.[3]

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