Maybe "the most progressive tax code since 1979," according to the Times.
The tax burden on the biggest incomes could and probably should be higher, but for now the rest of us can exhale and go back to fairly progressive tax rates.
In fact, the total federal tax rate is still vastly lower for the very rich than it was at any point in the 1940s through 1970s. It has risen from historical lows, but is still closer to those lows than where it was in the postwar decades.
“We made the system more progressive by raising rates at the top and leaving them for everyone else,” said Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a research group based in Washington. “The offsetting issue is that the rich have gotten a lot richer.” ...NYT
That seems as good a way out of a lingering economic recession as any. Still, it could be better. There are still some anomalies.
An anesthesiologist who earns a $500,000 salary subject to payroll and income taxes might pay a higher tax rate than a hedge fund manager making $1 billion subject mostly to capital-gains taxes, for instance.
Economists are also divided on the ultimate effect of those tax increases on the wealthy to income growth and income inequality in the United States. The recession hit the incomes of the rich hard, but they have snapped back much more strongly than those for middle or low-income workers....NYT
Yesterday's job report may have seemed kind of unexciting, but it contains a very bright component: the increase in construction jobs.
The return of construction jobs is an especially critical component of the economic recovery. That’s partly because of the sheer number of jobs lost — more than 2 million since 2007 — but also because of fears that many of those workers’ skills may not translate to other industries, rendering them permanently unemployable.
“These jobs have been the backbone of the middle class for many, many years,” said Arne L. Kalleberg, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of “Good Jobs, Bad Jobs.” “Now they’re coming back.”
The jobs report follows several other encouraging data sets that show year-end momentum in the economy. Automakers reported surprisingly robust sales last month and consumers piled into shopping malls, unfazed by the political wrangling over the “fiscal cliff.” But economists say they are particularly heartened that the uptick in construction coincides with new strength and stability in the housing market, suggesting the gains are more sustainable....WaPo