Just who are these American taxpayers already paying close to 50 percent of their income in taxes? The liberal Citizens for Tax Justice says the highest overall tax rate (this includes federal, state, and local taxes) is 32.2 percent. The top 1 percent pay even less—30.9 percent. They include employer-paid FICA taxes as income, which seems wrong to me. But the conservative Tax Foundation reports that the top 0.1 percent pay an effective federal tax rate of 21.5 percent. The last total tax rate I see from them is 2004, when it reported that the top quintile of earners paid an average total tax rate of 34.5 percent. They don’t break out the top 1 percent, but their rate would actually be lower than that of the top 20 percent as a whole.

Finally, D’Souza denies in his blog post that the piece is racist, but of course it is. Indeed, it’s racist at its rotten core. That’s the whole point. You can’t write stuff like “Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s,” and credibly assert that it’s not racist. Or how about this doozy at the end of his blogpost:

No, Obama is not a Muslim. No, Obama is not a socialist. The truth is far worse.

Worse than a Muslim or a socialist!

That Forbes gave the cover of its mainstream magazine to this piece will be a black mark on its reputation for a long, long time.

(UPDATE: For more on Forbes see this post—Audit Notes: Forbes Compares Obama to Lenin, Racist BS, Some Sanity

Further Reading:

Forbes’ Shameful Piece on Obama as the “Other”: The worst kind of smear journalism by Dinesh D’Souza

David Weigel: “Why is Gingrich pushing Dinesh D’Souza’s crazy theory about Obama’s ‘Kenyan anti-colonialism’?”

David Frum
: “When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral.”


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.