Here is a little tax story that I received in e-mail the other day:

Some people have commented that under the Bush Tax Cut, high income people get a greater dollar savings than middle income people, and that low income people don't get any of the benefit. To help but this in perspective, read this rebuttal that was in the Sunday, March 4 Chicago Tribune.

By the way, the ratios are roughly accurate; 10% of the taxpayers pay about 60% of the taxes collected, 30% pay 36%, and 60% collectively pay only 4%.

Once a week, 10 men met at a restaurant for dinner. At the end of the meal, the bill would arrive; they owed $100 for the food that they shared. Each time they lined up in the same order at the cash register to pay the bill.

The first four men paid nothing at all.

The fifth, grumbling about the unfairness of the situation, paid $1.

The sixth man, feeling a little put out, paid $3.

The next three men paid $7, $12, and $18, respectively.

The last man was required to pay the remaining balance, $59; he realized he was paying for not only his own meal but the unpaid balance left by the first five men.

The 10 men were quite settled into their routine when the restaurant threw them into chaos by announcing that it was cutting its prices. Now dinner for the 10 men would only cost $80.

This clearly would not affect the first four men; they still ate for free.

The fifth man announced he would now pay nothing either.

The sixth man lowered his contribution by 1/3, and paid only $2.

The seventh man deducted $2 from his usual payment and paid only $5.

The eighth man paid $9 instead of his usual $12.

The ninth man paid $12, $6 less than before.

This left the last man with a bill of $52.

Outside of the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings, and angry outbursts began to erupt.

The sixth man yelled: "I got only $1 out of the $20 in cost reduction, and he got $7," pointing at the last man. The fifth man joined in: "Yeah!, I only saved $1 too. It is unfair that he got seven times more than me."

The seventh man cried, "Why should he get a reduction of $7 when I only got $2?"

The nine men formed an outraged mob, surrounding the 10th man. The first four men followed the lead of the others: "Even though we weren't paying anything in the first place, we didn't get any of the $20 reduction in cost; where is our share?"

The nine angry men then carried the 10th man up to the top of a hill, and lynched him.

The next week, the nine remaining men met at the restaurant for dinner. But when the bill came, there was no one to pay it.