Who pays more taxes, Spider-Man or Batman?

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Superhero Economics Who pays more taxes, Spider Man or Batman?
Tax experts H&R Block hired artist Ron Randall to examine the fiscal profiles of both Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker and concludes that, due to capital gains AND his many charitable foundations, ultra millionaire Wayne owes $0 in taxes, while Parker owes the typical freelancer amount of $6250.

Sounds about right.

The entire comic is reproduced in the link, and it’s a nice little infographic.


  1. Jesse says:

    Bruce would have paid about 35.5 million on income giving him around a 35% rate and about 6.5 million on dividends (a la Buffett) at a 15% giving him an effect rate around 25%. But he increased his charitable donations 92% over his income! We need more rich people like Bruce.

  2. And besides, all Bruce would have to do is donate to certain Democrats in order to decrease negative news stories about his “non-tax-paying” status by about 90%. That tactic has worked well for various businessmen behind G.E. and Apple.

  3. Otistfirefly says:

    Oh, that’s right Dan. Those damn dirty DEMOCRATS taking money from outside interests to make them look good in the media. Which is why we NEVER hear anything controversial about Obama. Or why that whole Monica Lewinsky thing was kept under wraps. And why we never hear any bad press about democrats like, say, Charlie Sheen.

    Keep your nose buried in the sand and that Fox news propaganda coming out of your mouth. It will serve you well in life.

  4. Jesse says:

    Paying taxes is a privilege. We should be happy to participate in the country and that you make enough to contribute.

  5. So I guess they didn’t feel like noting that Peter doesn’t work at the Bugle, didn’t go to NYU and probably makes way more than 50k working for that thinktank?

  6. Note to self: Don’t get taxes done by H&R Block.

  7. Whatever– it’s always good to see artwork by Ron Randall!

  8. kinda makes one wonder how effective a crime fighter batman would be if he was living on spider-man’s budget?

  9. We should all be grateful that we live in a country where Peter Parker (you know, if he were real and not fictional) can chose to work hard and make a better life for himself. Then maybe, like Bruce’s parents (you know, if they existed in real life) could chose to provide that better life to his children, and they could be free to inherent what he earned from his hard work. That is of course, unless that (fictional) guy who doesn’t want to work as hard, but feels entitled to Peter’s hard earned money, robs him and shoots him for it, in an ally, first. Thank God the IRS hasn’t resorted to those tactics yet.

    Nice bit of propaganda though. It has all the elements. Well loved and recognizable characters. Tells people that someone else is to blame for for their problems. Hitler blamed the Jews, but they were seen as the wealthy back then. (Seriously, that part is scary. I don’t say that lightly.) Uses well selected factoids to make a case where a bigger picture is required. That’s called spin doctoring.

    I don’t say these things to be snotty. Honestly. I am not a democrat or a republican, nor am I happy with either party. I am not wealthy.

    I simply see history repeating itself, and I know the outcome. I’m concerned.

    Very few wealthy people are responsible for the way things are. Nor are the banks, entirely, although they did play a part in it. The truth is, we all did, and not all the money from all the wealthy in America can fix that. We need to start acting like we’re entitled to their money. WE ARE NOT. Our government needs to stop spending where there is no money.

    Instead of perpetuating class war, which divides our country, we need to start encouraging each other to strive for honestly earned wealth and prosperity. We stopped believing in that, but there is such a thing.

    It’s what all of my relatives came to this country for. They came from Mussolini’s Italy, and England’s national health (which killed my grandfather, but that’s another story) because they believed that each person must be in control of their own destiny.

    Envy is destructive. Don’t hate the rich. Strive to be a better rich person. If the path you chose does not bring you to prosperity, let that be on you. If it does, then let that be on you, as well. It must always be your individual choice. That is the price of freedom, but it’s worth it.

    If you think that you do not have a choice, the you have already lost. If you think others should cover your decisions, good or bad, then you have given your freedom to chose over to them.

    Chose freedom. Do not listen to this noise of hate and blame.

    If you chose to disagree with me, that’s fine. I’m glad to live in a country where you are free to do so.

    I only ask that you don’t be angry for what I say. I only say it, because I care about this country, and everyone in it.

    Thank you.

  10. >> Instead of perpetuating class war, which divides our country, we need to start encouraging each other to strive for honestly earned wealth and prosperity. >>

    The trouble is, this kind of statement seems only ever to be used as a defense of the idea that the rich should continue, without criticism, to fund politicians who work tirelessly to shift the tax burden to the middle class and the poor, while at the same time cutting services for the middle class and the poor. Massive tax cuts for the rich and then making it up by cutting teachers and cops is no way to build prosperity.

    The class war has been going on for decades, and the rich have been winning it. It’s not envy or hatred behind the idea that the tax code should be more like it was when America was more prosperous, it’s economics. Destroying the middle class and calling it “class war” when someone tries to fix things isn’t a solution, and won’t encouraging an increase in “honestly earned wealth and prosperity” for people who don’t already have it.

    The rich got by just fine when they paid more in taxes than they do now. They’ll get by fine if they do again. There’ll just be more opportunity for the middle class to thrive, too — and maybe even join the rich.

    And I’m not angry at what you say. I just think it’s a mistake to assume that the idea that taxes on the rich have been cut too far and too often is about envy or hatred or anger.


  11. @KDB I don’t necessarily disagree with you but I think the destruction of the middle class is also in large part now due to technological advances that have destroyed middle class jobs, further pushing the classes apart. The rich certainly have paid more or less in taxes at varying points in history but we certainly have a less corrupt system than at many times in our history. I think it is over simplifying it to say the rich own politicians. Corporations own politicians, industries own politicians. Defining and taxing corporations as individuals is surely also to blame given recent Supreme Court rulings on campaign funding etc.

  12. Otistfirefly says:

    >>>>The trouble is, this kind of statement seems only ever to be used as a defense of the idea that the rich should continue, without criticism, to fund politicians who work tirelessly to shift the tax burden to the middle class and the poor, while at the same time cutting services for the middle class and the poor.>>>

    …as well as ANY TIME you bring up the rich and taxes in the same sentence. You literally can’t use rich and taxes in a sentence together before you’re labeled and ridiculed for being a filthy liberal who perpetuates class warfare. They love using it as a preemptive strike.

  13. Remember, something only become a war when someone fights back.

  14. Bruce Wayne:

    “his many (meaning MULTIPLE, i.e. MORE than one) charitable foundations” probably help more poor people than any government welfare program EVER COULD.
    (especially when you consider only about 25%-30% of government welfare money actually gets to it’s intended recipients, where as private charities about 80%-90% of money goes to the intended recipients.)

    He probably employs HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people through “Wayne Enterprises” and it’s subsidiaries…which I’m sure ALL of them enjoy having a job.
    (Just think about the math on that for a second…how much money do you think goes out for payroll of a company that size???)

    Plus his personal contributions to Gotham City is probably a LOT MORE than they would receive through taxes from him.

    Peter Parker:

    Would contribute a few bucks to charity, but as a broke college student probably DOESN’T. (I’m not faulting him for it, I know what it’s like to be a broke college student, but I’m just saying)

    Does not employ anyone. No one else’s lively hood depends on him making sound business decisions. So he has no outside expenses other than his own.

    OH, and seeing how student loans are tax deductible, Peter probably gets a good chunk of that money back at the end of the fiscal year.

    So someone please explain to me how Bruce Wayne (who helps MILLIONS between charities and employment just as Bruce Wayne, not counting what he does as Batman) in somehow not “paying his fair share”???

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