That's besides the point.
"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money --- only for wanting to keep your own money." (Joseph Sobran)
It's funny how most people who do say "Tax the Rich" never say what the next step is. To crib the business model from the Underpants Gnomes, it's:
Step One: Tax the Rich.
Step Two: ???
Step Three: Government profits!*
So to indulge those who do say, "Tax the Rich" let's do this. Forbes released their list of the 400 richest people in America last year. The combined wealth for everyone on that list was 1.37 trillion. If at the stroke of a pen the President can take that 1.37 trillion via executive order and distribute that to the roughly 300 million Americans, there would be about $4,500 per person.
According to the Cato Institute, there's roughly a 70% administration cost per dollar that is budgeted toward welfare.
Today [This was back in 1995. I can't imagine that the bureaucracy of government has miraculously improved over that time. The only other place I found that had this stat was the highly polarized and slanted Media Matters.], 70 cents of every dollar goes not to poor people, but to government bureaucrats and others who serve the poor. Few private charities have the bureaucratic overhead and inefficiency of government programs.
$.70 would go to the government to help run the program and $.30 to the actual poor. Using those percentages with taxing the rich would put that amount to a little over $1,300. If that.
And I'm not even going to go into the US deficit or budget either. Suffice it to say should Congress find $1.37 trillion plopped into it's lap, it won't be used to pay off anything.
Anyway, most of that exercise is pointless. Turns out, those cuts were phantom cuts. Reductions in future spending. Where (via Insty) “Only in Washington can a budget that spends more than it did the year before, with a larger deficit, be portrayed as ‘cutting.’”
*Looking that over, Step 2) should be 'Government profits' THEN Step 3) would be 'Distribute a small portion to special interest group'.
Update: Walter Williams weighs in.