Gouging The Rich?

I’m sure you have an opinion about these statistics from The Tax Foundation. It all depends on which side of the income scale you happen to fall.

Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.

Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.

To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.

I can assure you that I am not in the top 1% so I’m not going to be “talking my book” here. It’s hard to see how you can wring a lot more out of the most wealthy and that’s a difficult proposition given that we are going to need a boat load of new revenue from somewhere. I’ve argued before that we need to get some serious discussion going about taxes and revenues before we find ourselves in a crisis. This information just confirms that need.

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