Rich Pay Even More Disproportionate Share of Income Taxes than Previously Reported

July 25, 2012

Via Wintery Knight, Professor Mark J. Perry gives us another graph of how skewed our tax system is against the rich (contrary to a certain liberal narrative):

(The source data are here.)  In other words, the top 20% of the population are paying almost all of the income taxes.  (They’re paying 94%, by this reckoning.  The next 20% of the population are paying 13%, which adds up to more than 100%, but that’s because the bottom 40% are paying less than nothing.)  Here’s my own new graph to show how these quintiles’ tax burden compares to their income (click on graph for full-resolution version):

This is much more dramatic than the graph I showed in a post two weeks ago:

The explanation is that the upper graph represents total federal income taxes paid, while the lower graph represents total federal taxes of all kinds paid, as you can see in the CBO document containing both sets of data.

Note that the graph showing the bottom 40% of the population as net recipients, and by how much, seems to reflect only “refundable tax credits”—that is, entitlement-state society would look even more dramatically unhealthy if you included food stamps, “disability” benefits, etc.

Update (July 30th, 2012):  From that same CBO document, in case you were wondering what other kinds of taxes there are besides income taxes:  “Federal taxes include individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance (or payroll) taxes, and excise taxes.”

Thanks to eMatters for the question.

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2 Responses to “Rich Pay Even More Disproportionate Share of Income Taxes than Previously Reported”


  1. […] The Democrat platform calls for raising taxes “on the wealthy”.  “‘. . . being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class warfare,’ [said Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, a platform committee chairman.]  ‘It’s patriotism.’”  (See “Rich Already Pay More than ‘Fair Share’” and “Rich Pay Even More Disproportionate Share of Income Taxes than Previously Reported”.) […]


  2. […] The top 20% of Americans earn 50.8% of the income in the country (including capital gains) but pay 9… […]


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