Some of this is old hat, but it’s worth reviewing, and some of this is relatively new. All courtesy of Ari Fleischer in a recent Wall Street Journal piece.
[T]he only group in America paying at least a “fair share” is the top 20%—people who make more than $74,000. For everyone else, the tax code is a bargain.
This figure shows the rest of that breakout—who earns and who pays:
Note that: 60% of the income-receiving population, those bottom 3 quintiles, are just that—receiving, while paying far less in taxes.
Additionally, the trend is toward greater concentration of tax payments into fewer earners—greater unfairness. The CBO’s “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009” report makes this plain.
In 1979, the top 20% made 44.9% of the nation’s income and paid 55.3% of all federal taxes. By 2009, the top 20% had risen to 50.8% of the nation’s income while their share of federal taxes paid had risen further, to 67.9%.
That’s a 13% increase in income and a 23% increase in federal tax “share.” Meanwhile,
In 1979, the bottom 20% paid 2.1% of the federal taxes. In 2009, their share of taxes has shrunk to 0.3%.
In 1979, middle-income earners ($34,900 to $50,100) paid 13.6% of all federal taxes. In 2009 they paid 9.4%.