The U.S. Tax System: Who Really Pays?

This stat always amazes me. Here is a NCPA summary of a recent Manhattan Institute article:

It is a common misconception in the United States that the tax code needs to be changed so that the rich pay more in taxes. Several factors fuel this myth, and policymakers are quick to act on them. Several popular arguments about tax rates are broken down and responded to by Stephen Moore, a senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

  • The main argument is that the rich need to be taxed more to make things more fair. However, the top 10 percent of tax filers make up 45 percent of the total federal taxes paid.
  • Many argue that the rich pay less in income taxes than they did 50 years ago. But in 2007, the top 10 percent contributed 71 percent of all personal income-tax revenue whereas the bottom 50 percent, earning 12 percent, only contributed to 3 percent of the tax revenue.
  • Tax cuts do not take from the poor and give to the rich. Tax cuts incentivize people and businesses to innovate and propose new ideas, which create more opportunities for those who are not in the top tax bracket.

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