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Taxation is becoming more progressive

We’re told by the progressive left that the rich must pay their fare share, the implication being that currently this is not happening. Making income taxes more progressive — that is, higher tax rates for higher incomes — is the solution, they say.

What is actually happening is that high-income earners are assuming a greater share of the county’s income tax burden, and low-income earners are assuming less. This explanation and chart from Putting a Face on America’s Tax Returns: A Chartbook from the Tax Foundation illustrates.

In 2009, the top 1% of taxpayers — which totals roughly 1.4 million taxpayers — paid about 38% of all income taxes. That is a greater share of the income tax burden than was paid by the bottom 90% of taxpayers combined, which totals more than 120 million taxpayers. The top 10% of taxpayers pay more than 70% of all income taxes. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of taxpayers (about 70 million in total) pays just 2.3% of all income taxes.