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.