Fair Share

Are the rich paying their fair share?

Top 40%

  • Wealth as a percent of the nation's total wealth(2007):  97.7%
  • Percent of federal burden (2007): 85.4%

Why is their federal burden lower than their share of the nation's wealth?  Why are the middle class and poor paying disproportionately more? Is that a FAIR tax code?  Not only are they contributing disproportionately less, their tax rates have gone down.  In 1979, the rate for anyone making above 200,000 was 70%.  Today, the the highest tax bracket only pays 35%.  The rich now pay 50% less of what they did 30 years ago.  Someone making the average wage in 2007 pays only 3% less than one they paid in 1979 (18% to 15%).  That is only a drop on 15% compared to the drop of 50% for the rich.  Even though the tax rate of the rich is HALF of what is was in 1979,  raising their tax rates at all would be "unfair".

Sources: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_589.pdf

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