A colleage recently shared some statistics provided by the Wall Street Journal which showed the percentage of federal income tax paid by the nation's top earners. The graphic shows the top 1% of earners paying nearly 40% of all taxes, and the top 5% paying over 50% of the total tax. While this is probably true, it can be slightly misleading. The superwealthy (top .1%) and wealthy (top 1%) also have the lions share of national income as shown here:
Based on 2007 Data (Compiled by Tax Foundation):
Top .1% of Earners (About 140k people) earn 11.93% of nationwide income
Top 1% of Earners (About 1.4 million) earn 22.83% of income (the highest income since at least 1980)
Top 10% of Earners (About 14 million) earn 46.44% of income (the highest income since at least 1980).
The bottom 50% of Earners make 12.26% of nationwide income.
Interestingly, the top .1% have an average tax rate of 21.46% while the folks between the top .1% and 1% have an average rate of 23.54% (ten percent higher!). From there, the average income tax rate drops to 12.66% with the top 50% averaging 14.03% and the bottom 50% paying only 2.99%.
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