Share of Taxes Paid By the Rich After 4 Tax Cuts
The graph above shows the share of personal income taxes paid by the top one-half percent of earners from 1960 to 2001. During this period, there were 4 major reductions in marginal tax rates.
1. The Kennedy-Johnson tax cut reduced the top rate from 91% in 1963 to 70% in 1965, and the share of personal income tax paid by the top one-half percent of earners rose from 16% to 18%.
2. The Reagan tax rates in the 1980s lowered the top rate from 70% to 50% and then to 30%, and the share of taxes paid by these earners rose from 14% to 22% of the total.
3. In 1997, the tax rate on income from capital gains was cut from 28% to 20%, and this rate reduction was accompanied by a substantial increase in revenues collected from capital gains taxes and personal income taxes collected from high-income taxpayers. In fact, capital gain taxes roughly doubled from $66 billion in 1996 (the last year before the tax cut) to $129 billion in 2000, when these earners paid 31% of all taxes collected.
Source: "Economics: Private and Public Choice, by Gwartney, Stroup, Sobel and Macpherson, 11th Edition"