Saturday, January 26, 2008

Top 1% of Taxpayers Pay Almost 40% of All Taxes

The chart above (click to enlarge) is from the most recent study on income tax shares from the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, which reported that:

1. The share of total federal income taxes paid by the top 1% of tax filers increased to 39.38% in 2005 (most recent year available), while the tax share of the top 5% climbed to 59.67%. The income tax share of the top half rose to 96.93%, according to recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data. The tax shares are the highest on record for these groups in comparable IRS data going back to 1986.

2. The share of adjusted gross income generated by the top 1% increased to 21.20% in 2005, relative to a level of 20.81% reached during the height of the stock market bubble in 2000 (when the income tax share of the top 1% was 37.42%). Although the income share of the top 1% is similar in 2000 and 2005, the income tax share was about two percentage points higher in 2005.

3. Between 1992 and 2000, the top one percent’s share of income jumped from 14.23% to 20.81%, an increase of nearly 7 percentage points, before slipping in 2001 and 2002. These data show that the most significant increases in this income share occurred in the 1990s, not in more recent years.


At 1/26/2008 8:03 PM, Blogger Thomas Coolberth said...

Liberals, even highly educated ones, contend that the poor pay most of the taxes.

At 1/26/2008 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so nobody thinks I hate all things Dr. Perry, I think there is nothing wrong with this post. :)

(If highly educated liberals contend that the poor pay most of the taxes, they might need to be re-educated.)

At 1/27/2008 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question for Dr. Parry - if social security taxes and medicare taxes were included, how would that impact the numbers?

At 1/27/2008 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question for bob - if social security benefits and medicare benefits are included, how would that impact the numbers?

At 1/27/2008 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I would like to extend kudos to our blog host for some fantastic charts.

Just a question for bob

For the 2007 fiscal year, income tax receipts were $1.163 trillion and FICA receipts were $0.870 trillion. It substantially impacts the numbers.

At 1/27/2008 5:11 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...


Exactly half of those FICA receipts came from employer "contributions", with the other half from individual FICA taxes.

Personally I would love it if we simply abolished Social Security by giving out government bonds to everyone in accordance to what their SS is currently worth, and then dismantling both the tax and benefit sides entirely. Good luck getting the AARP to buy into that though, even though retirees wouldn't be paying income taxes (they are retired), nor would the poor be paying any income taxes at all. Note that anon @3:03am is correct that it is absurd to include SS and Medicare taxes without also including benefits since they are supposedly tied together, at least the AARP says they are, and who am I to argue with the largest special interest lobby in the US?

At 1/28/2008 8:59 AM, Blogger EVN said...

is this trying to imply that the top 1% pay more in taxes or that the top 1% are getting richer

At 1/28/2008 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you realize that SS is a Ponzi scheme and not a bank account? Accordingly, your SS is only currently worth what someone else is willing to pay when you collect the benefits--not what you’ve paid in.

We will soon be in a position where wealthy baby boomers will have to depend on fewer and less wealthy workers to fund their SS benefits. Do you suppose that may create some hard feelings and call to change SS benefits?

I’ll gladly take the SS benefits without remorse, but I won’t owe my future financial security to them.

At 7/09/2008 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More proof America is becoming a third world nation due to republican voodoo economics. A hard question: Is it moral (not legal) to make that much money?

"Piketty and Saez’s top bracket comprises 0.01 percent of U.S. taxpayers. There are 14,400 of them, earning an average of $12,775,000, with total earnings of $184 billion. The minimum annual income in this group is more than $5 million, so it seems reasonable to suppose that they could, without much hardship, give away a third of their annual income, an average of $4.3 million each, for a total of around $61 billion. That would still leave each of them with an annual income of at least $3.3 million.

Next comes the rest of the top 0.1 percent (excluding the category just described, as I shall do henceforth). There are 129,600 in this group, with an average income of just over $2 million and a minimum income of $1.1 million. If they were each to give a quarter of their income, that would yield about $65 billion, and leave each of them with at least $846,000 annually."

What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You? Peter Singer

"What is a human life worth? You may not want to put a price tag on a it. But if we really had to, most of us would agree that the value of a human life would be in the millions. Consistent with the foundations of our democracy and our frequently professed belief in the inherent dignity of human beings, we would also agree that all humans are created equal, at least to the extent of denying that differences of sex, ethnicity, nationality and place of residence change the value of a human life."


At 9/12/2008 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the book How to Lie with Statistics...
"share of ADJUSTED gross income generated by the top 1%"
then ask what "adjusted" means. Adjusted to show what Dr. Perry wants to show!


Post a Comment

<< Home