The Tax Code Is Already Steeply-Progressive

Posted by Ryan Ellis on Monday, September 19th, 2011, 1:00 PM PERMALINK

Small business tax hike.  President Obama is calling on higher-income households to pay their “fair share.”  The first point is that the majority of all small business profits face taxation in households making more than $200,000 per year.  To raise taxes on these households is to also raise taxes on jobs-creating small businesses

The income tax is already steeply-progressive.  Most income taxes are already paid by households at the top of the income scale (Source = IRS):

EarningsMin. Income Threshold% All Income Taxes Paid
Top 1%$380,00040%
Lower Half$33,0003%

While the top 1% of income earners pay 40% of all income taxes, the lower half of income earners pay almost nothing.  For all intents and purposes, there is no income tax burden on the lower half of income earners.

The income tax has gotten more progressive over time, not less.  According to the IRS, the income tax has gotten more progressive over time:

Top 1%26% of all income taxes40% of all income taxes
Lower Half6% of all income taxes3% of all income taxes

Even when payroll taxes and other taxes are included, the tax code is extremely-progressive already (Source = CBO):

 Average Earnings% of All Taxes Paid
Top 1%$1.87 million28% of all taxes paid
Lowest 20%$18,400<1% of all taxes paid

What do you think?  Is the tax code progressive enough today, or do we need to raise taxes?

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