IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.Well, wait a second. Wasn't Bush president in 2007? I thought his tax policies were meant to only favor the rich...? Huh, that's weird.
Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.
Anyway, let's put this in perspective. The top 1 percent = just 1.4 million taxpayers. These 1.4 million people now pay a larger share of the nation's income taxes than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.
Today's U.S. income tax system is more progressive than the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the U.K.
Despite this incredible burden, many politicians in Washington still believe America's tax system is not progressive enough--the wealthy are still not paying their "fair share." Who honestly thinks this fair share is fair?