By Amy He  Updated on Tue Jul 15, 2014

Do the Rich Pay the Most Income Taxes?

 
Do the Rich Pay the Most Income Taxes?

Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock source

In a piece from CNN Money yesterday, author Steve Hargreaves discusses how contrary to popular opinion, the rich are the ones that pay the majority of U.S. income taxes.

They currently contribute about 70% of the total amount of income taxes collected by the U.S. government, up from the 55% they contributed in 1986. These figures come from the Tax Foundation — “a right-leaning think tank.”

While the rich pay the majority of income taxes, the remaining 90% of the population contributed just 30%.

According to the piece, there are many more taxes to pay now than there were in the 1980s. There are multiple tax brackets and tax credits for the poor, which have increased. But it’s not like the rich don’t get their own tax breaks, “in fact, the Tax Policy Center found last year that there are about 4,000 households with incomes over $1 million that were not paying anything at all.”

That’s interesting to consider, in conjunction with this video that was making major rounds in the media about a week ago:

The gap between the wealthy and the poor is increasing, with the top-earning 1% of Americans controlling 40% of the entire country’s wealth. According to the video, the bottom 80% of Americans own only 7%.

While the richest contribute 70% of income taxes, they also earn substantially more. So it’s still worthwhile to ask: are they contributing “enough” taxes in proportion to how much they’re earning?

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  • jrwells5

    Amy, absolutely correct. No matter what the difference is in tax RATE between Warren Buffett and his secretary, he pays taxes in the millions of dollars whilst she pays thousands of dollars — as it should be.