I am hearing peole say things like, "The top 2 % of taxpayers pay 90%
of the income tax." and "50% of the tax payers pay no taxes.
"Increasing taxes on the wealthy won't help the deficit."
Where can I find real data on this subject?
says top 1% pay 38% of the bill, bottom 50% pay 2.7%.
This is by AGI, not gross, and it's data from the IRS 2008.
You can search for data that's more detailed than what this report
shows, but these numbers look close to what my gut says.
Yes, if the bottom 50% want a tax cut, they really want a negative tax,
and if I say any more, my response will cross that odd political line
not to be crossed.
I do think it's fair to say that when items are taxed you get less of
them, so logic tells me when you raise taxes (beyond that magic point on
the Laffer curve) you'll actually get less revenue.
Here's another link (and of course, a bit of my opinion ).
Taxes as a % of GDP apparently can fluctuate between 17% and 20%.
Below 17% starts to deplete legitimate government. Above 20% begins to
depress the economy. The big trick is to orient government expenses to
common good, without impairing individuals. E.g. Infrastructure
maintenance is a big neglected issue (10% of fresh water is wasted
through leaky supply, bridges built in the 1950's were designed to
last 50 years, etc.).
Government is difficult. If "we" gave more credit to the good done,
and less blanket criticism of everything, we might get better
I get it right from the horse's mouth - Google [statistics on income
irs] and it will take you to their SOI page with all sorts of data. The
periodic bulletins have studies on specific topics, and you can also
download things like a combined Form 1040 for all of the USA, showing
the number of people reporting something on each line and how much was
For a small fee you can also get zip code level data. I've gotten that
before for CA - it shows some interesting things, often about how
overstated the assumptions are about how much people really earn.