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Historical Income Tax Rates for the Top Tax Bracket — with Charts

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Increasing the Tax rates on the Wealthy — can it happen? should it happen?

Dare we let the fabled “Engine of the Economy” grind to a halt?

How about a little Historical Perspective — How does the “Upper Crust” ever manage their Tax Burden?



(Click for Larger Image)

(By the way, that red line is the “Historical Trend” for the Tax Percentage Rate, for the Top Tax Bracket in America.  It just keeps going down.)

How much do you have to make, before that burdensome Top Percentage Rate kicks in? — here are the Historic Thresholds:



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(That Super Wealthy threshold, has been creeping up since 1992.)

National Taxpayers Union

Let’s put those Data Series on the same year-by-year chart.  Top Bracket Tax Rates meet your qualifying Income Threshold:



(Click for Larger Image)

Suppose you were lucky enough to have actually made exactly that Threshold Income each year for the Top Tax Bracket — what would you have theoretically paid in Income Taxes, each year?



(Click for Larger Image)

(By the way, that green line is the “Historical Trend” for the Rich paying their “fair share” in Income Taxes in America.  Funny it too, just keeps going down.)

Now a little Historical Perspective — on how does the “Bottom Tier” face their ever increasing Tax Burden?  How DO the Working Poor manage to survive, and pay their patriotic Taxes too?



(Click for Larger Image)

(By the way, that red line is the “Historical Trend” for the Tax Percentage Rate, for the Bottom Tax Bracket in America.  It just keeps going up and up.)

How much do you have to make, before that Bottom Percentage Rate ratchets up to the next level?   Here are the Historic Ceilings for the Bottom Tax Tier:



(Click for Larger Image)

(That “Lower Class” Ceiling has a staggered past, but it has been creeping up since late 80’s.  I think that could be some shred of good news, for those living from paycheck to paycheck?)

Let’s put those Data Series on the same year-by-year chart.  Bottom Bracket Tax Rates meet your Income Ceiling from each year:



(Click for Larger Image)

Suppose you were “lucky” enough to have actually made exactly that Ceiling Income each year for the Bottom Tax Bracket — what would you have theoretically paid in Income Taxes, each year?



(Click for Larger Image)

(By the way, that green line is the “Historical Trend” for the Poor paying their “fair share” in Income Taxes in America.  Funny it’s been going up, since the 80’s.  Hmmm?  I wonder what happened in the 80’s?)

Source data for these custom Charts:

History of Federal Individual Income Bottom and Top Bracket Rates

Website for data: National Taxpayers Union

(Note:  Data Footnotes from the Website, were NOT included, in the construction of these charts.)

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If you’ve ever heard anyone talk about our “Regressive Tax System” — well the meaning of that is shown by the long-term Trend Lines (the Red Lines) in the Charts above.  In a nutshell, a Regressive Tax System favors the Wealthy, who keep paying less in Taxes, per Dollar earned, than do their Working Poor counterparts.

In Absolute Dollars, the Poor pay less Taxes, true — but that is due to the fact that, in Absolute Dollars they make much less. About a 100x less, if you compare the scales on the charts. Relatively speaking, in the last 3 decades, the share the Poor have paid in Taxes “has skyrocketed”, if compared to historic levels.

I think raising the Taxes on the Wealthy Class, is necessary for many reasons (which I won’t list out now).   Suffices to say, the 35% percent they are paying now — thanks to the Bush Tax Cuts — is pretty meager, when compared to what the Top Tier of society has Historically paid.  As much as 50%, 70%, and even 90% through out much of the Nation’s History.

Funny the Economy didn’t grind to a halt in those eras of the Wealthy paying those “patriotic” Tax Rates.  If anything the Economy Boomed, because there was much more incentive to reinvest revenues, back into a Business.  (instead investing in Derivatives, Default Swaps, Off Shore accounts, and Hedge Funds.)

Please support the Repealing of the Bush Tax Cuts, when it comes time for them to Sunset, in about a year. If we have the wisdom to let them Sunset as promised, well then the Top Rate just reverts from its current 35%, back to its previous level of 40% — No Big Whoop! (historically speaking)

It is time for everyone to pull their weight in this society, even the Super Wealthy — who typically have “more money than sense”, thanks to the Historic “free ride” they’ve been given lately.  Supposedly the Tax Relief for the Top Tier, was going to “trickle down” and cause a Booming Economy.

How that been working out for you people, the Opportunities are Everywhere — NOT!

It kind of looks like all the wealth, and all the opportunities in America, have Trickled UP instead.  You know, there are reasons why we say We need a Bail Out for Main Street, NOT for Wall Street

Those Charts posted above, illustrate some of those very good reasons.

also posted on dkos

6 comments

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  1. jamess

    you see a Picture IS worth a thousand words Dollars!

    (i get those concepts confused.)

  2. Underdog

    still managed to live in those huge mansions, have the servants and all that, with those burdensome progressive tax rates.  

  3. Youffraita

    you don’t go quite far enough.  IIRC (and I might not, b/c I hadn’t been born yet) the tax rate for the very rich, under Ike (a GOPer) was MUCH higher than 40%.

    I favor restoring the tax rates under Eisenhower.  I also favor restoring tariffs for all products imported from outside the U.S.

    Those two simple measures are what kept the U.S. economy strong for so much of the 20th century.  The tax rate b/c it forced the super-rich to reinvest; the tariffs b/c it made importing goods more expensive & kept production here instead of elsewhere.

    I don’t want the poor to starve in emerging nations.  Please don’t misunderstand.

    But I also don’t want the Powers That Be to force us poor wage slaves back into serfdom.  I think my sig line says it all.

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