Every so often, conservatives bring up the flat tax, wherein everyone pays the same amount of income tax, regardless of how much they make. Most of these plans, unless you want to eliminate the entire Pentagon, will raise the tax burden on the lower middle and middle class, and lower them on the wealthy, further increasing income inequality. But the whole argument presumes that the wealthy actually pay considerably more of their income in tax than the non-wealthy.
By way of Kevin Drum, comes this figure indicating otherwise–in fact, the wealthiest 400 Americans pay less than middle class families ($75,000-100,000):
It goes without saying that the wealthiest Americans have far more income left over after paying taxes, which is one of the reasons why college education and housing prices have increased much faster than the median wage. You’re competing with people who have far more post-tax income than you do. Good luck with that.
But what’s really astonishing is that, once all taxes are factored in, we essentially have a flat tax. For $50,000 and higher, realized tax rates range between 17.4% to 22.3%. Sure, it’s not identical, but I’m pretty certain that those in the top 1% can handle it.
Extra bonus observation: Most flat-tax plans don’t eliminate Social Security taxes, and these taxes fall disproportionately on those who make less than $100,000 per year (there’s a cap, so, for the wealthly, most income is not taxed). Middle class households would end up paying more of their income in taxes.