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Rich Man, Taxed Man


Economic Trends

RICH MAN, TAXED MAN

At first glance, the data suggest that the wealthy are being asked to shoulder an inordinate share of the tax burden. A new analysis by the Tax Foundation indicates that the top 1% of earners coughed up 27.4% of all federal individual income taxes in 1992, up from 19% a decade earlier. By contrast, the bottom 50% of income earners paid just 5.1% of all personal income taxes collected by the Treasury in 1992, compared with 7.3% in 1982 (chart).

The catch is that the rich are getting a lot richer. The top 1% took in $524 billion, or 14.2% of total adjusted gross income, in 1992, up from 8.9% in 1982. Meanwhile, the income share of the lower 50% fell from 17.7% to 14.9%. Thus, the top 1% now rake in almost as much as the entire bottom half of earners.GENE KORETZ


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