Income Taxes On The Top 0.1 Percent Weren’t Much Higher In The 1950s

Income Taxes On The Top 0.1 Percent Weren’t Much Higher In The 1950s
Photo Credit: Red and Yellow Stop! Sticker by Linda Eller-Shein is licensed under Pexels NA
Lawmakers have recently announced plans that would increase the tax burden on wealthy Americans, ranging from higher marginal income tax rates to wealth taxes.

These proposals are flawed in several ways, including in their lack of understanding of tax history.

While marginal income tax rates have come down from their highs of 91% and 92 % in the 1950s, changes in the tax base—how much and what types of income are subject to the tax—mean the effective rates on the wealthy haven’t changed nearly as much.

According to the most recent IRS data, the top 0.1% of taxpayers paid more than 6 times the share of federal income taxes than the bottom 50% of taxpayers combined.

By historical standards, the very top income earners do not face an unusually low income tax burden.

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