Nearly 80 Percent of US Taxes Paid by Rich

By Joe Crowe – Re-Blogged From

Americans that earned six figures or more paid 79.5 percent of the nation’s share in individual income taxes in 2014, according to preliminary IRS information, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

In 2014, Americans paid a total of $1,358,093,169,000 to the IRS in individual income taxes. Americans earning $100,000 or more paid $1,079,392,180,000 or 79.5 percent of the total.

Those top earners represented 16 percent of the total number of individual income tax returns filed with the IRS in 2014. The highest earners were 23,745,195 of the 148,686,586 individual returns filed.

“Liberals say that high earners pay a high share of taxes only because they have high incomes,” Cato Institute tax policy expert Chris Edwards explained in the Beacon report.

“But high earners also pay much higher tax rates than everyone else,” Edwards continued. The top fifth of earners paid a 14-percent tax rate, while the middle fifth paid at a 2-percent rate, he added, citing Congressional Budget Office figures. The U.S. progressive tax rate is the highest among wealthy nations. Edwards called on Congress to make the U.S. tax code “more equal and proportional,” because “the level of progressivity in the tax code has become extreme.”

The overall federal tax system is not as progressive as individual income tax, according to American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Alan Viard.

Viard said that the overall tax rate on the highest earners was 29 percent and the overall rate on the middle class was less than 15 percent, citing the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent data, from 2011.

An average household in the middle 20 percent of earners paid $8,100 in federal taxes, which is less than 15 percent of the $55,400 market income for those earners, Viard said in the Beacon report.

The overall tax rate in the U.S. is lower than the rest of the world, said Howard Gleckman of the U.S. Tax Report, reports CBS News.

A family in the U.S. pays around 19.4 percent, “Much of Europe is 40 percent or higher,” said Gleckman.

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