For how long are we going to continue to ignore this while cutting back the safety net, gutting education, and threatening cuts to Social Security and Medicare? The Associated Press' Stephen Ohlemacher reports:
The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.
As Robert Reich notes, this is while the tax burden on average workers has grown.
Yet even as their share of the nation's total income has withered, the tax burden on average workers has grown. They're shelling out a far bigger chunk of incomes in payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes than 30 years ago.
It's just the opposite for the superrich.
If the very rich were taxed at the same rates they were a half-century ago, they'd pay a whopping $350 billion more this year alone. That's trillions of dollars over the next decade – enough to dramatically reduce the nation's long-term budget deficit.
In a rational conversation about the federal budget, that last point would be made much more than it is presently.