CAP en EspaƱol
Small CAP Banner

The Richest 1 Percent Get More, Pay Less

Wealthy Americans' Incomes Soar While Their Tax Rates Drop

SOURCE: AP/Paul Sancya

A mansion is shown in Detroit. The effective federal tax rate of the richest 1 percent of Americans has plummeted even while their incomes have skyrocketed.

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

The effective federal tax rate of the richest 1 percent of Americans has plummeted even while their incomes have skyrocketed, as the chart below shows. Households in the top 1 percent more than doubled their incomes from an average of more than $800,000 in 1993 to nearly $1.9 million in 2007. During that same period, their effective federal tax rate dropped from 35 percent to 30 percent.

That’s good for the wealthy but bad for a country facing long-term deficits. Any serious effort to balance the federal budget must start by asking the country’s most privileged people to pay their fair share. The alternative is to raise taxes on the middle class and abandon the least fortunate—while the rich get richer, and the country sinks ever deeper into debt.

rich american's incomes vs. taxes

Michael Linden is Director for Tax and Budget Policy at the Center for American Progress.

See also:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi (immigration, race and ethnicity)
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org