NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Cut The Taxes Of Those Who Pay Them

July 14, 1999

Favoring tax cuts targeted at special categories of citizens, Democrats are particularly irate over the proposal of House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer (R-Texas) to cut taxes 10 percent across the board. They argue that this would benefit wealthier taxpayers more than those with more modest incomes and, therefore, lower taxes. They are also incensed that people who pay no taxes at all wouldn't get a break.

Yet it is the wealthy and middle-income earners who shoulder a disproportion share of the tax burden, as figures from the Tax Foundation attest.

  • In 1995, the top 1 percent of earners paid more than 30 percent of federal income taxes, even though they earned only 14.6 percent of U.S. income.
  • The top 5 percent paid 48.8 percent of taxes, while making less than 29 percent of income.
  • The top 25 percent -- those who earned more than $44,147 a year -- paid more than 80 percent of the taxes, despite earning less than 74 percent of income.
  • That contrasts with the contribution of the bottom 50 percent, who paid 4.6 percent of taxes while taking in 14.5 percent of income.

Source: Editorial, "Democrats' Tax-Cut Follies," Investor's Business Daily, July 14, 1999.


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