Are the rich paying their fair share? Top 400 taxpayers paid as much as bottom 50%

Do you think the wealthiest Americans don’t pay their fair share?

If you have been following the narrative espoused by MSNBC, the lectures given by Marxist professors and the pamphlets handed out by dirty hippies at Occupy Wall Street then it would be easy to believe that the affluent in the United States are not paying a single penny in taxes. Of course, once you look at the numbers then you can conclude that, yes, the rich are certainly paying their fair share of taxes, even more so.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) published an interesting chart earlier this week that found the top 400 taxpayers paid almost as much income tax as the entire bottom 50 percent in 2014.

Once you dive deeper, you will see that the top 0.001 percent of U.S. taxpayers forked over $49.7 billion in federal income taxes in 2014, which is $12 billion more than what the entire bottom 50 percent paid.

Here is a chart:


AEI’s Mark Perry opines:

“A small group of 400 of America’s most successful earners in 2014, about the number of residents living in a typical apartment building in Washington, D.C., paid almost as much in federal income taxes as the entire bottom half of America’s nearly 140 million tax filers, which is a population equivalent to the combined number of residents living in America’s 28 least populated states, plus the District of Columbia. A small group of fewer than 1,400 taxpayers paid $12 billion more in income taxes than than the entire bottom 50% of all taxpayers in 2014. What makes this disparity possible is the fact that 45.4% of individual income tax returns filed in 2014 had a zero or negative tax liability, according to The Tax Policy Center. And a recent CBO study (featured on CD here) found that the entire bottom 60% of American households are “net recipient households” and received more in government transfers than they paid in federal taxes in 2013.

“When you have only 400 Americans paying almost as much in federal income taxes as the entire bottom 50% of Americans filing income tax returns, and only 1,400 taxpayers paying more income taxes than the bottom half of taxpayers, I think we can dismiss any notion of the rich not paying their “fair share” of taxes. In fact, maybe the IRS should publish the names and addresses of the Top 400 taxpayers (or provide a forwarding service to protect anonymity), so that we can all send them “Thank You” letters to express our gratitude for shouldering such a disproportionately large share of our collective tax burden.”

Here’s a question: who really isn’t paying their so-called fair share in America today?

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  1. JRATT1956 says:

    They should be paying more in taxes.

    America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulfstream G650 luxury jet –­ now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.

    The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population ­– plus more than a third of the Latino population ­– combined.

    The wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States. Among the Forbes 400, just 2 individuals are African American –­ Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.

    The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population.

    Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.

    With a combined worth of $2.34 trillion, the Forbes 400 own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined, a staggering 194 million people.

    The median American family has a net worth of $81,000.

    The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families.

    That’s as many households in the United States that own cats.

    You are not going to get any sympathy from me I have lived on less than $25,000 per year since finishing high school in 1974.

    Maybe the rich in this country should send all of us a big THANK YOU, for buying their products or going to see their movies, concerts or sporting events.

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