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As reported by Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, the richer half of the American population pays almost 97% of income taxes. And most of that — 54% — is paid by those in the top 5%. Those ranked in the top 1% — the richest of the rich — pay more than 34% of all personal income taxes collected by Uncle Sam.
What’s more, the Congressional Budget Office last month found that the after-tax income of those “superrich” actually declined after the Bush tax cuts — by 8.3% from 2000 to 2004.
Hand in hand with these trends, about 14 million Americans at lower incomes have been removed from the federal income tax rolls since 2000 because of the earned income tax credit and the per-child tax credit.
“John Edwards actually got it right,” Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge told IBD. “There are two Americas: a taxpaying America and a non-taxpaying America.” That means the recent increases in tax burden are actually understated for those still paying income taxes.
Will this be reason enough for Congress not to 'fix' the tax structure? Not likely.