"In this post we examine the progressivity of the U.S. tax code and highlight two facts: the current U.S. tax system is less progressive than the tax systems of other industrialized countries, and considerably less progressive today than it was just a few decades ago."
"Over the last fifty years, tax rates for the wealthiest Americans have declined by 40 percent, while tax rates for average Americans have remained roughly constant. This is illustrated in the figure below."
"But the reason why the share of taxes paid by the top 10 percent has increased is because their share of income has increased."
"In 1979, the top 1 percent of Americans earned 9.3 percent of all income in the United States and paid 15.4 percent of all federal taxes. While the share of income earned by the top 1 percent had more than doubled by 2007—to 19.4 percent—the share of federal tax liability paid by that group only increased by about 80 percent, to 28.1 percent. The share of taxes increased less for this group because high-income tax rates fell by more than the tax rates for everyone else—reductions that made the system less progressive."