Tuesday, June 23, 2015


My previous post discussed two surveys that asked how much tax someone with an income of $1,000,000 would pay.  The average, among people who gave an answer, was a little more than 50% 1947 and a little less than 25% in 1998.  (There's some uncertainty because both surveys recorded answers as ranges, not exact figures).  How accurate were these perceptions?  According to a study prepared for the Congressional Research Service, in 1947 taxpayers in the top 0.1% of incomes paid an average of about 45% and those in the top 0.01% paid an average of 55% in federal income taxes; in 1998 they were both a little less than 30%.  So although there was a lot of individual variation, the average perception was pretty close to reality in both years.

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