Rich get richer, tax rates fall
"In 2007 the top 400 taxpayers had an average income of $344.8 million, up 31 percent from their average $263.3 million income in 2006, according to figures in a report that the IRS posted to its Web site . . . Their effective income tax rate fell to 16.62 percent, down more than half a percentage point from 17.17 percent in 2006."
Nothing new here in terms of the trend, but the piece contains many nugget-like updates, such as:
"Payroll taxes did not add a significant burden to the top 400, not changing the rounding of rates by even one decimal. With payroll taxes taken into account, the effective tax rate of the top 400 would be 17.2 percent in 2006 and 16.6 percent in 2007, my analysis shows -- the same as not counting payroll taxes. As a point of comparison, about two-thirds of Americans pay more in Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes than in federal income taxes.
. . .
Salaries and wages accounted for only 6.5 percent of the top 400's income in 2007.
This piece doesn't make comparisons with people on the poverty line; this is a regular public report on the top 400 taxpayers which was started up in the Clinton years, closed down in the years of George W. Bush, and then started up again under Obama.
In Britain, we also note this today:
"Figures published in 2007 showed that while about 400 people earned more than £10 million a year in Britain, only 65 of them paid income tax."