Silicon Valley mogul opines:
According to the latest 2012 IRS income-tax data, the top 1% of American taxpayers earned 20% of all income and paid 36% of all taxes. The top 5% earned 36% of all income and paid 58% of all taxes. Will even higher taxes help the economy? My experience in Silicon Valley tells me that high and so-called progressive taxes are a major cause of the country’s current economic problems, not the solution.
In fact the quoted numbers are the percentages of personal federal income tax paid by the referenced groups, not “all taxes.” This is a critical distinction, because the vast majority of taxes paid by most Americans are not in the form of personal federal income taxes. When one looks at all taxes, the share paid by the richest 1% falls by nearly half, from 36.7% to 21.6%. Since the top 1% “earned” (very loosely speaking) 21% of all income, this means the U.S. basically doesn’t have a progressive tax system.