- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A new study released Monday found that the richest families in America last year paid at a lower effective tax rate than the working class for the first time in recorded American history.

Economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley found that the 400 wealthiest families in the U.S. paid a tax rate of 23% while the bottom 50% of Americans paid 24.2%.

This is a stark difference when in 1980 the top 400 families were paying 47% of their income in taxes and in 1960 when they were paying upwards of 56% of their income.

Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman write that the 400 riches families have a disproportionately larger piece of America’s wealth, with the top 400 be worth more than the bottom 60%, and the top 0.1% is worth more than the bottom 80%.

They two said there are multiple causes for tax rates falling, including cutting rates on income taxes, capital gains and estates, failure to fund enforcement of the Internal Revenue Services, and more billionaires sheltering money in overseas accounts.

They also note that President Trump’s 2017 tax plan also helped bring down the tax rate for the top 0.1% by 2.5% on average.


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