From Business Week:
The average income reported by the 400 highest-earning U.S. households grew to almost $345 million in 2007, up 31 percent from a year earlier, Internal Revenue Service statistics show.
The figures for 2007, the last year of an economic expansion, show that average income reported by the top 400 earners more than doubled from $131.1 million in 2001. That year, Congress adopted tax cuts urged by then-President George W. Bush that Democrats say disproportionately benefits the wealthy.
Each household in the top 400 of earners paid an average tax rate of 16.6 percent, the lowest since the agency began tracking the data in 1992, the statistics show. Their average effective tax rate was about half the 29.4 percent in 1993, the first year of President Bill Clinton’s administration, when taxes were increased.
As noted over at Think Progress, to put that in perspective, while the top 400 households in this country earned $138 billion in 2007, the 24 million households that make up the bottom fifth of the income ladder in this country earned a combined $247 billion.
Even more amazing, almost three-quarters of the top earners’ income comes in the form of capital gains, which are now taxed at a 15-percent rate because of Bush’s tax cuts.
Gee, is anyone out there an economist? We’re having a hard time figuring out where the Clinton budget surplus went. Socialism or not, we wouldn’t mind seeing the tax rate on these folks (and their capital gains) put back where they were during the Clinton administration. The transfer of the tax burden from wealth to work should be shifted back where it belongs.