That is another excellent post from Timothy Taylor. Excerpt:
It’s interesting to note that the share of income tax revenue collected by those in the top brackets for 2009–that is, the 29-35% category, is larger than the rate collected by all marginal tax brackets above 29% back in the 1960s.
Raising tax rates on those with the highest incomes would raise significant funds, but nowhere near enough to solve America’s fiscal woes. Baneman and Nunns offer this rough illustrative estimate: “If taxable income in the top bracket in 2007 had been taxed at an average rate of 49 percent, income tax liabilities (before credits) would have been $78 billion (6.7 percent of total pre-credit liabilities) higher, taking into account likely taxpayer behavioral responses to the rate increase.” The behavioral response they assume is that every 10% rise in tax rates causes taxable income to fall by 2.5%.
And this zinger:
One could also use the example of 1959 to argue that many more taxpayers in the broad range of lower- and middle-incomes should face marginal federal tax rates in the range of 16-28%.
I do not favor such a shift, yet somehow that is a neglected comparison.