Home > Uncategorized > Tax rates for top 400 earners in the US – 1992 to 2012

Tax rates for top 400 earners in the US – 1992 to 2012

from David Ruccio


Each of the top 400 U.S. taxpayers took home, on average, about $336 million in 2012—but they only paid 16.72 percent in federal income taxes. That’s down from tax rates in the 28-29 range in the early 1990s, according to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service (pdf).

What happened? Basically, the tiny group at the top has used a portion of the surplus they’ve been able to capture—amounting to about $134 billion or 1.5 percent of U.S. (adjusted gross) income—to purchase favorable tax policy and hire an army of lawyers and accountants to shield much of their income from U.S. taxes.

In the meantime, their incomes have grown dramatically: on average (in 1990 dollars), from $47 million in 1992 to $76 million in 2012, and, as a total (also in 1990 dollars), from $17 billion to $76 billion.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald explained, these careless people, who smash up things and creatures, are able to retreat back into their money and let other people clean up the mess they have made. . .

  1. January 3, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Yeah, just look at what the Saudis are doing to the world, using the US as an instrument.
    We are now the pawns of Middle East power struggles.

  2. Larry Motuz
    January 3, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Also to be looked at is the steady decline of wages and salaries as components of Adjusted Gross Income. This ‘shielding’ of unearned income through laws designed to have that effect is the primary way these ‘careless’ persons operate.

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