Average Tax Rates for Top Earners: 1980 vs. 2004

Average Tax Rates for Top Earners: 1980 vs. 2004

Any solution to the nation’s fiscal challenges will require tax increases, and tax increases on high earners in particular. When President Reagan enacted historic tax cuts in 1981, households in the top .01 percent made about 2.5 times more than those in the top 0.1 percent and eight times more than those in the top 1 percent. Today, those at the very pinnacle of the income stream make over four times more than those in the top 0.1 percent and 19 times more than the merely affluent in the top 1 percent.

This chart was originally featured in Taxes Matter: 2011, a series of infographics and writings by Demos on the need for progressive tax reform.