Flashback:1941's top earners taxed as much as 73%
And the rich are whining today about their taxes.
Americans have gotten real spoiled. No wonder
we are in so much trouble.
Flashback: 1941's top earners taxed as much as 73%
by Jed Lewison
Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 07:46:02 AM PST
Drawing on IRS data recently made public in the National Archives, the New York Times created an amazing infographic (full size here) showing that in "the good old days" of 1941, upper-income Americans paid far more in taxes than they do today, with some top earners paying as much as 73% of their adjusted gross income in taxes:
Keep in mind that in 2008, people who earned more than $1,000,000 paid 24.1% of their adjusted gross income in taxes. Compare that to some of the numbers in the Times' infographic:
The head of Bethlehem Steel had an adjusted gross income of $336,953 and paid $222,051 in taxes -- 66%.
The head of MGM Studios had an AGI of $202,408 and paid $130,174 in taxes -- 64%.
The head of IBM had an AGI of $476,029 and paid $329,666 in taxes -- 69%
Gun makers Carl and Hulda Swebilius had an AGI of $893,593 and paid $650,389 in taxes -- 73%
Remember, these rates weren't a result of a war surtax -- although World War II began in 1939, the United States didn't declare war until December 8, 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. Yet even though we've been fighting two wars for the last decade, and even though today's tax rates on top earners are a fraction of what they were in 1941, the GOP's top legislative priority is to keep those top tier tax rates low. And for the most part, even though the polls on their side, Democrats aren't fighting back.
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