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This bar graph includes the share of total earnings based on adjusted gross income (AGI) paid for income taxes among various income percentiles.

These charts are the second set of a series on the US federal personal income tax system by Mercatus Center senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy.

This bar graph breaks down total federal income tax revenues by the earnings percentiles of the Americans who paid them.

These charts are the second set of a series on the US federal personal income tax system by Mercatus Center senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy.

The chart uses data from the IRS to compare individual marginal federal income rates in varying income quintiles. Marginal rates are what taxpayers in a given bracket pay for the portion of their overall income that falls within that bracket’s range, not their entire income.

The Tax Burden Across Varying Income Percentiles

The chart uses data from the Congressional Budget Office to illustrate the change in federal income tax rates that would be required to pay for federal entitlement spending. Staying on the current course will cause entitlement spending to surge.

without reform, paying for these out-of-control programs will require marginal tax rates to almost double according to the Mercatus Center.

The chart uses historical IRS data to compare the share of federal income taxes paid by Americans in the top 10 percent to the bottom 90 percent since 1986.

The chart uses historical IRS data to compare the share of federal income taxes paid by Americans in the top 10 percent to the bottom 90 percent since

The chart suggests that Americans are increasingly looking for more help with a complex tax code–and getting less assistance in “helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.”

The chart suggests that Americans are increasingly looking for more help with a complex tax code–and getting less assistance in “helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.

The data show that the United States still leads the world in high corporate income tax rates.

The data show that the United States still leads the world in high corporate income tax rates.

The chart draws data from historical IRS tax statistics and displays the total amount of EITC spending and the total number of recipients from 1975 to 2010.

The chart draws data from historical IRS tax statistics and displays the total amount of EITC spending and the total number of recipients from 1975 to

The chart shows that the two lowest quintiles of the income distribution actually bear negative income tax burdens.

The chart shows that the two lowest quintiles of the income distribution actually bear negative income tax burdens.

Analyzing after-tax income levels provides a clearer picture of income trends in the US, particularly as the tax code is frequently employed to redistribute income as a matter of policy.

Analyzing after-tax income levels provides a clearer picture of income trends in the US, particularly as the tax code is frequently employed to redistribute income as a matter of policy.

Contrary to popular belief, the richest 1 percent of Americans have not gotten richer during the past decade.

Trends in After-Tax Income by Household Position in the Income Distribution

Whether one thinks that the current system is fair, unfair, or just right, there can be little debate that federal income taxes are indeed progressive.

Whether one thinks that the current system is fair, unfair, or just right, there can be little debate that federal income taxes are indeed progressive.

Mercatus MA Fellows gain valuable real-world experience working alongside scholars at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and applying economic ideas to a wide range of topics in business and public policy. This unique combination means that they emerge from the program as competitive and innovative problem-solvers in a world where good ideas—in the hands of effective and influential individuals—can make a real difference. http://grad.mercatus.org/graduate/ma-fellowship

A full-time program for students pursuing a MA in economics at George Mason University and interested in a career in public policy.

The late James Buchanan defined public choice as “politics without romance.” Buchanan’s work changed political economy in fundamental ways. Thanks to him and his colleagues, no one who wishes to talk responsibly about politics can be ignorant of public choice theory. www.mercatus.org

The late James Buchanan defined public choice as “politics without romance.” Buchanan’s work changed political economy in fundamental ways. Thanks to him and his colleagues, no one who wishes to talk responsibly about politics can be ignorant of public choice theory. www.mercatus.org