The following chart from Wealth for the Common Good shows that the tax burden on those with the top 400 annual incomes, who have more wealth than half of all Americans combined, has shrunk by two-thirds over 50 years. Meanwhile, working families have assumed a greater share of the tax burden. Compare the rates in 1955 to those in 2007:
Tax cuts for the wealthy, based on “trickle-down economics,” have clearly not resulted in more jobs and an economic boost; instead, they’ve resulted in decreased revenue, huge budget deficits and cuts in public services, health care, infrastructure and the safety net. Republican presidential candidates, however, promise more of the same–or worse. Tim Pawlenty wants 40 percent of the benefits of his tax plan to go to the richest one percent; Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) would remove 23,000 millionaires from the tax rolls.