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Who is rich? Many people would consider the top 10 percent or top 25 percent of taxpayers to be rich. The former included all taxpayers with incomes above $69,000, the latter those with incomes above $43,000. Since these income figures are per return, they include two-earner couples.
Thus a single person earning $22,000 would probably be considered poor -- being in the lower 50 percent of taxpayers. But a married couple each making $22,000 would be considered rich, because they would be in the top 25 percent of taxpayers.
The top-earning 25 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $62,068) earned 67.5 percent of nation's income, but they paid more than four out of every five dollars collected by the federal income tax (86 percent). The top 1 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $364,657) earned approximately 21.2 percent of the nation's income (as defined by AGI), yet paid 39.4 percent of all federal income taxes. That means the top 1 percent of tax returns paid about the same amount of federal individual income taxes as the bottom 95 percent of tax returns.
The IRS data also shows increases in individual incomes across all income groups. Just as the highest earners lost the biggest percentage of their incomes during the recession of 2001, so they have prospered the most as the economy has continued to rebound. In sum, between 2000 and 2005, pre-tax income for the top 1 percent group grew by 19.1 percent. In the same time period, pre-tax income for the bottom 50 percent increased by 15.5 percent.
Originally posted by skeptic1
I was under the impression that the American dream was for everyone to be able to be successful.