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Another such argument runs roughly as follows: “the richest 5% of income-receivers in the US pay over half of all of Washington’s income tax receipts.” First of all, those same people pay a tiny percentage of Washington’s social security and Medicare receipts. That is simply because, the richest Americans earn the largest portion of their income from sources other than wages and salaries – such as interest, rents, dividends, and capital gains. Incomes from such other sources do not have to pay social security or Medicare taxes. Since Washington’s social security and Medicare tax receipts are now as large or larger than its individual income tax receipts, any honest assessment of what the richest Americans pay cannot exclude counting social security and Medicare taxes paid disproportionately by the bottom 99% - just what most of the right-wing analyses routinely do. One way to cut through the misinformation around taxes created by the right is to see what happened to the distribution of incomes among Americans over recent years. Did the US federal tax system hurt the top 1% and help the remaining 99%; does it operate “unfairly” as they claim? An answer emerges from the best professional statistical work yet done on the US income distribution: that of Professors Piketty and Saez (widely available on the internet). Their work covers 1993 to 2007 (before the current crisis hit). They found that the average annual growth in US real incomes over those years was 2.2%. In contrast, the real annual income growth of the incomes of the richest 1% was 5.9%. The real annual income growth of the other 99% of the US was 1.3%.