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The Buffett Rule, which would raise an estimated $50 billion over 10 years, would not make an appreciable dent in the deficit or provide a lot more for essential programs.
Unfairness in the tax burden is one important example and driver of that divide. The White House released tax data showing that the average federal tax rate of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans has fallen from 51 percent to [26 percent over the last 50 years. At the same time, the middle-class tax burden was basically unchanged or slightly higher, with those taxpayers paying 16 percent of their income in federal taxes in 2010, versus 14 percent 50 years ago.