Those who claim the to 10% don’t pay their fair share of income taxes need to consider the following chart.

Allegedly, the top 50% pays 10.5% of the taxes and the bottom 50% pays 2.8% of the taxes. This is mathematical idiocy.

Nonetheless, that chart is making the rounds.

I believe this is what they mean, but I did not verify.

Cross Check

Category Percent Taxes Paid Running Tax Summation Running Category Summation
Top 1% 39.5% 39.5% 1.0%
Next 5% 20.5% 60.0% 6.0%
Next 25% 15.9% 75.9% 31.0%
Next 10% 10.9% 86.8% 41.0%
Next 9% 10.5% 97.3% 50.0%
Bottom 50% 2.8% 100.1% 100.0%

Allowing for a small rounding error, the numbers cross check in two ways, both totalling 100%.

I recall HowMuch (or someone else) approaching me a while back with that or a similar chart. I would not post it because it was mathematically incorrect. Instead, it is now floating around, flaws and all.

Note to HowMuch: Fix your chart because your presentation looks ridiculous.

Nonetheless, the key idea is the top 6% pay 60% of income taxes and the bottom 50% pay 2.8% of income taxes. Is that fair?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock