— The Stat of the Day goes to Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post:
America’s 400 wealthiest taxpayers certainly can. In 1955, according to the Campaign for America’s Future, the country’s 400 wealthiest taxpayers had an average income of $13.3 million (in 2008 dollars) and paid 51.2 percent of that in federal income taxes. In 2008, according to IRS calculations, they had an average income of $270.5 million and paid 18 percent of that in federal income taxes. And in 1955, by the way, we could afford to pave roads
Now, median household incomes have risen, too, since 1955—but nowhere near that much. And it goes that said median family’s tax rates haven’t fallen as much. In fact, the rate paid by the third quintile of taxpayers has gone up significantly (see the second-to-last chart here).