David Leonhardt has two good tax related pieces (an article, and a blog post) that shed some light on who pays how much taxes in the US.
The full article, Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer., is noteworthy for this truism about the tax burden. It is rather informative:
“There is no question that the wealthy pay a higher overall tax rate than any other group. That is an American tradition. But there is also no question that their tax rates have fallen more than any other group’s over the last three decades. The only reason they are paying more taxes than in the past is that their pretax incomes have risen so rapidly — which hardly seems a great rationale for a further tax cut.”
The blog post, Taxing the Rich, Over Time, is noteworthy for this supporting chart, looking at taxpayers by quintile, as well as the tax burden on the top 0.1%:
Chart courtesy of Economix
Taxing the Rich, Over Time
Economix, April 13, 2010
Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer.
NYT, April 13, 2010