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Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945

Congressional Research Service (2012-09-14) Thomas L. Hungerford

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From the Conclusion
The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.

However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009. Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced—lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities.


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Title Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945
Publisher Congressional Research Service
Author Thomas L. Hungerford
Pub Date 2012-09-14
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Keywords Budget And Taxation
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CRSTaxesandtheEconomy_Top_Rates.pdfpdf CRSTaxesandtheEconomy_Top_Rates.pdf manage 357 K 26 Jun 2014 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Congressional Research Service report on Taxes on wealthy and Economic impact
Topic revision: r2 - 11 Mar 2015, RaymondLutz
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