Tax cuts for all but the almost-rich

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On Tuesday the Congressional Budget Office released its latest estimates of how much of their incomes Americans of various income groups fork over in taxes (pdf; xls). Here’s a graphic represention:

There’s something in this chart for everybody–the rich pay much more of their income in taxes than anybody else, but they’ve also been able to lop the most off their tax bills over the past 36 years. What’s striking to me is that while the top 1% is much better off tax-wise than in 1979 (their rate is 5.8 percentage points lower), the top 20% as a whole fared worse than any other quintile (2.0 points lower). Which would seem to mean that the 19% just below the top 1% barely benefited at all from the dramatic tax changes of the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush era (RBCB, as it’s known among the cognoscenti).