Bamboozled: The rich do pay a higher tax rate than middle class

We’ve been telling you this for years. You can pick out individual cases where really rich people – especially those living exclusively on dividend income – pay a lower effective federal income tax, but that is rare. For the 2010 tax year, IRS data proves millionaires payed an average tax rate of 20.4 percent, while the middle class paid between 5 percent and 8 percent, three to four times less than the rich!

From CNBC, of all places. Isn’t it interesting how the IRS released the 2010 individual tax statistic a couple of weeks after the election?

According to new data from the IRS, people who make $1 million or more had an average tax rate of 20.4 percent in 2010. Tax filers who earned $30,000 to $50,000 paid an average rate of 4.8 percent, while those who made between $50,000 and $100,000 paid 7.7 percent. Those making under $30,000 had a negative effective rate, meaning they paid no federal income taxes after deductions and credits.

Put another way, millionaires pay a rate that’s more than four times that of the middle class.

Wait, but what about all of those cute little graphics my friends post on Facebook?

The average tax rate peaks at 25.1 percent for those making between $1.5 million and $2 million.

After that it starts to go down, and falls to 20.7 percent for those making $10 million or more.

So even someone that makes $10 million pays almost three times the rate of a family making $80,000? Why do we not hear about this?

When people point to Warren Buffet’s total income and hist tax rate compared to his secretary, those are what are referred to as outliers. They are the absolute exception and you’ll realize that if you take a few minutes to study the new data for 2010.

I’ve been writing about the 2009 data for quite some time now. I’ll soon dive into the 2010 figures that will not represent much of a change in overall perspective, but I hope you’ll share this and future information with liberals, Democrats and those who voted for President Obama.

Posted in ,

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Lynn on November 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I will be happy to point this out to the Left. However, they will not care. Those on the Left who are rich, feel ?guilty, and feel they need to ?pay more taxes. Those on the Left who are poor, will think that the rich Never pay enough. The Left doesn’t care about facts, statistics or Math (except Bill Clinton) they only operate on Feelings. BTW, I never liked that song.

  2. just sayin on November 27, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Arte Johnson said it well on Laugh-In, “Verrry interrrresting.”
    Data that should matter to people seems to conveniently come too late. ?But I agree with Lynn 100%. ?I’ve found trying to enlighten the left is a no-win situation. ?No matter what is pointed out, and how, it gets distorted in their mind to support their disbelieving view which basically boils down to, “Don’t tell me these things. ?Stop with the hate.” ?To quote Michael Savage, “Liberalism is a mental disorder.”

    • JBS on November 27, 2012 at 7:47 am

      Under the heading: Crushing Conservatives, the Lefty playbook says, ” Any argument made by the Right is their interpretation of the ‘facts’, which are cherrypicked, distorted and manipulated to enrich individual conservatives.”

    • Murphy on November 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      How can you enlighten the?Darkside?

  3. stinkfoot on November 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    “So even someone that makes $10 million pays almost three times the rate of a family making $80,000? Why do we not hear about this?”

    It doesn’t fit into the demagogue’s playbook.? The rich and tax sheltered class amounts to a straw man that the administration and MSM have erected to trick enough of the 53% who are actually “pulling the load” into seeing that coming tax sodomy of the working class as something other that it really is.? I see the current “debate” about the so-called “fiscal cliff” as nothing more than a charade to justify them saying “we tried” as they shove the coming huge increases down our throats.


The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.