July 31, 2008 02:51 PM | | Bookmark and Share

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial1 touts new figures from the IRS2 as evidence that the rich are actually paying a higher share of federal taxes under President Bush and that the tax code has, therefore, become more progressive over the past eight years.

The Journal uses the IRS figures to create the impression that the poorer half of Americans are contributing almost nothing to federal revenue while the wealthy are providing the bulk of it. The figures illustrate that, for example, the richest one percent of taxpayers paid almost 40 percent of federal income taxes in 2006, up from almost 34 percent in 2001. Meanwhile, the poorest 50 percent paid only about 3 percent, down from about 4 percent in 2001.

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