chapter  2
TAXES: A Further Cause of Rising Inequality
Pages 30

Threemainconclusionsarisefromthisanalysis.First,taxchangesinthe 1980sand1990shavesubstantiallyreducedthetaxespaidbythewealthiestI% offamilies,whileleavingthetaxburdenonthebottomfour-fifthsoffamilies almostunchanged.Forexample,differencesintaxlawsbetween1977and1996 loweredthefederaltaxpaymentsofthetopI%offamiliesbyanaverageof $46,792(or18.5%oftheiraverageinitialtaxliability).Overthesameperiod, thebottomfour-fifthsoffamiliessawtheiraveragetaxpaymentsfallbyjust $115(or2.5%).