Top Tax Rates (1916-2010)

I think it is fair to say that our tax rates were higher when we were paying for the second world war and perhaps debt from the depression as well.  It seems not a great leap to conclude that our taxes need to increase as a result of the recent military adventures and the Great Recession.

More excellent work from VisualizingEconomics:


Top Tax Rates (1916-2010)
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 14:11:26 GMT


2 responses to “Top Tax Rates (1916-2010)

  1. Fascinating. The Reagan years – wow. Just wow.

    I agree with you that there’s no way we’re being serious until we start talking about taxes – and NOT about cutting htem.

    • I’m not willing to go a long way down the tax route. I think restoring the Clinton tax rates makes sense for a number of reasons.

      a. If we do nothing it happens by just letting the Bush cuts simply expire in 2013. Unfortunately, I don’t think either party will go down that route as they appeal to voters in 2012.
      b. These rates have been in place in the recent past, and I think we can be fairly confident they won’t have huge adverse impacts on work, savings and investments. If we go further (in raising taxes), carefully prepared studies will be made of their impacts by economists, and those studies will show results ranging from armageddon to an improved economy. A better argument can be made to go back to Clinton rates just based on we had them 12 years ago and the world didn’t end.
      c. a rate increase across the board doesn’t get into question about making one group pay the deficit down. Everyone gets hit up.
      d. A raise taxes approach would require really hefty increase, especially if on the well to do only. I’d say like doubling the effective tax rates (the portion of their income that goes to taxes.). Different people will disagree, but in my view it reasonable to more than concerned about the effect on the economy, it wouldn’t be fair to hit one group (even the fat cats) that hard.
      e. I think we can find expenditure reductions. Spending has boomed in the Obama years.

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