Is Our Tax System Fair? Survey Says: No

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Do you think the rich are paying their fair share in taxes? If so, you’re in the minority.

A Pew research poll found that about 60 percent of Americans — including about a third of Republicans — believe the rich are not paying their fair share. For contrast, 71 percent of those polled felt that lower-income Americans were either paying their fair share or paying too much, and 88 percent felt that middle-income Americans were paying their fair share or too much.

As this chart from Mother Jones shows, tax rates for the wealthy have fallen substantially since they peaked in 1940.

Falling tax rates.

Tax rates for the rich have fallen substantially since the 1940s. (Chart: Mother Jones)

At the same time, the incomes of the richest Americans have risen substantially since the 1970s.

Take a look at more informative charts and graphics about who pays what, and why, at Mother Jones.

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