US more reliant on tax revenue from higher earners

The Tax Foundation’s release comes after the recent debate between Democrats and Republicans over whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for income above $250,000 for households — roughly the top 2 percent. 

Both parties generally favored extending the Bush tax rates for income beneath that threshold. A compromise hashed out between the White House and congressional Republicans eventually extended all of the rates through the end of next year.

The OECD’s 2008 report also said that the average income of the top 10 percent of American households was $93,000, and that income inequality had grown quickly in the U.S. in recent decades.

Progressive members in both chambers of Congress are pushing now to raise taxes on millionaires to help narrow budget deficits — citing, among other things, data that says the top 1 percent owns more wealth in America than the bottom 90 percent.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHigh-end designer releases Bernie Sanders-inspired fashion collection Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing Super PAC relaunches with top Clinton, Sanders operatives MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who are leading that charge, say raising taxes on millionaires is a better way to attack budget deficits than cutting spending on programs like Head Start and Pell grants.

For their part, Republicans continue to stress their belief that the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue one.