Who Pays Taxes - washingtonpost.com
In 2006, the top 20 percent of earners paid 70 percent of all federal taxes. On average, they paid 26 percent of their income to the government. The very richest -- the top 1 percent of taxpayers, with household incomes of over $332,000 -- paid 28 percent of all taxes, with an effective tax rate of 31 percent. The middle three quintiles paid rates of 10, 14 and 18 percent. The lowest 20 percent of households paid only 0.8 percent of all federal taxes -- and the bottom 90 percent of households paid only 45 percent.
Based on these numbers, it would be hard to argue that the country doesn't already have a significantly progressive tax system. Taxes aren't just for suckers, with cashiers paying more of their income than corporate chief executives. Nor is the system egregiously stacked against the wealthy -- who, after all, receive the bulk of the income. The top quintile earned over 55 percent of the income, and the top 1 percent earned a full 19 percent of all income.