From Eisenhower to Obama: What the Wealthiest Americans Pay in Taxes


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2007
Way Down South
Ever since revealing his approximate tax rate last week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has taken heat from rivals and critics over what he said he pays on income derived mostly from capital gains, "probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything." Today, he released his tax returns, showing that he paid an even lower rate of less than 14 percent in 2010. Historically, tax rates on capital gains have not been so low since the Great Depression.

Under President George W. Bush, the maximum capital gains tax rate was 15.35 percent. The highest capital gains tax rate in U.S. history was put in place under Woodrow Wilson's presidency during World War I, when it was as high as 73 percent, according to Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center

"A substantial portion of his income is probably not taxed at all," Williams said before Romney released his tax returns Tuesday and revealed that he paid a 13.9 percent tax rate. "His taxable income is certain to be below his total income."

Romney's tax plan would extend the 15 percent capital gains tax rate for the highest income earners, while cutting it entirely for people who earn less than $200,000 in additional annual income from sources other than capital gains.

Fellow Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, too, proposes a tax plan to maintain the 15 percent tax rate. The only difference is Gingrich wants to make this tax optional for all Americans as a permanent flat tax.

But thanks to itemized deductions, Williams thinks under Gingrich's plan, "Romney would be paying virtually nothing."

The highest rate for regular marginal income tax in the twentieth century was instated under Franklin D. Roosevelt toward the end of World War II at 94 percent. A marginal income tax of over 90 percent for top earners lasted well beyond the end of the war.

Remember those good old days of the 1950s? Millionares paid a good deal in taxas. This is where Hollywood is right. Even Ron Howard the star in Happy days thinks Millionares should pay their fair share even hes a Millionare too.
Steve you do realize that when the marginal rates were high that there were also myriad deductions which negated it right ? it would have been nice if the article had actually listed income and tax paid so we could get a real picure.
In the 50s Millionares paid about 60% in government revinue Thats total State and Federal. In Califiornia it was much high for Millionares living there.