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article imageBloomberg: 400 richest Americans’ incomes doubled under Bush

By Chris V. Thangham     Jan 31, 2009 in Politics
New IRS data shows the average tax rate paid by the richest 400 Americans fell by a third to 17.2 per cent, and their average income doubled to $263.3 million under the Bush administration.
When George Bush took over the presidency in 2001, the tax rate was 22.9 percent for the rich income bracket. Then he cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003.
Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion, according to the data. In all, the 400 wealthiest Americans reported a combined $105.3 billion of adjusted gross income in 2006, the most recent year for which the IRS has data.
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington, notes the majority of their income stems from capital gains but also there are sharp increases in dividend and interest income. Thanks to the friendly tax rates under Bush, the richest 400 Americans were able to gain more and double their income to $263.3 million.
The richest 400 Americans all together paid $18.1 billion in taxes in 2006, the highest in the 15-year period but contribute only 1.77 percent of all income taxes paid in the United States.
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