Breaking News: Rich Get Richer, Pay Fewer Taxes

This should come as no surprise to anyone who understands the politics of taxation.

IRS: Rich Paying Less In Taxes

The Associated Press

The nation's richest people paid a lower proportion of their income in federal taxes in 2000 than in 1992, new government figures show.

New figures from the Internal Revenue Service, released Wednesday, show that the adjusted gross income of the country's top 400 taxpayers totaled almost $70 billion in 2000, for an average of $173.9 million. The richest 400 in 1992 accumulated just under $19 billion, for an average of only $46.8 million.

Over the nine-year period, the minimum adjusted gross income to get on the top 400 list more than tripled, from $24.4 million to $86.8 million.

In 2000, the 400 paid 22.3 percent of their income to federal income taxes, down from 26.4 percent in 1992.

The richest 400 made 1.09 percent of U.S. income in 2000, more than double the percentage in 1992, when they accounted for just 0.52 percent, the IRS said.

George W. Bush says he needs $200 million to get elected in 2004 - twice what he spent in 2000. (I would say "reelected," but that wouldn't be accurate now, would it?) How much money will America's richest 400 give to the Bush campaign? As much as they have to.

I'd like to meet the Newsday readers who answered yes to the question: "Is the US tax system fair to taxpayers at all income levels?"