Much has been said about the fact that the very wealthiest (in terms of income) pay the most in personal income taxes and the cost to them has gotten greater. That is probably true.
Not quite. The total amount that this group pays in taxes has grown; but the percentage
of their personal fortunes paid in taxes has dropped. It's more accurate to say that the cost to them has lessened, not grown.
As an example, let's say that CycloCo. has 100 employees including myself as Big Boss. We each make 50k a year and at that level we pay about 15% in taxes each, or around $7500 per year (all numbers are hypothetical).
Over the course of 3 decades, my salary rises ten-fold while everyone else's stays flat - a situation that is in fact quite common amongst the higher ranks of corporations. I now make 5ook per year and am in a higher tax bracket, so I pay 35% taxes on that - or $175,000 in taxes.
In terms of the total taxes paid in by workers in CycloCo, I now pay around 25% of ALL taxes paid in by the company's workers - even though my salary represents less than 10% of the total salary pay by the company. Some try and use this argument to show that the rich are unfairly burdened by taxes and that they are being punished somehow. The truth is the exact opposite: rising amounts of tax burden on the upper classes are indicative of greater
levels of wealth being concentrated amongst this group, a sign that they are in fact getting richer.