CBPP: US Tax System is Progressive; High-Earners Pay A Lot

April 6, 2016

We're busily working the phones here at TF, doing media interviews on our Tax Freedom Day 2016 report released earlier today, showing the date that Americans as a whole will have paid off their combined federal, state, and local tax burden. A big, big thank you to all of you who are helping get the word out!

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has just released their annual "refutation" of Tax Freedom Day, and their associated state groups will be forwarding it along shortly. We respond to their criticisms here.

However, there's an interesting concession they make in order to criticize Tax Freedom Day. 364 days of the year, CBPP and its allies claim that the tax code is regressive, that rich people don't pay enough, and that the tax code burdens low-income people more than high-income people.

But not today. In order to complain about Tax Freedom Day, they admit that the tax code is progressive, that rich people pay a lot, and that the tax code burdens high-income people more than low-income people. They even include a nifty chart for understanding ease:

Turns out those bottom quintiles pay next to nothing after all, and that the federal tax system is pretty progressive. I'm glad CBPP can be straightforward about this, at least if only once a year.

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