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Where have all the MILLIONAIRES gone? | Campaign 2012

August 21, 2011

Where have all the millionaires gone?

By Barbara Hollingsworth

Aug. 20, 2011

News alert has posted a chart from a Wall Street Journal blog titled “Recession and the Rich.” The chart, based on 2009 IRS figures, shows that the number of taxpayers reporting annual income over $1 million fell 39 percent between 2007 and 2009; the number of super-wealthy individuals making over $10 million annually plunged 55 percent.

The carnage wasn’t confined to millionaires. The number of taxpayers earning over $200,000 per year also decreased by 612,000 – or 13 percent.

If you are tempted to join Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., in a bit of schadenfreude over the fact that nearly four in ten millionaires disappeared in two years, don’t be. The chart also shows how the loss of these top income earners adversely affected the federal government’s bottom line.

In 2007, those making above $200,000 (but less than $1 million) paid $610 billion in federal income taxes. In 2009, it was only $434 billion – leading to a 29 percent decrease in government revenue.

Same for the 408,394 millionaires who paid $420 billion in taxes in 2007. Just two years later, their numbers had been dramatically reduced, and the revenue the U.S. government collected from them likewise decreased to $232 billion.

Since the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid 58.7 percent of all federal income taxes in 2008, the vanishing of millionaires is bad news for everybody.

via Where have all the millionaires gone? | Campaign 2012.


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