Tucker Carlson, in a Washington Post online discussion today: "I don't think it's a choice between the tax current system, which isn't simply progressive but wildly skewed against the rich, and Mexican plutocracy. As of today, before Obama's tax increases on the upper income, the top one-percent of earners pay about as much in income taxes as the bottom 90 percent of earners. So next time you see a rich person, thank him for keeping the country afloat."
Now, the Washington Post lets Carlson say pretty much anything he wants in these things, so he didn't have to support his claim that the current tax system is "wildly skewed against the rich," which is a good thing for him, because he can't*.
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the top one percent pay 30.9 percent of their income in federal, state, and local taxes. The remaining 99 percent pay 29.8 percent of their income in taxes. The top one percent actually pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than the next 20 percent.
That doesn't sound like a system that "isn't simply progressive but wildly skewed against the rich," does it? In fact, it sounds more like a system that isn't progressive at all.
* No, Carlson's statement that "the top one-percent of earners pay about as much in income taxes as the bottom 90 percent of earners" does not support his contention that the tax system is "wildly skewed against the rich," for several reasons. First, it considers only federal income taxes. More importantly, looking at the amount of taxes paid without looking at the amount of income earned is worse than useless; it is deliberately misleading. It's like going out to dinner with a friend and ordering the Surf & Turf, then lashing out at your friend who ordered only the house salad because she wants you to pay 90 percent of the bill. Whenever anyone tells you the richest X percent of Americans pay Y percent of taxes, stop taking them seriously right there: they're trying to trick you.