I just obtained my copy of Triumph of the Straight Dope, and while perusing it, I came upon the following claim:
The richest Americans “paid 10 percent of the taxes. That’s a mere 67,000 households, who on average paid income tax of $707,000.” (page 141)
Doing the math gives us about $47.4 billion dollars paid by these households. If that’s really 10%, it means that we’re only collecting $474 billion in income taxes. Given that the budget is around $2 trillion, how are we making up the difference?
On a side note, I was unable to find Triumph in Border’s humor section, so I had to ask. In turns out, they shelf it in reference. Good for them!