Top earners are the target for new tax increases, but the federal income tax system is already highly progressive. The top 10 percent of income earners paid 71 percent of all federal income taxes in 2009 though they earned 43 percent of all income. The bottom 50 percent paid 2 percent of income taxes but earned 13 percent of total income. About half of tax filers paid no federal income tax at all.
PERCENTAGE OF FEDERAL INCOME TAXES AND INCOME EARNED (2009)
Source: Internal Revenue Service.