1) This chart was created by adjusting historical U.S. Federal Individual Marginal Income Tax rates for inflation to show how tax rates vs. income levels have been adjusted between 1975 and 2010.
2) Taxable incomes prior to 2010 have been adjusted for inflation to their 2010 equivalents.
3) Marginal tax rate is the rate an individual pays for every extra dollar of taxable income earned. For example, if an individual's taxable income put them at the 30% marginal tax rate, for every additional dollar earned, 30 cents would be owned in taxes.
4) Tax rates for very high earners have dropped dramatically from as much as 70% to 28% for individuals with 2010-equivalent taxable incomes of $800,000 between 1975 and 1990. The 2010 rate is 35%.
5) Individuals with very low incomes (<$6800 2010-equivalent) have had marginal tax rates generally between 10% and 15%, with a complete reprieve during 1985.
6) The vast majority of earners (>$16750 2010-equivalent) have had significant marginal tax rate reductions from the 1975 and 1985 levels. Only earners near $17,000 and $70,000 (2010-equivalent) are paying marginal tax rates near 1985 levels.
7) Note that this data says nothing about "Effective Tax Rates," that is the marginal income tax rate individuals actually pay, after adding tax deductions and credits not included in the taxable income calculation.
8) See also Tax Freedom Day Over Time.
10) See also U.S. Federal Government Debt Per Resident Over Time.
11) See also Federal Government Spending Per Capita By County.
12) See also U.S. Federal Government Budget Per Resident by Agency.
13) See also U.S. Dept of Agriculture Budget Per Resident Over Time.