You think taxes are bad now? Some economists have outright called that notion “nuts.” Put things in historical perspective and you’ll see why. In 2009, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans forked over an average of 9.2% of their income to Uncle Sam in the form of federal, state and local taxes. In 1945, Americans paid anywhere from an average of 24% (for those in the lowest tax bracket) to a whopping 94% (those in the highest). Then again, in 1915, average tax rates ranged from a measly 1% to 7%. All told, the consensus among economists is that, given the current budgetary deficits both on a federal and local level, today’s low tax rates shouldn’t be expected to last long.
In our latest infographic, we look back at average taxation rates in the past 95 years.