How big a bite do federal taxes take?
How big a bite do federal taxes take?

The big rise in taxes for most Americans came in the 1970s.

Since peaking in 1981, the average tax rate paid by an upper-middle-income family (earning twice the national median) has ticked down; for families in the middle, the decline has been sharper.

Top marginal rates -- the tax on the last dollar earned -- have plummeted. Low rates plus the recession have brought tax revenue as a percentage of GDP to the lowest point since 1950.

By Susie Poppick @Money - Last updated March 15 2012: 2:38 PM ET
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