Top 400 in US have a lower tax rate than the bottom half of Americans

A frequent topic here is the staggering success of the rich and corporations in extracting income and wealth from the economy. In my 1.2.2024 post, Three charts that define the last 45 years in the US, I described how the rich and corporations have used a set of policies and strategies to accomplish this. I have called these The Wealth Supremacy Playbook.

A recent essay in the New York Times, “It’s Time to Tax the Billionaires,” by Gabriel Zucman1 demonstrates how effective the tax policies of the rich and corporations have been over the last 50 years.

This illustrates the famous comment by Warren Buffet, one of the 400, that his tax rate is lower than his secretary’s. As reported, “Bosanek pays a tax rate of 35.8 percent of income, while Buffett pays a rate at 17.4 percent.”2


  1. Zucman is a well-known scholar of inequality. See: Gabriel Zucman, The hidden wealth of nations: the scourge of tax havens, 2015. and Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman, Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run (London: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2014).