France’s Proposal of an Unthinkable 75% Top Tax Rate

I flipped over to CNN briefly this afternoon and heard a CNN anchor talking about France’s new President Francois Hollande’s proposal to raise the top tax rate on those earning more than a million euros a year to 75%. The host seemed absolutely shocked at that rate. To be sure, that is a lot compared to our current top tax rate of 35%, but a quick Google search would have provided CNN with some relevant context. See this chart from the Tax Policy Center, for instance.

A few observations:

  1. The US has had a top tax rate higher than 75% in over 30 of the past 100 years.
  2. The US’ highest tax bracket maxed out at 92% (’52-’53), with 12 years of a 91% top rate (’50-’51, ’54-’63).
  3. In the past 100 years 66 of those years have had a higher top tax rate than we have now, with our current top tax rate at 35%.

Apparently we all have a short memory and lack the will to do basic research.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s