Stuckness: Federal Taxation

Now to Federal Tax Receipts over an even longer time period.

The previous dataset begins with 1962. This dataset reaches much further back; I pick up the story in 1945.

(Note: If you hover over each wedge, its label will appear. Try it and see.)

Corporation Income Taxes (this dataset's first wedge) start at 7% of GDP, but average 4.2% of GDP from 1945 through 1970. From 1980 through 2015, Corporation Income Taxes have averaged only 1.7% of GDP. (The decline in Corporation Income Taxes parallels the rise of Enrichment Economics.)

Now shift your attention to the top slice, Excise Taxes & Other. At one time, Excise taxes (whiskey, tariffs, etc) represented a more significant share of federal revenue, roughly 3.3% of GDP in 1945. But they slowly decline in significance, and by 2015 are only 1.7% of GDP.

With Corporation Income Taxes Shrinking, and Excise Tax Receipts shrinking, that creates a growing burden for Individual Income Taxes, and for Social Insurance and Retirement Receipts, the second and third wedges up from the bottom.

Individual Income Tax Receipts average 7.7% of GDP across this whole period, with a slight upward trend. From 1945 through 1965, receipts average 7.3% of GDP;  from 1995 through 2015, receipts average 7.9% of GDP.

These results leave the third wedge up from the bottom as the one forced to expand the most over time. And that’s what we see. Social Insurance and Retirement Receipts average only 2.1% of GDP from 1945 through 1964. Then from 1965 through 1984, this wedge averages 4.8% of GDP. And from 1985 through 2015, it averages 6.2% of GDP. Rising receipts from Social Insurance and Retirement sources have largely offset reduced receipts from Corporation Income Taxes and Excise Taxes.