How did USA survive all those decades ago when the rich had super high tax rates?

How did USA survive all those decades ago when the rich had super high tax rates?

like 70% or even 90% top marginal income tax rates, estate taxes, where corporations paid higher taxes.....and where there was strong regulations in place to control banks and wall street from spinning out of control and taking our country and economy down?

I mean....go back and look at the time between 1936 all the way to about 30 years ago, that top tax rate never went below 70% at all.

Our country generally speaking in the post world war 2 period all the way up tp about 30 years ago was the greatest economy ever..americans enjoyed the highest standare of living, we innovated the most, there was no challenge we could not meet.

Then things started changing...and we were promised better results from those changes, as more deregulation came about and lower taxes on business and the wealthy generally came about. But now it more looks like it was a bunch of snake oil salesmen selling us a lot of bull.

Its like we were great and they changed things...and now things are not great.

I am especially interested in knowing what Repblicans think of this as well as Democrats.


Partial History of

U.S. Federal Marginal Income Tax Rates

Since 1913


Year Income

brackets First

bracket Top

bracket Source

1913-1915 - 1% 7% IRS

1916 - 2% 15% IRS

1917 - 2% 67% IRS

1918 - 6% 73% IRS

1919-1920 - 4% 73% IRS

1921 - 4% 73% IRS

1922 - 4% 56% IRS

1923 - 3% 56% IRS

1924 - 1.5% 46% IRS

1925-1928 - 1.5% 25% IRS

1929 - 0.375% 24% IRS

1930-1931 - 1.125% 25% IRS

1932-1933 - 4% 63% IRS

1934-1935 - 4% 63% IRS

1936-1939 - 4% 79% IRS

1940 - 4.4% 81.1% IRS

1941 - 10% 81% IRS

Update 2:

1942-1943 - 19% 88% IRS

1944-1945 - 23% 94% IRS

1946-1947 - 19% 86.45% IRS

1948-1949 - 16.6% 82.13% IRS

1950 - 17.4% 84.36% IRS

1951 - 20.4% 91% IRS

1952-1953 - 22.2% 92% IRS

1954-1963 - 20% 91% IRS

1964 - 16% 77% IRS

1965-1967 - 14% 70% IRS

1968 - 14% 75.25% IRS

1969 - 14% 77% IRS

1970 - 14% 71.75% IRS

1971-1981 15 brackets 14% 70% IRS

1982-1986 12 brackets 12% 50% IRS

1987 5 brackets 11% 33% IRS

1988-1990 3 brackets 15% 28% IRS

1991-1992 3 brackets 15% 31% IRS

1993-2000 5 brackets 15% 39.6% IRS

2001 5 brackets 15% 39.1% IRS

2002 6 brackets 10% 38.6% IRS

2003-2009 6 brackets 10% 35%

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    They had super high deductions and loopholes. Nobody ever paid 90%. Why you can't compare historic tax rates meaningfully.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Notice it was only 70% for the top part of their income - not all of it as many people try to incorrectly suggest.

    But during Clinton taxes were higher, but we had a stable economic base and a balanced budget which gave us amazing buying power overseas. Our economy and stock market has never been better.

    Then Bush took over - lowered taxes BASED on there being a "BUDGET SURPLUS" (his words!!!) so this Neocon myth that the economy had already gone bad is just a ludicrous lie - and the entire economy went to hell within weeks.

    Source(s): Because countries realised with no strong economic base the dollar was worth squat! Thanks Bush!!!
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  • 3 years ago

    ok, permit me understand particularly mentioned that 1936, 1937 and 1938--for starters--had the "maximum appropriate financial gadget ever?!" you particularly mentioned that, during those years, that "our u . s . a . frequently talking thrived in that factor era ....human beings enjoyed the utmost known (i'm going to in straight forward terms anticipate that become a typo however from what you're writing, i'm no longer so particular.) of residing?!" You do be responsive to that there become a sprint ingredient talked approximately as the super melancholy during that factor, striking? there have been different depressions for the time of our countries background, yet never as undesirable as then, that's why that's talked approximately as the super melancholy. You do be responsive to that the financial gadget become worse in 1938 than whilst the melancholy began in 1933, striking? You do be responsive to which you are going to no longer be able to evaluate wartime economies to peace time economies because of the fact the financial gadget during wartime may be greater suitable because of the fact the artwork tension is generating units of warfare 24/7 yet which will all end as quickly because of the fact the warfare ends and function thousands and thousands further to that's artwork tension with the protection tension coming living house and turning out to be a member of the civilian inhabitants, striking? further, your use of the be conscious "like" in the past naming tax possibilities potential which you have be responsive to clue as to what they even have been because of the fact, because of the fact something of this question factors out, you're making all this up because of the fact the two somebody, who's additionally misinformed instructed you, or given which you elect for to have confidence this. this is ridiculous. do a sprint prognosis and get returned to us.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    easy,there weren't but a handful of millionaires.and far less people.the poor actually paid taxes and there wasn't any welfare.maybe your right,we should go back to that.what say you?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    You mean back before JFK cut taxes for the Rich?

    I think you should study North Korea, where there is no Rich.

    You seem to have a "hang up".

    The Rich don't bother me, since I work for a Living.

    I enjoy working for the Rich, who pay me very well..

    Welfare Democrats Hate the Rich. Cool!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    real simple,all their $$ went twits still do not get it,the rich stay rich by beating the dumb asses.give it up rich ,no jobs.what part of capitalism do you not understand....

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "chirp, chirp" went the Republican crickets...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A lot of loopholes.

    Next time don't post the superfluous drivel, thanks.

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