It is a long-standing argument by US conservatives that progressive taxation is unfair, and that the answer to our economic ills is tax cuts for the wealthy.
In support of that argument, the often-quoted figure is that the top 10% of earners pay 40% of the taxes. That sounds unfair, doesn't it?
According to the IRS, in 2005, the top 10% of earners had 48.5% of the income. The top 1% had 21% of all income.
In other words, the top 10% earned about 8.5 times the average of the bottom 90%, the top 1% earned 26.3 times the average of the other 99%.
In addition, when calculating the taxes per dollar earned, using the conservatives' own figures, the lower 90% pays at a rate which is 1.4 times that of the top 10%.