The tax burden facing Americans is lower than it has been in more than 50 years, according to an analysis by USA Today.
Bureau of Economic Analysis data shows that Americans are now paying 23.6 percent of their income to cover federal, state and local taxes. In the 1970s through 1990s, they were paying about 27 percent of their income in taxes.
Taxing at that rate today, USA Today reports, "would mean $500 billion of extra taxes annually today, one-third of the estimated $1.5 trillion federal deficit this year."
The tax burden fell most recently thanks to a cut in Social Security taxes as part of December's budget compromise which saves taxpayers $2,000 per year on $100,000 in income.
Republicans say they will not accept tax increases of any kind to address the massive federal deficit and debt, and they insisted in extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the highest-earners as part of the December budget deal. The budget plan passed by the Republican-led House this year includes further cuts to tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.The national debt stands at 14.334 trillion.
USA Today calculated that a person making $100,000 per year pays $23,600 in taxes today, compared to $28,700 in the year 2000 and $27,300 in 1990.
The analysis comes on the same days as an Associated Press analysis finding that CEO pay is now higher than it was before the recession began in 2008. CEOs at Standard & Poor's 500 companies made an average of $9 million in 2010.