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Income Tax Burden Peaked in the 1980s

The figure shows one way to assess the federal income tax burden-federal income taxes as a share of income-for a family of four in the middle of the income distribution, and for similar families at twice and half that income level from 1955 to 2001. In 2001, the median family earned $63,278. By comparison, in 1955, the median family earned $4,919 (worth about $32,500 in 2001 dollars).

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