Huffpost Business
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dave Johnson Headshot

Bring Back the 90% Top Tax Rate!

Posted: Updated:

When Eisenhower was president the top income tax rate was 91%. But you had to have already made a LOT of money before you hit that rate. (Eisenhower, by the way, supported that 91% top tax rate.)

That 91% tax rate is what got us out of the depression, and helped create a middle class (with the help of strong labor unions). It payed for fighting World War II and the GI Bill, and helped build our highway system, education system and other infrastructure that is in place today (albeit crumbling now from maintenance deferral resulting from tax cuts.) We did all that without borrowing, and the rich still got richer.

Think about this: If tax rates at the top were 91% today, hedge fund managers would STILL be bringing in over $300 million EACH YEAR - but the rest of us would be able to get health care, fix the roads, good schools, and the other benefits that were the reason we - yes, we - enabled this economic system in the first place.

And think about this. If that top rate is 91% it reduces the incentive for corporate CEOs to bribe politicians to put policies in place that funnel all the wealth up to the top.

Who is our economy FOR, anyway?