Look, I'm a fiscal conservative. I hate the idea of solving all of our problems by taxing the rich. I admit that I would normally spout a statistic like I quoted yesterday such as "the top 3.5% of earners pay over 60% of the tax dollars," to illustrate the iniquities in the tax code. Unfortunately, there's a big problem with that stat - it's a red herring designed to misdirect the reader, and I'm shocked that every time it's mentioned people don't shoot it down. I am ashamed to admit that, despite my math background and statistical prowess, it wasn't until AsphaltJesus's comment yeterday on my post that I realized how inane/insane that stat is.
The point is that we need to know what percentage of the income the top 3.5% of earners earns! If they earn 60% of the income, and pay 60% of the taxes, well then, that seems pretty darn fair. According to TaxFoundation.org, the top 5% of earners earn roughly 37% of the income and pay roughly 60% of the taxes. So, phrasing it as "the top 5% of earners pay 60% of the taxes," while comparing apples to oranges, sounds a lot more "unfair" to the wealthy than "the group that earns 37% of the income pays roughly 60% of the taxes."
Yeah, of course the rich still pay a higher relative share of the tax pool, but it's not quite as absurd as misleading or irrelevant statistics can make it seem.