The CBO was asked to, adjusting for tax breaks, loopholes, etc, determine the average effective tax rate for each quintile of individual income. For those of you who did not do well in 7th grade math, a quintile is 20% of the population ranked from the lowest income 20% to the highest income 20%.
Simply put, while it is true that the rich have gotten a tax break of 1.3% from 1979 to 2007, the poor have gotten a tax break of 6.8% or over 4 times larger a tax cut. Sweet!!! So, the argument that the tax code is not “progressive” is disingenuous at best. However, don’t blame me, blame the Congressional Budget Office and those pesky Republicans.