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12.10.12

The Journal's Epic Correction

Today's Wall Street Journal offers an epic correction:

Editor's note: This article has been amended as per the following correction:

Peter Schiff's Dec. 7 op-ed, "The Fantasy of a 91% Top Income Tax Rate," included some faulty data due to a misreading of IRS tax tables.

In 1958, an 81% marginal tax rate applied to income of $140,000 and the 91% rate at $400,000 for married couples, which would correspond to income levels about eight times higher today. The article misstated the income thresholds and the comparison to income today.

In the same year, roughly 10,000 of the nation's 45.6 million tax filers had income subject to a rate of 81% or higher. The number is an estimate and is inexact because the IRS tables list the number of tax filers by income ranges, not precisely by the number who paid at the 81% rate. The original article said the number of such filers was 236.

Also in 1958, about two million filers (4.4% of all taxpayers) earned the $12,000 for married filers needed to face marginal rates as high as 30%. These Americans paid about 35% of all income taxes but could not all be defined as genuinely wealthy. The article misstated these numbers.