According to the I.R.S., the top 1% of earners in this country make 21% of all the income in the U.S. Robert Reich gives more detail here:
The 25 highest paid hedge fund managers are earning more than the CEOs of the largest five hundred companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 combined. CEO pay is outrageous; hedge and private-equity pay is way beyond outrageous. Several of these fund managers are taking home more than a billion dollars a year.
A billion dollars a year? Good lord... Reich thinks we should raise marginal tax rates to 50% for people who make more than $500,000 a year. I think it should be raised, too, but a little bit differently. Any one who makes more than $10 million dollars a year should pay a 90% marginal tax rate, but you shouldn't hit 50% until a million dollars or so... More from Reich:
[T]he highest marginal tax rate under Republican Dwight Eisenhower was 91 percent. It dropped under JFK to the 70 percent range. You say the rich will leave the country rather than face a marginal tax of 50 percent? Let them, and take away their citizenship.
Charlie Rangel got a bill passed through the House that will address some of the inequality, but just barely. To protect about 23 million middle class Americans from getting hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax, the bill raises taxes on hedge fund managers from 15% to 35%. So now they'll pay taxes more like you and me. If the bill makes it through the Senate and can override a Presidential veto.