How much does the tax code reduce inequality?

by David Wessel,  Brookings

There is, for good reason, a lot of focus these days on the widening gap between the top and the bottom in the U.S. economy. 

Since it’s (almost) Tax Day, that April 15 deadline for filing tax returns, it’s a good time to ponder a very simple question: How much does the U.S. tax system shrink the gap between rich and poor?

Now you can tell this story long or you can tell it short.  And you can tell it with tables of numbers, charts and graphs—or you can tell with Legos.

To explain how much the U.S. tax code evens out the distribution of income, we’ve made a 3-minute video—with Lego bricks—that illustrates just how unequal the U.S. is before taxes and how much (or how little, depending on your perspective) the tax code changes that.  Read the entire story.

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