I wonder... You have your headline marginal tax rate, then an effective tax rate once all deductions are included. But maybe there is a third everyone has missed: inflation. The government can print money, which devalues the rest of the money in circulation... is this not a tax? Tax rates are lower today than they were under Clinton (Thank God). But spending is now higher than ever before (Oh No!) and inflation is also running pretty high (only if you don't exclude food and energy...) Maybe inflation is the other tax which is allowing the government to spend more than ever while still having a reasonable tax rate.