The 'Fortunate 400'

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Here's a little something to chew on while you get your income tax files together this season. Median income in the USA is $48,000. Average annual income of the top four hundred taxpayers? Two hundred and fourteen million dollars. Yep. Two hundred and fourteen million.

Their share of the nation's income has doubled since 1995. And the tax bill of our happy gazillionaires? Well, it's fallen by almost half in that same period, from 30 to 18 percent.

Compare that against yours, and the national deficit.

This hour, On Point: billionaires around the world, and who makes what — and pays what — at home.Guests:

Robert Frank, wealth reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of "Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich."

Michael J. Graetz, professor of law at Yale Law School, former Treasury Department official and author of "100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Simple, Fair, and Competitive Tax Plan for the United States."

Matthew Miller, associate editor of Forbes magazine and editor of the Forbes World's Billionaires list and the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list.

This program aired on March 7, 2008.


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