YouTube comments should, of course, be ignored at all times. But the few comments for this video are works of incandescent genius compared with the usual collection.
One commenter, however, says "90,000 taxed out of 100,000. That wasn't a joke. One of the things that drove Reagan into the Republican party."
That commenter probably said that because he (or she) does not understand income tax brackets.
Income tax brackets seem to be one of those concepts that just slither out of people's mental grasp, like daylight saving time and aeroplanes on conveyor belts.
Another leading indicator of this misunderstanding is when someone expresses the opinion that making more money, so that you move into a higher tax bracket, means you'll have less money to take home than you would if you'd stuck with your lower income.
The simplest kind of progressive tax does indeed work this way, and imposing such a tax on income would indeed be crazy unless there were about a million tax brackets for incomes between $1 and $1,000,000. If the tax on income to $5000 is 20% but it shifts to 40% when you make $5000.01, you'll lose a lot of money if you get a raise from $5000 to $5100.
What actually happens, though, is that each bracket's tax rate only applies for the money you earn within that bracket.
So if you make $10,000 a year, and the country where you live has a $0-to-$5000 20% tax bracket and a $5000.01-to-$10,000 40% tax bracket, you'll pay a total of $3000 in tax.
But that only applied to the portion of your income above $200,000 a year. $200,000 in 1961 dollars would be worth an easy 1.4 million bucks today, and was worth even more in comparison to the average wage.
Which isn't to say that 90%-plus isn't a pretty hilarious top tax rate, but it's not as if some hardworking surgeon making $100,000 was taking home less money than a lazy plumber on fifteen grand.
In fact, the take-home pay of a person making $100,000 in 1961 in the USA, with no deductions, was $32,680. They would pay $67,320, not $90,000, in tax.
A 67.32% total tax rate still isn't anything to sneeze at. But it ain't 90%, either.