Per Capita Taxes Have More Than Doubled Since JFK

Real federal taxes per capita have more than doubled since John F. Kennedy served as president — and argued for lower taxes.

In 1961, the fiscal year Kennedy was elected, the federal government collected about $94.388 billion in taxes, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The population that year was about 183,691,481, according to the Census Bureau. That meant federal tax revenues equaled about $514 per capita — or $4,121 in 2016 dollars.

By 1965, the fiscal year Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater, the federal government collected about $116.817 billion in taxes from a population of about 194,302,963. That year federal taxes equaled about $601 per capita — or $4,578 in 2016 dollars.

In fiscal 2016, according to OMB, the federal government collected about $3.268 trillion in taxes. That equaled about $10,114 for each of the 323,127,513 people in the country.

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