The 1924 Revenue Act Set a Top Marginal Tax Rate of 46 Percent

I was browsing through old editions of the Federal Register—who doesn’t, after all?—and learned that the Revenue Act of 1924 set a tax rate of 43 percent on incomes over $100,000 and 46 percent on incomes over $500,000. That’s about the equivalent of $1.5 million and $7 million, respectively, today, compared to a top marginal rate of 37 percent in current law. It’s remarkable, isn’t it, that even a conservative Republican administration in the era of small government taxed the rich more than we do today? It’s also worth noting that the 1924 Act set up 43 tax brackets. Apparently it never occurred to them to invent a dumb canard about lots of brackets having anything to do with the complexity of filing a return.

Oh, and there’s also this. Just thought I’d post it for no particular reason.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend