This astonishing statistic is explained by a simple fact. As a result of reducing taxes on the rich, the rich got much richer — so much so that they wound up paying nearly four times as much total tax (and nearly three times as much tax per rich person) as when taxes were higher.
This also reveals the truth behind the increased income inequality that liberals love to cite as their chief evidence against supply-side economics. In fact, as Laffer explains in Part I of the Onslaught from the Left series, the poor have gotten richer — just not as quickly as the rich have. “The increasingly unequal distribution of income during the era of supply-side economics has resulted from the poor increasing their income at a rate that has not kept pace with the phenomenal gains in income the rich have experienced — not from the poor getting poorer.” He goes on to show that in fact, lower taxes rates have led both to higher income among the bottom 50 percent of income earners and lower total taxes paid by that group.