Paired with one of the more odious members of Raleigh’s left-wing establishment for a presentation to college students a year or two ago, your correspondent had to stifle a grimace when his interlocutor spouted the following: “The wealthy get tax breaks while the poor and middle class are left to pay the bills.”

There is ample room for debate about the proper level of taxation, and the proper distribution of that taxation among those with varying degrees of income or wealth. But it’s hard to engage in that debate when one side perpetuates drivel like the statement quoted above. The rich/wealthy/high earners pay more taxes than the poor and middle class. Even under a flat tax like the one that takes effect in 2014 for North Carolina, those at the upper end of the income scale pay more taxes.

The Heritage Foundation’s “Insider Online” blog offers a good tool for those who want to visualize the federal tax burden.