Political  Calculations

Previously, we built a tool to calculate the probability that an individual could keep earning at least $1 million dollars annually after having done it once.

Today, we're headed for the stratosphere of annual income earners to see just how long they can expect to stay on top after they become one of the Top 400 taxpayers in the United States.

Our tool here is based upon data covering the years from 1992 through 2008 about the Top 400 taxpayers published by the IRS. Technically, these individuals aren't necessarily "billionaires", but all have earned anywhere from a low of at least $22,559,000 in 1993 ($20,397,000 in terms of constant 1990 U.S. dollars) to at least $138,815,000 in 2007 ($87,525,000 in constant 1990 U.S. dollars) to be able to be counted among the IRS' "Top 400" in the years from 1992 through 2008.

The Billionaire Decay Function Running the numbers, compared to just making one million dollars in a year, it's a lot less likely that a U.S. taxpayer will make the Top 400 of all U.S. taxpayers more than once! In fact, after 17 years, the IRS data suggests that only one individual made the list in each of the 17 years for which it has been reporting its data.

The IRS notes the high amount of changeover in the Top 400 U.S. taxpayer from year to year:


Political Calculations

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