In an earlier post, I suggested that on balance state and local tax systems are about as progressive as the federal system. This is probably not right. The only data I could find says that state and local systems are mildly regressive. Income taxes are progressive, property taxes largely proportional for most people, but sales and excise taxes are highly regressive. I have doubts about these data, however, because they exclude the elderly, which often benefit from special tax breaks at the state and local level.

My point about the steep progressivity of the federal tax system still holds. Here is another data source that confirms those in the CBO report I referenced earlier.

Note: On another point, I am informed that partnerships are not a subset of contract law, as I erroneously posted earlier, but of agency law.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.