As I sit and ponder the two tax returns that Mitt Romney did release, I wonder if the top marginal tax rate has any relevance. It seems clear to me that any person of wealth (meaning anyone who can afford to hire tax attorneys and accountants) will not pay "income taxes" at anything near the proscribed rate. After they end up shuffling their "income" off into various sheltered categories, whatever is left is subject to treatments that the ordinary citizen cannot even comprehend.
If we focus our attention on the "rate" which the wealthy pay at the highest level, we are playing into their hands... they are going to "compromise" and agree to a higher rate, which of course they will never pay. Without systemic reform, meaning, in essence, abandoning the whole current tax structure, the wealthy will never pay anything close to what I think the non-wealthy would consider to be their "fair share."
If we expend all our energy on sticking it to the wealthy by refusing to renew their Bush tax rates, while we may win the battle, I fear we may lose the war!