News Flash: The top twenty percent of taxpayers pay more than eighty percent of federal income taxes, according to a report today at Market Watch.

The figure comes from estimates made by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., research organization. The actual numbers won’t be available for two years. The federal government derives about half its revenue comes from the federal income tax levy.

Another interesting fact about those not in the top twenty percent is that they often have quite a bit of untaxed income:

The income cited on the tables includes untaxed amounts for employer-provided health coverage, tax-exempt interest and retirement-plan contributions and growth, among other things. This can be significant.

On average, such benefits double the income of people in the bottom quintile and add more than 25% to the income of people in the top quintile, says Roberton Williams, an income-tax specialist at the Tax Policy Center. That means a taxpayer whose stated pay is $130,000 might be reaping another $35,000 annually in untaxed income.

We’re all taxed too heavily, and I’m glad when anybody gets a break on any portion of their income. If a citizen has an additional $35,000 that the IRS can’t touch, then that is cause for rejoicing.

Still, President Obama’s oft-repeated call to raise taxes on the wealthy because they are not, in his opinion, paying their “fair share” sounds a little hollow when you realize that the twenty percent of the taxpayering public is picking up the tab for eighty percent of the federal government's outlay.