When I started earning over $200K my accountant and (then) lawyer came up with the standard plan that draws federal income tax down to 14% of income.
And then if you actually get like Mitt Romney rich, the sales tax and property tax become more marginal compared to income.
But I agree if you make more than $35K and less than $250k or so, you really get brutalized. Everyone gets brutalized (poor and rich alike), but the middle of the pack (most people) gets it stuck to them HARD.
Currently consuming: Free Domain Radio; Gatto, Lewellyn and Holt; Wii U