In 1894, the Wilson-Gorman tariff imposed the first peacetime income tax of 2 percent on income over $4000, affecting fewer than one in ten households at that time.
Last year CEOs received an average $12.3 million while the average worker took home around $34, 645.
Hundreds of taxpayers marked the filing deadline April 17 by delivering tax "bills" - and a message - to tax-dodging corporations and executives.
In the pre-dawn hours today helmeted and shield-carrying police tore down the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park here where protesters have hunkered down since September.
The big tax break of 2004 - which the then-sitting Congress and the Bush administration promised would bring jobs and revamp the economy - did little more than stuff $300 billion into the pockets of the rich.
"Right now we've made a tremendous sacrifice," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said. "There's no pleasure in us giving the high income tax bracket these cuts."