Reagan decreased taxes on the very wealthy, and then made up the shortfall by increasing payroll taxes, which impacted poor people far more than wealthy people. Essentially, the tax cuts for the wealthy were paid for by increasing taxes on the middle class. The reverse robin hood.
But, he DIDN’T decrease tax receipts from the individual income tax. Tax receipts from individual income tax increased markedly. Further, you’re making it sound like this was some nefarious plan to make the net changes to both tax codes less progressive overall; in fact, he was responding to two entirely different issues, one being a desire to flatten the tax code, and the second being to solve the looming problem of entitlement deficits.
Here’s the actual data from those years. First, the actual tax receipts (raw) year to year. As you can see, receipts from income taxes rose in a similar slope line to payroll taxes.
Now, you’re not wrong; if you look at this year over year, you see that payroll tax receipts did increase at a faster rate than income tax receipts:
Obviously, that graph benefits from the fact that during recession, payroll tax receipts suffer less than income tax receipts,and corporate receipts suffer most of all. If you use 1983 as the baseline, the chart looks like this. Your point regarding individual vs payroll is still made, but more accurately; and corporate receipts jumped most of all due to the friendly business environment and reversion to mean.
And, if you break total receipts in 1981 (so, pre Reagan plan) done and compare to 1988, the charts look like this:
So, corporate stayed the same, and individual and payroll balanced out.