The table here shows the Maximum capital gains tax rate history plus top federal income tax rates since 1916.
Table of Historical Capital Gains Tax Rates
In 1916 the Capital Gains Tax Rate was 15%.
Between 1987 and 1996, Capital Gains Tax Rate was between 28% and 29.2%.
In 1997, under president Bill Clinton, they cut rates to 21.2% and the stock market took off.
Historical Chart of S&P500
In 2003, rates were cut again and the market had another big rally, more than doubling before the financial meltdown.
Today the market seems stuck in a quagmire... could it be because capital gains tax rates return to 25% (21.2% plus 3.8% for Medicare under the Obama-care plan) in 2013?