It’s no surprise that the wealthiest Americans get a tax pass.
Over the past four decades, this country has suffered from a system favoring discredited theory that if we give more tax breaks to the rich, they will generously distribute more to the rest of us, and the country will be more prosperous.
In 2017, Donald Trump took it even lower to a whopping 21%.
But thanks to legislation providing for generous loopholes, those who would have to pay even 21 percent get by without having to part with a single penny.
Over the past 20 years, CEOs have boasted of a average increase 350 times more than their employees.
According to a recent Treasury Department watchdog report, theirs failed to raise more than $ 38.5 billion of taxpayers earning more than $ 200,000 per year and more than $ 2.4 billion of those with incomes above $ 1.5 million.
The pandemic has only exacerbated it.
According to Americans for Tax Fairness last year and the Institute for Policy Studies Analysis, the wealth of American billionaires has increased on average by $ 42 billion every week the COVID-19 pandemic has hit us, over $ 700 billion total since March 18, 2020, the date that the analysis indicates as the first official day of the pandemic emergency.
Now we have another report, of ProPublica, revealing leaked IRS tax returns that show that between 2014 and 2018, the 25 richest Americans benefited from a 400 billion dollars windfall by paying the equivalent of one 3.4% tax rate.
Jeff Ernsthausen, senior data reporter at ProPublica, this week said in an interview with Democracy now!:
“Typical employees like you or me pay taxes every time we get a paycheck. But for the ultra-rich, that’s a whole different story.
Some of the characters in this story include Berkshire-Hathaway billionaire Warren Buffett, who lamented the fact that he is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary.
Unless her secretary paid less than 0.1%, That is true.
Like Jeff Ernsthausen Explain:
“Warren Buffett is sort of one of the best examples of how this works. So the somewhat famous Berkshire Hathaway does not pay a dividend. And because of that, Warren Buffett’s earnings, as Berkshire’s main shareholder, end up being relatively low every year for someone with as much money as him. And so his wealth has, you know, increased by tens of billions of dollars over the five year period that we focus on in our story, and he paid millions in taxes. And that’s because his business is structured in such a way that he never really achieves any of those gains in a way recognized by the US tax system.
His fortune exploded $ 24 billion.
According to ProPublica report, Bezos paid no federal income tax in 2007 or 2011.
Jeff Ernsthausen added:
“The example of Jeff Bezos is a good illustration of this. Thus, between 2006 and 2018, his fortune increased by nearly $ 130 billion. During that time he paid something in the order of $ 1.4 billion in taxes, which sounds like a lot, but it was almost at 1% of the amount that his wealth grew. And so, some years he had a very – you know, had a very low income, and so he ended up paying next to nothing in taxes, and in a few years, nothing in taxes.
The richest people in America pay no income tax.
Warren Buffett 0.10%
Jeff Bezos: 0.98%
Elon Musk: 3.27%
Ordinary Americans pay 20% +. It’s just amazing how rigged the system is. Let’s fix it.
– Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 8, 2021
Georges Soros—right-wing hate mediaFavorite “Democratic mega-donor,” has paid no federal income tax for three years in a row.
It’s the equivalent of paying a 3.7% tax rate.
Investor Carl Icahn was able to bypass federal income tax in 2016 and 2017 by deducting significant interest on the debts of its companies.
“Tthere is still a long way to go to ensure that the corporations, the individuals with the highest incomes, pay more their fair share. It is therefore in the president’s proposals. His budget and part of how he offers to pay for his ideas will go forward.
Warren’s bill includes a provision granting a $ 100 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), require a Minimum audit rate of 30% for taxable persons and create a 40% tax on $ 50 million in net worth for people who renounce US citizenship to avoid paying.
Elon Musk should 4.6 billion dollars and still have over $ 148 billion at the end of the year.
Bill Gates will have to pay $ 3.6 billion.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg $ 3 billion.
Image credit: Congress Budget Office via TMI
Vt. Sen. Bernie sanders Explain:
“With the money these tax evaders owe, this year alone we could fund a tuition-free university for all, end child hunger, ensure clean drinking water for every American home, build half a million.” affordable housing, providing masks for everyone, producing the protective gear and medical supplies our health workers need to fight this pandemic, and fully funding the U.S. Postal Service. It is an absolute scandal, and this report should make us take a long and serious look at what our national priorities are. “
The rich will always be rich.
Except that under progressive taxation where the rich pay according to their wealth, they will not be rich in an increasingly poor country.
Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. Her work has been featured in a myriad of literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, and Third Wednesday. He also contributes to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising and Medium.