Reviews | Fat cats on a hot roof
WASHINGTON – I find it all quite trying.
The infrastructure talks have just collapsed, with Republicans scratching their heads, wondering where the hell we might get the money to save our cratered bridges and highways, among other things. It’s the same crowd that happily helped Donald Trump cut corporate and ultra-rich tax rates in 2017.
Meanwhile, ProPublica open the safe on America’s biggest tax crooks, revealing how the Midas men dive, dodge, and dodge, paying pennies on the dollar, if that, while we suckers have to pay.
“In 2007 Jeff Bezos, then a multi-billionaire and now the richest man in the world, did not pay a dime in federal income tax,” ProPublica reported. âHe achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second richest person in the world, also did not pay federal income tax.
âMichael Bloomberg has managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has done it twice. George Soros has paid no federal income tax for three years in a row.
Grandfather Shark Warren Buffett – who famous tut-tutted that his secretary was paying a higher tax rate than he – at the top of the list, among the 25 richest Americans, for avoiding the most taxes.
âTaken together,â ProPublica concluded, âit demolishes the fundamental myth of the US tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and that the richest Americans pay the most. IRS records show that the wealthiest can – perfectly legally – pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, that their fortunes grow each year.
It turns out Donald Trump was the canary of the gold mine. While everyone was outraged by the first modern president who refused to show his tax returns, real billionaires were skating.
Republican Senator Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, who was one of the architects of the law that cut taxes by more than a trillion dollars, defended tax rates for “high income people” in a town hall, but in an interview with The Times sounded a more critical note.
“My intention as the author of the 2017 tax reform was not that multibillionaires do not pay taxes,” he said. “I think dividends and capital gains should be taxed at a lower rate, but certainly not at zero.”
Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the finance committee, said he’s working on a bunch of proposals to force billionaires to pay their fair share, including some sort of minimum tax.
The Times article noted that ProPublica highlighted the fact that “the super-rich derive virtually all of their wealth from the ever-increasing value of their assets, especially in the stock market, and that sales of those assets are forced upon them. a lower rate than the ordinary one. income from a salary. And as the value of those assets grows by the billion, tax-free, these rich people can borrow against them, deducting interest.
The revelations could renew the calls for wealth tax that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have long pushed. In 2019, during a campaign debate, Sanders lamented the scandalous fact that three people own more wealth in America than the bottom half of society, and he denounced the “billionaire class whose greed and corruption have been at war with working families in this country for 45 years.
So the IRS ‘secret hiding place did not surprise him. “The rich have money, the rich have power, the rich have lobbyists and the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes” he said in a rush-Bernie moment.
Republicans talk good about embracing the winning sides of Trumpism, but you can’t be populist if you protect the rich and stick it out to everyone.
Even if they force the rich to pay their fair share, that is unlikely to be enough to fund most of what President Biden has to do. They must increase the corporate tax rate, which began to dive during the Reagan years, to a fair level and to prevent companies from doing tax shopping to find countries with the lowest rates.
Look, rolling in piles of dough and lewd eating demonstrations is as American a tradition as apple pie. But, Up to a point, Lord Copper. Forgive me if I don’t want to celebrate Jeff Bezos’ midlife crisis rocket ride.
Considering what this country has been through with Covid, given all the corrupt bankers who have come out of the economic collapse unscathed, and given how hard it is to make money, this new insight into inequality is really disgusting. Paging Madame Defarge: Where do you find your knitting needles?
Paying taxes is an expression of citizenship. You cannot belong to the club and not pay your membership fee.
You shouldn’t come into the world with the ambition of paying no taxes. Paying more taxes should be a sign that you’ve made more money – and it’s good for you. We don’t want to blame you for being successful, but we’re halfway to a plutocracy here.
The richest of the rich want unspeakably high earnings with unspeakably low costs. It may not be against the law, but it is certainly not fair. It’s ugly.
Show your public spirit, Monopoly Men! Don’t spend Go. Don’t raise $ 200.
The Times commits to publish a variety of letters For the publisher. We would love to hear what you think of this article or any of our articles. Here is some advice. And here is our email: [email protected].