The Rich Don’t Pay Taxes Like We Do
Greedy billionaires have lobbied and bribed our government to completely pervert our tax code, enriched themselves beyond belief, and stolen from the poor and middle class, over and over again.
President Jimmy Carter called our tax laws “a disgrace to the human race” because of all our tax loopholes for the rich.
The wealthiest people worldwide are hiding around $26 trillion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes, but this doesn’t even include real estate and yachts.
People like Donald Trump can buy with little money down and lots of borrowed money, cash out at the first sign of trouble, go bankrupt six times, walk away from their debts, and hold onto most of their assets, while their creditors and contractors lose billions.
Meanwhile, their workers have no protection when businesses fail. They lose their jobs and their homes.
Greedy billionaires changed our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for them and their large corporations to keep their assets.
At the same time, they made it illegal for regular people to declare bankruptcy on mortgages for their homes or even to renegotiate their mortgages.
They also made it illegal for graduates to renegotiate student debt in bankruptcy and let lenders garnish their paychecks or even their Social Security checks in old age.
Wealthy people get so many tax loopholes for investing in real estate that real estate tycoon Leona Helmsley said, “Only the little people pay taxes.”
One tax loophole lets them claim losses even if the value of a building skyrockets by millions of dollars. Owners of commercial real estate get to deduct losses against their personal income, something no other business owner can do.
The wealthy can sell buildings and avoid paying any taxes on the profit by simply buying another building. They can do this over and over again, all their lives, never paying any taxes on a real estate empire. When they die, their heirs can sell the buildings and pay no taxes on any increased valuation.
Between 1916 and 1975, we had a top estate tax rate of 77% on the largest inheritances.
Rich people have perverted our tax laws so much, rich heirs can now literally inherit billions of dollars and pay no income tax on it. Meanwhile, if you win a TV in a lottery, you have to pay income taxes on it.
Rich people get to deduct interest on second mansions and yachts if they just live on them for 14 days a year, while nearly half of regular people with mortgages get no deduction at all. The recent Republican tax cuts now let the rich deduct 100% of buying a corporate jet from their taxes.
A regular worker can’t contribute more than $24,000 a year to a 401K retirement plan. Yet CEOs can put unlimited amounts of cash in their retirement accounts and even claim a tax break for it.
People making over $1 billion a year pay lower tax rates than maids, garbage men, truck drivers, teachers, nurses, and police officers.
CEOs have hoarded so much in retirement accounts, stock options, and hidden bonuses and moved so much money overseas that corporations are pleading poor and cutting worker health and retirement benefits.
In 1943, corporations paid 40% of all federal tax revenue and personal income taxes and worker payroll taxes paid another 40%.
Now corporations only pay 9% of all federal revenue, forcing us to pay 80% of all federal revenue in our personal income taxes and worker payroll taxes.
When the superrich and large corporations avoid taxes, we all suffer, losing billions of dollars for education, infrastructure, police, firemen, pensions, etc.
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