Friday, July 30, 2021

Why Don't Billionaires Pay the Same High Tax Rates the Rest of Us Pay?

The truth is America has lost its way if commoners pay a rate of 40% but its billionaires pay next to nothing.

As with everything else in polarized America, billionaires proclaiming space tourism is the next big thing for humanity neatly divides opinion into two camps: those who laud the initiative, hard work and innovations of the billionaires as examples of the American Can-Do Dream, and those who wished the billionaire space tourists had taken a one-way flight to a distant orbit of blissful silence.

Setting aside that bitter divide, let's explore another divide: how our two-tier tax system enables billionaires to become billionaires while the rest of us get poorer. Whenever I discuss the taxes of the non-billionaire self-employed, armies of apologists leap to the defense of the status quo with various quibbles: the 0.9% Medicare surcharge only kicks in above $200,000, the cap on Social Security taxes is $142,800, and so on.

Setting aside the quibbles--and recall the tax code with regulatory notes is thousands of pages--let's deal with the real issue, which is that billionaires and their corporations pay a thin slice of taxes as a percentage of total income/gains if they pay any at all, while self-employed and small business pay extraordinarily high tax rates.

To all the quibblers: please add the 15.3% Social Security/Medicare tax rate (self-employed / sole proprietors pay both the employee and employer share of this tax) to the federal tax rate of 24% for income above $85,520. It's 39.3%.

Just how hard would it be to conclude that everyone earning more than $142,000 should pay at least the same rate the rest of us pay? Aren't we demonstrating all those same laudable traits of the billionaires, just on a smaller scale? Why should we pay 40% and the billionaires pay essentially zero?

Gee, do you reckon paying no taxes might help folks become richer? Garsh, nobody ever asked that question before. And do you reckon paying 40% of your income might make you poorer over time? Golly gee, how come the talking heads worshiping the billionaires never ask these questions?

Since Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are the bedrock of America's social safety net, why shouldn't billionaires pay to support these programs? Well, why not? Just how lame do the excuses have to be to be recognized as laughably self-serving?

Here's the trick billionaires use to evade taxes. There are countless ways for the super-wealthy to evade taxes--funnel earnings through an Irish post office box, buy a tax break in Washington DC, slide the money into one of dozens of global tax havens, and so on.

But a simple one is to report no income and live large off borrowed money. As the billions of dollars in capital gains pile up as the billionaire's stock holdings soar (thanks, Federal Reserve, for the free trillions; awful swell of you to give us all that free money), there's no income generated until the billionaire sells some shares. No sale, no income. Just pay yourself $1 a year in salary, borrow against your billions at super-low rates of interest, and voila, you're tax-free while you build your super-yacht, buy your private island, and so on.

Just as a thought experiment, suppose the first $50,000 in earnings for everyone were tax-free, and a 40% tax rate was collected on all income above $1 million, both earned and unearned (capital gains), not when the gains were realized in a sale but at the end of every tax year, whether the shares that rose in value were sold or not.

So Billionaire Space Tourist reaped $10 billion in capital gains from the appreciation of stocks held, then the Billionaire pays 40% of those gains: $4 billion. There is a way to not pay any taxes on capital gains--have your portfolio lose value. No gains, no taxes. And to close all the loopholes, the tax rate is on all assets and income connected in any way, shape or form with the U.S. First they pay the U.S. taxes, then if they want to pay other nations' taxes as well, be my guest. But the 40% is due and payable regardless of any other conditions.

You don't like it, then stop selling any products in the U.S. or holding any assets in the U.S. Why should billionaires get to set up immensely profitable monopolies, quasi-monopolies, cartels and corporations in the U.S. but pay near-zero in taxes? Why should billionaires be free to profit from America's economy but pay nothing to support its citizenry?

What precisely is the logic of reducing taxes on the wealthiest few to near-zero? If there is no logic, then we're left with corruption: America is a moral cesspool.

The truth is America has lost its way if commoners pay a rate of 40% but its billionaires pay next to nothing. Please note Karma and Divine Retribution are not controlled by the billionaire's lackeys and apparatchiks in the Federal Reserve. The pendulum of exploitation has reached its extreme, and the reversal to the opposite extreme is underway.




If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

AoE Salon #44: We say "Satyagraha", they say "sedition" with author Max Borders (1:03 hrs)

My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Mike B. ($5/month), for your superbly generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

Thank you, Julian B. ($5/month), for your monstrously generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.


Thank you, John C. ($5/month), for your monumentally generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

Thank you, Augustine W. ($5/month), for your splendidly generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Terms of Service

All content on this blog is provided by Trewe LLC for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.


Our Privacy Policy:


Correspondents' email is strictly confidential. This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by a third-party advertising network (Investing Channel) may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising; if you wish to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising, please go to Opt out of interest-based advertising (The Network Advertising Initiative). If you have other privacy concerns relating to advertisements, please contact advertisers directly. Websites and blog links on the site's blog roll are posted at my discretion.


PRIVACY NOTICE FOR EEA INDIVIDUALS


This section covers disclosures on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for users residing within EEA only. GDPR replaces the existing Directive 95/46/ec, and aims at harmonizing data protection laws in the EU that are fit for purpose in the digital age. The primary objective of the GDPR is to give citizens back control of their personal data. Please follow the link below to access InvestingChannel’s General Data Protection Notice. https://stg.media.investingchannel.com/gdpr-notice/


Notice of Compliance with The California Consumer Protection Act


This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by a third-party advertising network (Investing Channel) may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising. If you do not want any personal information that may be collected by third-party advertising to be sold, please follow the instructions on this page: Do Not Sell My Personal Information


Regarding Cookies:


This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by third-party advertising networks such as Investing Channel may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising; if you wish to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising, please go to Opt out of interest-based advertising (The Network Advertising Initiative) If you have other privacy concerns relating to advertisements, please contact advertisers directly.


Our Commission Policy:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I also earn a commission on purchases of precious metals via BullionVault. I receive no fees or compensation for any other non-advertising links or content posted on my site.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP