Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Half of American Don't Pay Taxes

47 percent of Americans don’t pay any taxes. ~ Gretchen Carlson, FOX News
This is one of the great lies of our time. In fact, the opposite is true. Between sales taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, and all the various other local and federal government fees attached to living, almost all Americans pay taxes.
Proportionally, the rich pay less.
In totality, the American tax system is geared to afflict the working class most severely. On the federal level, salaries are taxed at a higher rate than dividends and capital gains, meaning that people who work for a living pay more than people who live off their investments. With a Social Security salary cap, CEOs who have a salary over $1 million have the same payroll taxes withheld as someone earning one-tenth as much.
There are a myriad of obscure tax breaks and loopholes available only to the wealthy who can afford to hire lobbyists to write exemptions into the tax code. And that doesn't count the tax shelters that allow the wealthy to hide their income overseas. If a middle class taxpayer tried the same tricks he'd be imprisoned for money laundering.

The effect of this lie, promoted heavily by rich media moguls, is that many middle-class Americans have been suckered into demanding that their own taxes be raised so that the wealthy can receive further tax cuts.

The income disparity is reaching levels more appropriate to a feudal society than a democracy.

Additional Reading
Mother Jones (neat graphics)
Wilmette Week (9 things the rich don't want you to know)

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