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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Back to taxing the rich...
Friday, June 08, 2012 7:40 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:What a Tax Break! Make $200M and Pay the IRS Zilch
The Internal Revenue Service has released its annual look at the 400 taxpayers reporting the highest adjusted gross incomes, a group known as the Fortunate 400, and the numbers show that some Americans made hundreds of millions of dollars but paid lower effective tax rates than others far lower on the income ladder – some as low as zero. Really.
The latest report shows that in 2009, those 400 taxpayers reported adjusted gross incomes averaging $202.4 million – and paid an average tax rate of less than 20 percent. Six households in the group paid no federal income taxes at all. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Perhaps they gave their accountants nice bonuses with some of the millions they didn’t have to send Uncle Sam.
As the financial crisis roiled the markets and eroded their capital gains, those wealthiest families saw their total income tax bills drop from $22.9 billion in 2007 to $16.1 billion in 2009. At the same time, they paid a higher share of their income in taxes, with an effective tax rate of 19.91 percent, up from 16.62 percent in 2007 and the highest such rate since 2002. As Reuters columnist David Cay Johnston notes – his column, found here, is worth reading – that 19.91 percent is the same rate paid by a single worker making $110,000, yet the top 400 earned five times as much every single day of the year.
Mitt Romney has proposed a tax reform plan that would cut marginal rates by 20 percent across the board – a proposal that would benefit the wealthy the most – and eliminate the alternative minimum tax along with some tax provisions from the 2010 Affordable Care Act but keep the current rates on interest, dividends and capital gains.
Of the 400 taxpayers in the IRS report, 27 had effective tax rates between 0 and 10 percent and another 175 had effective tax rates between 10 and 20 percent. In all, 318 of the 400 paid less than 30 percent in taxes. If the Buffett Rule had been in effect in 2009, some quick calculations suggest those 400 families would have paid as much as $8.2 billion more in taxes.
That’s a drop in the bucket in terms of overall government revenues and spending, but it has taken on disproportionate significance as part of the broader debate on rising income inequality in the wake of the financial crisis. Is it fair that six families can make tens or hundreds of millions without paying a dime in federal taxes?
“By what economic, political or moral standard should working stiffs be forced to pay their taxes immediately, while plutocrats pay their taxes by-and-by? And why should anyone who makes more than $200 million live tax-free?” Reuters’ Johnston writes. “Those are questions to ask candidates on the hustings, insisting they give specific, focused answers.” http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/06/08/What-a-Tax-Break-Make-$200M-and-Pay-the-IRS-Zilch.aspx#page1
Friday, June 08, 2012 7:45 AM
Freedom is Important because People are Important
Quote:but paid lower effective tax rates than others far lower on the income ladder – some as low as zero. Really.
Friday, June 08, 2012 7:49 AM
Friday, June 08, 2012 8:01 AM
Friday, June 08, 2012 9:01 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Niki2:
But I was expecting our righties to come flaming in to defend the "right" to be ultra-rich and not pay taxes, or maybe that 0-20% is STILL too much for the "job creators" to pay, or somesuch. Where are they?
Friday, June 08, 2012 9:13 AM
Quote:Next time we argue about whether the rich should pay more, let's work with the figures on what they actually PAY, not what the tax "rate"...
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