Apr 17, 2012

Taxes and Income Inequality

Welcome to tax day. With any luck, you’re getting a refund, but if not, it’s the perfect day to consider just how much federal income tax you’ve paid this year compared to other people.

For the last couple of months there’s been a lot of talk about passing the “Buffett Rule” in Congress. It’s a bill that would end the current practice of millionaires and billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. It calls for households earning in excess of $1 million dollars a year to pay a minimum effective tax rate of at least 30%.

If enacted, it would be the most aggressive stride taken in decades to reverse the growing disparity of income.

The Buffett Rule, which is favored by a majority of Americans, will likely be a cornerstone of economic debate throughout the fall. But it isn’t just wealthy individuals that aren’t paying their fair share – it’s corporations as well.

Shocking as it sounds, many people reading this paid more federal income taxes than Halliburton, Boeing, AT&T, and Ford – combined. How is that possible, you ask? Well, these four giants of American industry and technology paid $0 in federal income taxes last year.

Source: The Nation

It was made possible through rigged tax rules that guarantee America’s most prosperous corporations get to amass even more wealth at the expense of everyone else. For more detailed information of how this was possible, The Nation has written an excellent piece here.

The wealthy in this country aren’t hurting – they’re thriving. Meanwhile, most of the rest of us are living paycheck to paycheck, doing everything in our power, from picking up another job to eating less, just to try and make it through to the next day.

If things don’t change soon, the vanishing middle class will vanish for good. Those in power should be lining up to help those in need. Instead, we have a Republican Congress and a Republican nominee wanting to lower federal income tax rates by nearly 10%.

 Enacting the Buffett Rule and closing corporate tax loopholes are key steps we must take in restoring a fair economy for hard working middle class families, the undisputed backbone of our economy.

This tax day, we’re reminded that ensuring everyone has a fair shot at success begins with everyone paying their fair share.

1 comment:

city said...

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