Working Americans pay income tax, Social Security taxes, unemployment tax, and contributions to healthcare benefits. What do the wealthy pay? Anyone who has ever received a paycheck is aware that there will be deductions. It is a little shocking the first time to see that a larger amount of money is taken out than you expected. The average percentage deducted from an employee’s paycheck totals nearly 18 percent of the gross. This includes federal income tax, social security taxes, Medicare tax, deductions for healthcare plans, and, in many states, unemployment tax.
To put this in perspective, in 2021 the online giant Amazon paid a total of six percent on a reported 35 billion-dollar income. The average worker pays three times more tax than one of America’s biggest and most profitable corporations. Is this fair?
The tax code requires two books, totaling 2,652 pages. Most of it offers our wealthiest citizens multiple loopholes to avoid paying their fair share calling them “qualified deductions.”
Groups dedicated to fair taxation have offered multiple and much simpler plans to create a system that would be fair to every American regardless of his or her level of income. One was a flat tax. This would eliminate all but a few deductions and every American would pay their fair share. The other is a system creating a federal sales tax. Other than food and medicine, every purchase would have a federal sales tax added to the price of the product.
When the super-rich purchased another mansion, yacht, or million-dollar vehicle, they would be required to pay the applicable state sales tax and an additional federal tax. Both ideas were summarily rejected by Congress because 788 billionaires and 22.3 million millionaires would be upset. They prefer to live in a nation that gives them a free pass to make outrageous profits and pay virtually zero dollars in taxes.
President Biden has been the first president since 1945 to suggest raising taxes on the super-rich. In 2020 the tax rate for billionaires will be increased. The exact percentage has not been reported to the public, but I doubt that it will be sufficient to lessen the national debt.
This debt began to grow in the 1980s under the Reagan administration, and every Republican president has added to the situation which will soon reach the frightening level of more than 30 trillion dollars.
Right-wing politicians are eager to pass tax breaks for the wealthy, but ignore the devastation which continues to threaten the very existence of one-half of our nation’s people.
Under orders from our nation’s billionaires, “Republicans” refuse to increase the federal minimum wage. $7.25 an hour is totally asinine. No individual can survive in any large American city earning less than three times that amount.
The end of America may be the result of growing income inequality in America. Today’s plutocracy is destroying consumerism; the most important factor related to capitalism. It will not be long until three-quarters of our nation’s people will be forced to exist in the low-income or impoverished level of our nation’s economic structure.
I am sure most of you are asking, “what can I do about this devastating problem.” You can vote every fake Republican out of office in 2022 and 2024. They have no interest in your future or the future of those you love. They are the enemy of democracy and freedom in the United States of America.
Op-ed by James Turnage
ITEP: Amazon Avoids More Than $5 Billion in Corporate Income Taxes, Reports 6 Percent Tax Rate on $35 Billion of US Income; by Matthew Gardner
SHRM: Amazon Avoids More Than $5 Billion in Corporate Income Taxes, Reports 6 Percent Tax Rate on $35 Billion of US Income; by Stephen Miller
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Rusty Wallet’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gerd Altmann’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License