The Wealthiest Americans Haven’t Paid Their Fair Share in Decades

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The 2017 Trump "middle-class tax cuts" were a boondoggle, a bait and switch con game. Only the wealthy benefited.

Truthdig! - October 7, 2019

"Some of Saez and Zucman’s conclusions have been hinted at in previous studies. From 2001-2018, 65% of the savings from tax cuts went to the richest fifth of Americans; 22% of that to the top 1%, according to an analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic and Policy. “If you look at the richest 1 percent, they’re getting more than the bottom 60 percent of Americans,” Steve Wamhoff, director of federal tax policy at the institute and one of the report’s authors, told Vox’s Emily Stewart in 2018."

Donald Trump tried to sell America on his 2017 tax bill by calling it a middle class tax cut, and regurgitating Reagan-era talking points about how tax cuts for the wealthy actually benefit everyone. As Heather Long warns in The Washington Post however, while some middle class families got a modest cut in 2018, in 2019, millions of Americans were—or were about to be—“surprised to learn that their refunds will be less than expected or that they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service.”

If 2019 wasn’t your first tax-time shock—and if many years of surprise have turned to anger, and you suspect that the wealthiest Americans have spent those same years free from tax-time shock—David Leonhardt’s latest column in The New York Times has a simple, but scarily effective illustration that will confirm your worst fears.

Using this simple interactive graph you can scroll from 1950 until today, and watch the line showing the tax rate the rich pay move lower and lower.

The graph uses data from a new book, “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” by UC Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. It reveals what many Americans have long suspected (and seen in their bank accounts): Not only do the rich really pay less in taxes, but, “For the first time on record, the 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate — spanning federal, state and local taxes — than any other income group,” Leonhardt writes. ...
Read full report at Truthdig!

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