Tax Breaks by far Favor the Rich, not the Poor … Duh
|November 28, 2013||Posted by Staff under Taxes|
This 2013 excerpt of Pacific Standard, Aug 29, is by Jay Livingston.
About half of all tax “expenditures” [tax breaks or loopholes] go to the top quintile (top 20 percent of income earners). The bottom 80 percent of earners divide the other half. And within that richest quintile, the top one percent receive 15 percent of all tax expenditures (this distribution of tax breaks roughly parallels the distribution of income).
The Earned Income Tax Credit, which benefits mostly the poor, “costs” [exempts from the income tax] less than $40 billion. The tab for the low tax on investment income (capital gains and dividends) is more than twice that, and nearly all of that goes to the top quintile. More than two-thirds goes to the richest one percent.
The point? People complain about government payments to the poor, but tax breaks are also payments, though less obviously so, to the rich. And those tax breaks cost the government a lot more money.
Ed. Notes: Some say, to eliminate all this funny business, get rid of all loopholes for everyone and just have a flat income tax rate. That could be a step in the right direction — if all the revenue were to go to war and war debt. Then, when people complain about the tax money taken from them they’d have to, logically, at the same time complain about all the wars their government wages, not necessarily making the country safer but definitely making military contractors and other insiders incredibly rich.
If your income tax payments were to fund only wars (past, present, and future), how would government fund other programs? What programs? Most are not needed. You mean medicare and social security and food stamps? Forget them. Forget them all. Instead, fund a Citizen’s Dividend — a check in the mail paid monthly to the citizenry in general.
Where would government get the money for paying citizens a dividend? For all of our spending for nature, from our mortgages for the land under our homes and from the leases for the oil under our territory, including from the licenses for the airwaves and other mini-monopolies. Government would shift its taxes, fees, and dues to redirect our spending for nature into the public treasury, then back out again as equal dividends.
Government would charge full market value for its deeds and utility franchises and corporate charters and every other privilege it grants, without granting anyone any special rates or loopholes.
Under this policy, people would pay for what they take, not what they make, earn their keep, keep what they earn, and enjoy a share of what already belongs to us all, our common heritage, the worth of Earth in our territory.