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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, June 08, 2021

A new ProPublica analysis of a trove of IRS documents revealed that the richest 25 Americans pay a tiny fraction of their wealth in taxes. But even if you use the most conventional yardstick -- income -- the wealthiest still pay low rates.

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No ----. That was the plan.

#1 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-06-08 02:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Just as it should be! - von MythesBomber aka Ayn Random

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2021-06-08 02:51 PM | Reply

We are all certainly paying a high tax rate than Dotard, and hopefully, that's one of the things that will put him in prison in the not too distant future!

#3 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2021-06-08 03:56 PM | Reply

Trickle Down Economics
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Trick

#4 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2021-06-08 07:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

Bezos got 4K back per child, while paying no taxes.

Which makes him brilliant to Republicans.

#5 | Posted by Corky at 2021-06-08 08:46 PM | Reply

#5 - is paying taxes in accordance with the laws our congressmen wrote brilliant? People like to point fingers at the rich and how little they pay in taxes. Unless they are breaking the law, how can they be faulted? Yes, I wish they paid more, but I'm not going to fault them for not paying more than they have to.

#6 | Posted by jakester at 2021-06-08 08:58 PM | Reply

How Much Is a Million? A Billion?

Imagine someone gave you a million dollars and told you to spend $1,000 every day and come back when you ran out of money. You would return, with no money left, in three years. If someone then gave you a billion dollars and you spent $1,000 each day, you would be spending for about 2,740 years before you went broke.

How many dollar bills does it take to make a stack 1 inch high? Well, we'll give you the answer: 100 dollar bills. That means a $1,000 stack is 10 inches high. Since a million is a thousand thousand, a million dollar bills would make a stack 10,000 inches high. How many feet high would that be?

A billion is a thousand million. A billion dollar bils would be 10,000,000 inches high. How many miles would that be?

more

journeynorth.org

btw, that would be about 158 miles piled high with dollar bills. And if you have 200 billion? You do the maths.

A nice Capitol Gains tax to would go well about now. FDR got that and more by exposing and highlighting billionaires in the headlines.

#7 | Posted by Corky at 2021-06-08 09:01 PM | Reply

- Unless they are breaking the law, how can they be faulted?

Well, most of the fault lies with people who don't realize the economic deck is stacked against them and for the wealthy and corporate.... and work to raise capitol gains taxes, among many other economic and political reforms.

"The Beginnings of the U.S. Capital Gains Tax Preference

Unsurprisingly, the benefits of the capital gains tax preference disproportionately go to the top income earners. In 2016, according to estimates by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, nearly 76 percent of all capital gains went to households earning more than $1,000,000 a year."

clsbluesky.law.columbia.edu

Of course, often it's dumb rwingers who don't really realize how much 100s of billions of dollars is, how it often goes untaxed... or really they just think that they will one day too be billionaires, and hey, they don't want to pay taxes on that money either!

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2021-06-08 09:11 PM | Reply

What would you prefer? 30% of $20k, or 05% of $2 million?

#9 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-06-08 10:30 PM | Reply

"A nice Capitol Gains tax to would go well about now."

A Value Added Tax would be even nicer.

#10 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-06-08 10:31 PM | Reply

I love it that middle-class rwingers take the side of their hero billionaires every time.... because they think that they might be one someday, rofl!

It's as funny as Ayn Rand worshipping the titans of bidness... and modeling her "Superman" after a serial killer and child mutilator that she adored.

"Rand had been working in Hollywood at the time of the murder and trial, and like most people, was transfixed by the case; she wrote about it in her journals several times. However, unlike most people, she did not see Hickman as a monster.

Unlike the small-minded masses, Rand saw in Hickman the perfect Neitzchean "superman" " "a man with no regard whatever for all that society holds sacred, with a consciousness all his own."

When she read this quote by him in the newspaper " "I am like the state: what is good for me is right," " she wrote in her journals that this was "the best and strongest expression of a real man's psychology I ever heard."

In fact, her only criticism was reserved for the public, because they, "mediocre" as they were, rushed to judgement. "The first thing that impresses me about the case," Rand wrote, "is the ferocious rage of the whole society against one man."

medium.com

#11 | Posted by Corky at 2021-06-08 11:27 PM | Reply

Many in the billionaire class are in that class because of the investments/tocks they own [i.e., Bezos wealth tied to the stocks he owns in Amazon] and many of their investments pay dividends/ distributions which, unlike earned income, are taxed at a different rate. AND BEFORE you say let us tax at the same as earned income, you then screw many retired [which you may be some day] living off those same type dividends in their retirement. If you have an IRA, 401k, etc., be careful for what you wish as you jut may get it.

#12 | Posted by MSgt at 2021-06-08 11:40 PM | Reply

"I love it that middle-class rwingers take the side of their hero billionaires every time.... because they think that they might be one someday, rofl!"

Idolizing heroes is common across the public sphere. Many people idolize sports heroes, musicians, actors, artists, whatever...knowing they will never get there. That doesn't make their accomplishments any less impressive.

#13 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-06-09 12:00 AM | Reply

#12 things have been good for a bit, but my 401k has been raped by the tech guys and mortgage brokers and bankers more than a few times in my life.

Things have been different during these covid times but normally it's the bankers and corporations that get the bailouts. Corporations may be persons but they don't seem like citizens when push comes to shove.

#14 | Posted by bruceaz at 2021-06-09 12:16 AM | Reply

"many of their investments pay dividends/ distributions which, unlike earned income, are taxed at a different rate"

Why? Why should opening up dividend checks for a living be taxed at a lower rate than working for a living?

A trust fund baby, getting $50,000 in dividends from Johnson and Johnson, pays no federal taxes. Meanwhile a janitor profiting $50,000 from sweat have a brow labor owes over $10,000 in federal taxes.

#15 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-06-09 12:30 AM | Reply

A trust fund baby, getting $50,000 in dividends from Johnson and Johnson, pays no federal taxes.

Spinnakers don't grow on trees.

#16 | Posted by REDIAL at 2021-06-09 12:49 AM | Reply

#12 Raise the amount of income that is taxed at zero. All other profit or income should be taxed at the same rate.

Except for a one time tax to make up for decades of unfair taxation.

#17 | Posted by bored at 2021-06-09 01:50 AM | Reply

" BEFORE you say let us tax at the same as earned income, you then screw many retired"

So you raise the tax-free cap for those at full-age SS, then increase the overall top rates. Fixed.

Are you on board now, or should we expect a new excuse?

#18 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-06-09 02:20 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If you're not paying higher taxes than Bezos, Buffett, Trump, et. al., the system isn't working as designed.

#19 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2021-06-09 06:47 AM | Reply

I inadvertently punched wrong passcode on my conference call and ended up on someone else's call.
Turns out it was the billionaire morning call and they sounded worried.
One of them said something to the effect of,,don't worry boys, there's a big distraction in the works.
My guess is a small war. Perhaps another stimulus check?
I'm concerned.

#20 | Posted by Docman at 2021-06-09 07:55 AM | Reply

Here....want to read something
interesting about Bezos and the other
supremely rich? Check this out...
www.huffpost.com

#21 | Posted by earthmuse at 2021-06-09 07:59 AM | Reply

on a related note, funny how this
story worked itself so fast off of
the active threads...

billionaires have too much power...

#22 | Posted by earthmuse at 2021-06-09 08:01 AM | Reply

"Of course, often it's dumb rwingers who don't really realize how much 100s of billions of dollars is,"

After the years we've both spent on this site, it should be obvious that ignorance of how money works is not partisan.

These discussions prove that every time.

I'm surprised someone hasn't suggested (again) that we eliminate the cap on wages subject to SS. That will really hammer those wealthy folks.

Of course the opposite is true. It would only hammer middle class folks.

#23 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 08:23 AM | Reply

21

I saw recently that in 2011, Bezos was able to take the $4K child tax credit that was available to him because his taxable income was so low.

#24 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 08:25 AM | Reply

What would you prefer? 30% of $20k, or 05% of $2 million?

#9 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

I would prefer 30% of $2 million.

There's no reason paper pushers and mouse clickers should be taxed less for less contribution to our economy and less work that others put in for their pay checks.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2021-06-09 11:35 AM | Reply

"eliminate the cap on wages subject to SS. That will really hammer those wealthy folks."

It would merely hammer them at the same percentage as people who don't hit the cap are getting hammered.

"Of course the opposite is true. It would only hammer middle class folks."

Say what?

Middle class people are paying $100K into Social Security every year?

Middle Class people are making two million dollars a year?

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-09 11:42 AM | Reply

"One of them said something to the effect of,,don't worry boys, there's a big distraction in the works."

Is McRib coming back?
Oh boy!!!

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-09 11:43 AM | Reply

"Each year, the federal government sets a limit on the amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax. In 2021, the Social Security tax limit is $142,800, up from $137,700 in 2020. This is the largest increase in a decade and could mean a higher tax bill for some high earners. The maximum amount of Social Security tax an employee will pay in 2021 is $8,853.60"

#28 | Posted by schifferbrains at 2021-06-09 12:00 PM | Reply

>A trust fund baby, getting $50,000 in dividends from Johnson and Johnson, pays no federal taxes.
#15 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

Wouldn't that be taxed at 15% for qualified dividend income?

#29 | Posted by schifferbrains at 2021-06-09 12:03 PM | Reply

>"Of course the opposite is true. It would only hammer middle class folks."

How so?
If someone is making 70,000 a year, and the cap is increased from the current 137,700 to say, 250,000, how would that have a negative impact on the 70k worker?

#30 | Posted by schifferbrains at 2021-06-09 12:11 PM | Reply

A trust fund baby, getting $50,000 in dividends from Johnson and Johnson, pays no federal taxes. Meanwhile a janitor profiting $50,000 from sweat have a brow labor owes over $10,000 in federal taxes.

#15 | POSTED BY DANFORTH AT 2021-06-09 12:30 AM | FLAG: In some cases that may be true, but if you take time to research you will find that only about 20% of the wealthy are 'trust fund babies and the other 80% are self-made wealthy.

#31 | Posted by MSgt at 2021-06-09 01:12 PM | Reply

-If someone is making 70,000 a year, and the cap is increased from the current 137,700 to say, 250,000, how would that have a negative impact on the 70k worker?

It wouldn't. But it would hit the guy making between $137 and $250K. The wealthy guy?

hardly at all. He can structure his income in many ways that aren't subject to SS.

And even if a wealthy person with $250K in earned income all subject to SS were to experience this....it's still insignificant as a % of his total income. But the guy making $200K? He is the one getting hammered as a %.

#32 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 01:37 PM | Reply

"In some cases that may be true"

One of those "cases" being the US tax code.

"...only about 20% of the wealthy are 'trust fund babies and the other 80% are self-made wealthy."

What difference does that make?

#33 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-06-09 01:53 PM | Reply

"Wouldn't that be taxed at 15% for qualified dividend income?"

$50,000 in qualified dividend income* for a single person does not trigger any federal taxes.

*Qualified dividends are the vast majority of dividends, including ALL dividends from McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, etc. Non-qualified dividends are mainly bank or bond interest.

If you look at your annual investment tax statement, the first number is total dividends, the next number (always equal or smaller) is qualified dividends. The higher the percentage of qualified dividends to total dividends, the more you favor stocks versus bonds/cash.

#34 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-06-09 02:02 PM | Reply

-This is the largest increase in a decade and could mean a higher tax bill for some high earners

In this case, a high earner is defined as someone making $142,800.

Not the definition of wealth as we discuss the current tax environment of the 1%.

I'm talking about the very wealthy in this country who couldn't give a ---- less about SS taxes.

#35 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 02:08 PM | Reply

35

I take that back...the most wealthy in this country care about SS because those incremental increases in wages subject to SS tax are half their responsibility for their employees.

Not themselves personally.

#36 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 02:10 PM | Reply

>>But it would hit the guy making between $137 and $250K

Right, that's the spot.
But of course it all comes down to the phrase 'middle class' -- which gets used a lot of different ways.

Teacher making 48k a year? Middle class.
Higher up in a big corporation making 300k a year? Middle class

Nobody likes to claim they're 'upper class' or whatever the appropriate term is, i dunno, unless they're quite wealthy, then they absolutely do, discerning between wealthy and merely 'affluent' etc...

#37 | Posted by schifferbrains at 2021-06-09 02:15 PM | Reply

I hope this makes a lot of people on the left that it's not the top rate that matters, it's closing loopholes that matters.

A lot of write offs need to the capped the way Trump capped the SALT deductions.

For example, I'd prefer everyone be able to write off home mortgage interest even without qualifying for an itemized deduction but CAP the deduction to the first 10K of interest. Workers who've been in their homes for years but don't pay enough interest to itemize would get a tax cut. Billionaires and Multi-Millionaires with who pay tens if not hundreds of thousands of interest on their homes would get hit with higher taxes.

#38 | Posted by jamesgelliott at 2021-06-09 02:20 PM | Reply

Meanwhile a janitor profiting $50,000 from sweat have a brow labor owes over $10,000 in federal taxes.

#15 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

There are a significant number of variables that probably make one's effective tax rate considerable lower than that.

www.fool.com

#39 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2021-06-09 03:48 PM | Reply

39

I've always let that go when I've seen him make that argument because his larger point is that earned income is being taxed at a higher marginal rate than qualified dividends...which is true on the whole.

#40 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 04:19 PM | Reply

"But it would hit the guy making between $137 and $250K."

The guy making $137k is only paying $8500 into SSI.

So is the guy making $250k. And so is the guy making $2M.

That's the problem. It's a regressive tax.

#41 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-09 04:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"There are a significant number of variables"

I used specific language, including "Profits", which in IRS-speak means bottom line on the Schedule C. My statements are accurate as stated; obviously "variables" will alter the outcome, just like with any tax return.

"...probably make one's effective tax rate considerable lower than that"

First, I was talking specific dollars: one owes the Feds over $10K, the other not even 10 cents. Second, effective rate is almost always lower than marginal rate, except within tax pockets*, or in a flat tax system.

*A "tax pocket" is an odd pocket in the tax code, when one particular move, often an IRA contribution, turns another dial in the equation, and the result offers an outsized bang for the buck. For example, sometimes a taxpayer can be in a 25% marginal rate, but $1000 into an IRA nets them $450 in refunds.

In extreme cases, one dollar can trigger thousands and thousands of dollars in savings. My record is one dollar triggering $10,578, when a pair of idiot clients who shouldn't have been taking a subsidy, finally put enough money into their IRAs to get down below the "pay every dime back" level.

The most common tax pocket is the 434th dollar of Self-Employed Profits on a Schedule C. Filers suddenly owe $60 more in federal taxes on that one additional dollar of income, for a 6000% marginal rate

#42 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-06-09 07:49 PM | Reply

"People like to point fingers at the rich and how little they pay in taxes. Unless they are breaking the law, how can they be faulted?"

^
It's the "Just Following Orders" defense, re-cast as a wealth apology.

People like Samuel Adams liked to point fingers at Thomas Jefferson for taking a slave girl as his concubine. But TJ wasn't breaking the law, so he can't be faulted.

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-09 07:53 PM | Reply

"It's a regressive tax."

It's actually super-regressive, in that the higher the income, the less significant the amount.

That said, keep in mind SS is super-progressive already in the payout: minimum wage workers get 85% of their income. Next level replaces 50%; next level 35%.

As I warn my clients: minimum-wage folks LOVE retirement; any lifestyle above that is expensive: it costs $130K to pay yourself $100/wk in retirement.

#44 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-06-09 07:55 PM | Reply

"The guy making $137k is only paying $8500 into SSI.

So is the guy making $250k. And so is the guy making $2M."

You think the guy making $250K is the one not paying enough in taxes?

You do, don't you?

Jeff Bezos thanks you for your blindness to the real problem.

Such as Jeff Bezos being allowed to claim the child tax credit.

#45 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-09 11:55 PM | Reply

Of course the opposite is true. It would only hammer middle class folks.

#23 | POSTED BY EBERLY

The cap is $142,000 or so.

The vast majority of the middle class is already paying full FICA.

#46 | Posted by jpw at 2021-06-10 11:45 AM | Reply

One of them said something to the effect of,,don't worry boys, there's a big distraction in the works.
My guess is a small war. Perhaps another stimulus check?
I'm concerned.
#20 | POSTED BY DOCMAN

Disclosure of alien contact would fit the bill, wouldn't it?

#47 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2021-06-10 02:45 PM | Reply

"You think the guy making $250K is the one not paying enough in taxes?"

250 and up, Eberly. All the way up to Bezos.

This wasn't hard to figure out, if you read the part of my comment that said

"So is the guy making $250k. And so is the guy making $2M."

#48 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-10 03:04 PM | Reply

Wrinkle is that when you have 53 million shares of stock, you can take a comparatively low salary. Occasionally you'll see a CEO take a $1 salary.

So sitting on 180 billion worth of stock isn't doing anything as far as funding Soc Security.
And i believe if he sells a billion worth of stock - that is taxed under capital gains rules, but won't send anything to social security.

"Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos base salary for 2020 remained at $81,840, the same as 2019 and just a little more than double the median total compensation U.S. full-time employees of $37,930. In the ecommerce and cloud giant's 2020 proxy statement filed late Wednesday, Amazon disclosed that Bezos total 2020 compensation was $1,681,840, also the same as the year before, as he again received no stock awards and "all other compensation" remained at $1.60 million. For Bezos, all other compensation represents costs to the company for security arrangements for Bezos, which the company said it believed was "reasonable" in light of Bezos' "low salary." But despite the low salary, Bezos acknowledged in a letter to shareholders that he was "wealthy," as recent filings show he owned 53.21 million Amazon shares, representing 10.57% of the shares outstanding, and valued at $180.1 billion at current prices. The stock, which rose 1.6% in morning trading, has rallied 46.7% over the past 12 months while the S&P 500 has advanced 49.2%."

#49 | Posted by schifferbrains at 2021-06-10 04:07 PM | Reply

"So sitting on 180 billion worth of stock isn't doing anything as far as funding Soc Security."

It's basically no different than keeping your money in mason jars under the porch.

Money can only generate economic activity when you use it.

Which is why giving poor people money does more to improve the economy than giving rich people money.

#50 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-10 04:09 PM | Reply

I might quibble with the mason jars (the stock is technically ownership of a part of a company who's perceived value has potential to change)

but the other two points i agree with.

But, seeing how a potential elimination of the ss cap would amount to a fart in the wind when applied to the wealthiest man on the planet - and not because he has so much money he doesn't mind, but because it literally wouldn't generate a lot of tax revenue - goes back the point up thread that Eberly will probably agree with: the really rich people can play shell games with their compensation and hide it from something like a ss tax.

#51 | Posted by schifferbrains at 2021-06-10 04:17 PM | Reply

Much easier to tax the poor. Poor people are conditioned to believe they can't fight city hall. Rich people have the means to fight back.

Poor Republican people look up to rich people because rich people pay a lower tax rate than poor Republican people.

#52 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-06-10 04:38 PM | Reply

The foundation of my point is that you can't get more tax revenue from the rich by involving SS without hurting folks in the $150K-$250K range (or even higher). IOW, not the wealthiest among us.

And the wealthy have flexibility to avoid that anyway. Go after them with how we tax dividends, interest, cap gains, and address loopholes for incomes in higher ranges.

#53 | Posted by eberly at 2021-06-10 05:11 PM | Reply

And the wealthy have flexibility to avoid that anyway. Go after them with how we tax dividends, interest, cap gains, and address loopholes for incomes in higher ranges.

#53 | Posted by eberly

Sounds like you should have been donating to and voting for elizabeth warren or bernie instead voting for people who would do everything in their power to prevent your recommendations from happening.

#54 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-06-10 05:22 PM | Reply

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