Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday Income Taxes! Or How the Rich Have Gamed the System to Pay a Smaller Share

WHO'S TAXES ARE YOU PAYING?
Johann Wagener 10-04-13

Happy 100th Birthday Income Taxes! Or How the Rich Have Gamed the System to Pay a Smaller Share

The reality is that, overall, the US has one of the lowest tax burdens in the industrial world. If someone’s tax burden is too great to bear, that probably means that someone else isn’t paying a fair share of the cost of maintaining the public services that a modern nation-state requires.

For example, one can certainly say that state and local taxes are too high for poorer residents of Washington State. According to a recent study, those in the bottom 20 percent of the economic pile fork over almost 17 percent of their incomes to Olympia, while the middle 20 percent pay about 10 percent and those at the top – the wealthiest one percent of Washington households – pay less than three percent.

Contrast that with highly profitable corporations that pay nothing at all — their taxes surely can’t be considered “too high.” (Moyers & Company highlighted some of the worst offenders back in May.)

So the real game, if you can play it, is shifting the tax burden onto someone else.