The GOP Tax Scam is what we always thought it was:
The U.S. tax system is supposed to be progressive, meaning that wealthier households pay a larger share of their income to the taxman than the middle class and the poor. Yet after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, that’s no longer the case: For the first time in a century, America’s 400 richest families now pay lower taxes than people in the middle class.
That’s according to an analysis of tax data by two prominent economists, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley, that is a centerpiece of their new book, “The Triumph of Injustice,” to be published on October 15. Saez and Zucman, who have worked with the noted French economist Thomas Piketty to produce seminal research on inequality, also advised Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Democratic presidential candidate’s plan to impose a wealth tax on ultra-rich families.
The tipping point came last year when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump at the end of 2017, took effect. While Mr. Trump vowed that middle-class families would be helped by the tax overhaul, experts say most working-class families saw only a minimal benefit, while the wealthiest citizens got the lion’s share of breaks. In fact, Saez and Zucman argue, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act turned the tax system on its head.https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americas-richest-400-families-pay-a-lower-tax-rate-than-the-middle-class/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab6a&linkId=75038809&fbclid=IwAR2zX44yiCtu2JTvDgNQFjRPy725S5fcx0Fm8VWIH2A8xDmu3qf1bpZVtTg
David Leonhardt recently tweeted this disturbing graph:
Every tax that falls substantially on the wealthy has plummeted over the past 70 years:
– High-end income taxes
– Investment taxes
– Estate tax
– Corporate tax
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) October 7, 2019
And getting back to that CBS story:
Factoring in all federal, state and local taxes, those ultra-wealthy households pay a total rate of about 23% — that compares with 24.2% for the bottom half of households, which includes many in the middle class. The richest families also pay a lower rate than those in the upper middle class and even those in the top 1%, who pay closer to 30% of their income in taxes.
If we refuse to raise capital gains taxes, and pass a wealth tax, inequality will only get worse.
The pendulum has moved so far to the extreme corporate-right-wing that it’s time we press for common sense changes in our economic system. And it’s not a radical change. It’s simply a change to go back to what help make this country a world leader.
Unfortunately, Republicans have instituted the same game plan in Michigan for years. As MSU economics professor Ronald Fisher recently wrote in The Bridge Magazine, Michigan’s overall effective tax rate is at its lowest point in 50 years.
Dr. Fisher also reminds us that in 2016, Michigan had a lower tax rate than 31 other states, including most Midwestern states, except for Indiana.
If the tax rate in Michigan had even been just equal to the national average (9.92 percent as opposed to our current 9.12), governments in the state would have added nearly $3.7 billion of additional revenue in 2016. This would provide resources not only to fix the roads, but also address financial issues of K-12 schools, old water and sewer systems, outstanding pension obligations, and other crucial public services. Such a tax rate would be equal to what we had in 2011 – and still less than any prior year back to 1969!
At a time when the state is starved for resources, Michigan Republicans–like their other Republican cohorts in other states–are more concerned in fulfilling the wishes of their rich donors.
And we wonder why we suck at roads, bridges, education, and the environment.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy paints a picture that ought to be another punch to-the-gut for most Michiganders. The Institute’s studies show Michigan has the “22nd most unfair state and local tax system in the country,” thanks in-part to its regressive flat income rate tax.
Let’s not also forget how state Republicans also ensured there are zero estate and inheritance taxes.
We’ve starved government, and now we’re paying the price.
Is it any wonder why Millennials and Generation Z identify more liberal than the older Baby Boomers? Would it have something to with Baby Boomers benefiting from a country that invested in itself and its people, only to later take those same opportunities away from the generations after them?
Perhaps this is why Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders continue to hold significant sway over a large chunk of the Democratic base. They get it. They talk about how the game is rigged against working Americans. It’s a message that resonates.
We’ve experienced 40-plus years of right-wing Reaganomics, and it’s not working. Actually, it’s failed miserably. And Michigan is suffering all in the name of tax breaks for rich people.
It’s like this has always been the plan.
News flash: It has always been the plan.
Please, remember these glaring numbers the next time you hear how Republicans are the populist party.