Tax The Rich! A Conference on Why & How
How Bad Is It? Worse Than You Think
Paul O’Brien and Dr. Shannon Monnat discuss the problems and consequences of inequality in America and across the globe at TAX THE RICH! A Conference on Why & How, April 10, 2019.
If you and your spouse work full-time all year long and earn a combined salary of $101,200, you would pay a little less than $9,000 in income taxes plus over $8,000 in payroll taxes. But if someone who is already rich, someone with significant investments, earns that exact same amount of money through long term capital gains or qualified dividends, they would pay ZERO dollars in federal taxes. That’s a $17,000 discount for the person who’s already rich, who isn’t working for a living, compared to the majority of Americans who have to work to get by.
It gets worse though. Even people making hundreds of millions of dollars a year through capital gains will pay just 20% at most on what they’re making. That’s less than the top tax rate for someone earning just $40,000 a year.
This isn’t some obscure loophole that affects a few thousand people, it’s a fundamental piece of our tax code. This is how rich people make their money! The really wealthy don’t actually work for a living, they let their money work for them. By giving preferential treatment to capital gains over income, by allowing millionaires and billionaires to pay a lower tax rate than almost anyone who works for a living, we’re just ensuring that no one will ever be able to catch up with them.