Here’s an interesting bit of news that contradicts just about everything you think you knew about finance, government and taxes… At least everything that you’ve ever been told by everyone or thought to be true yourself, simply because it would seem to make perfect sense. That is if we all lived in a fair and just society.
But according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ( a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues) their newest study on taxation in the United States reveals that, in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent.
The tax study’s major conclusion is that “Virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair. Unfair tax systems not only exacerbate widening income inequality in the short term, but they also leave states struggling to raise enough revenue to meet their basic needs in the long term.”… And to make matters worse, several states have adopted or are considering changes that will further lighten the tax load on their wealthiest residents.
And you thought that rich folks pay more in taxes because they make more money didn’t you?
It seems that States and localities have regressive tax systems because they tend to rely more on sales and excise taxes (fees tacked onto items like gas, liquor and cigarettes), which are the same rate for rich and poor alike. Even property taxes, which account for much of local tax revenue, hit working- and middle-class families harder than the wealthy because their homes often represent their largest asset.
Of course we know that The federal income tax system, primarily taxes individuals at a graduated rate, and those who earn more pay a larger share… But don’t forget that the federal system also uses payroll taxes to raise large sums for Social Security and Medicare, which also comes out of the pockets of many low- and moderate-income Americans who pay little, if any, income tax. So when you here stories about how 47% of Americans don’t pay any taxes at all, and in fact make money from the government…well, plain and simple, that’s a lie. When you put all of the federal, state and local taxes together and subtract those from earnings, the United States is #1 in income inequality…in the world!
Wherever there are rich folks passing by you can always find poor folks left in their exhaust. And I believe that it is safe to say that poverty is a waste product of wealth. Seriously, when the richest 1% hold about 38% of all privately held wealth in the United States, and that is more than the bottom 90% who also hold 73% of all debt, and 15% of all Americans live below the poverty line…then how can you possibly imagine that what I just said about the wealthy and their exhaust being poverty, isn’t true?
There should be an AA for the wealthy, as in Avaricious Anonymous: A place for the money abundant human to go and stand in front of his or her fellow citizens, be welcomed, and then declare. “I’m really rich…but all I really want is more!” and get some help.
But I doubt that we could help them, or even help ourselves, if we found we were in the same condition, for no matter how hard we seem to try, and no matter what facts are presented before us, we still seem to believe that wealth equals hard work and goodness… while poverty equals sloth and iniquity…and who doesn’t want to be good…really, really good?
So it’s time to embrace the obvious, if you dare. The poor are poor because they have no money, not because they get free stuff from rich taxpayers. So enjoy your money while you still have it, because the inequality is getting worse not better, and rest easy in the knowledge that the poor are getting the shaft… just like the rest of us. And if you are rich than you can just rest easy, because giving folks that shaft isn’t really hard work at all.