Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Tax Loopholes

In 2005, Warren Buffett warned: “The rich people are doing so well in this county, I mean we never had it so good... It’s class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn’t be... Right now corporate profits as a percentage of GDP in this country are right at the high.  Corporate taxes as a percentage of total taxes raised are very close to the historical low.”
President Obama initiated a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Commission to produce bipartisan legislation that would have required Congress to vote on its recommendations as presented, without any amendment.
In January 2010, a bill failed in the Senate by a vote of 53–46, when six Republicans who had co-sponsored the legislation voted against it. 
Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, who had been appointment to co-chair the Commission, criticized those former supporters, who had voted against the bill.  He insisted that their intent “was to stick it to the president.”
Simpson explained: “Tax expenditures, it’s really nothing more than tax spending.  They’re spending by any other name.  They are really earmarks.  When we went into these tax expenditures, we found that only 10 percent of the American public, the wealthiest people in America, use them, because they are the ones that can hire the best lobbyists, to influence the finance committee.  The little guy had no idea what they are.  It means nothing to him.  He does the standard deduction and walks away.  We found the top 400 income earners in the United States pay an average of 16 percent income tax, and it’s absolutely absurd.”
An outrageous tax loophole allowed Wall Street’s top 25 hedge fund managers to earn $13 billion in 2015.  That’s nearly double the $8.5 billion earned by the nation’s 158,000 kindergarten teachers.


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