Pity the Poor Rich People

The latest theme of the right wing propaganda machine is how abused the rich people are because they pay so much in taxes. The issue is so important to the mega money political handlers that even Willard Romney, who refused to reveal his tax history when he ran for President, has opened his books.

According to the NY Post, last year Willard paid $1.9 million in taxes on an income of $14 million — and gave $4 million to charity. AND, the year before, he made $21.6 million, paid $3 million in taxes and gave $3 million to charity. Poor Willard, after paying all those taxes he will have a hard time feeding his wife’s $800,000 horse.

So here are a few things they are not telling you about Willard’s income. First of all Willard has made a big deal about how he tithes to his church and relies on the church to engage in appropriate charitable activities. In other words, if he made $4 million in contributions to his church, his gross income is $40 million. (In 2013, he made only $30 million and had fewer deductions, so he is  showing a higher income.  He is getting a lot of tax breaks to get his $40 million net gross income down to $14 million. Those breaks include the care and feeding and transportation of the horse and depreciation on the barn and so on.

Moreover, if he is paying 1.9 million on his $14 million income, he is paying an effective rate someplace under 15 percent. A family with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 pays an effective rate of over 16%. In real numbers when Willard paid a tax of $1.9 million, he had $12.1 million left to live on. The family with an AGI of $50,000, on the other hand, has $41,700 left to spend. In short, Willard is not missing any meals after having paid his taxes, neither is his horse. The other folks may also not be starving, but they do have to worry about how to send the kids to college, getting the car fixed, paying medical insurance… on and on.

Ask yourself what is more productive, putting more money in the hands of people like Willard, who are not likely to spend it, or people who need it to meet immediate needs. And do not try to feed me that bullshit about how rich people are “job creators.” In the average case, most jobs come from small businesses that do not pay anything near the taxes Willard pays (or should be paying). Willard’s specific history reveals he has killed more jobs than he has produced and many of the jobs he “created” were over seas.

Since the Busch tax cuts, most tax breaks have favored the rich at the expense of everyone else. The fact that millionaires have to actually pay taxes should be no surprise. The surprise is how little they pay in relation to the rest of us.

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