Uncommon Sense

June 25, 2021

U.S. Billionaires Don’t Pay Taxes

I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you!

Recently a federal government official leaked the fact that over the past decade, U.S. billionaires effectively paid no federal tax. The response from the government was swift: a veritable thunderstorm of condemnation . . . of the leaker, with threats of FBI investigations into the leak, jail sentences, etc. Condemnation of the billionaires for “rigging the system?” Not so much.

Was there any difference between the Republican and Democratic Party’s reactions? A slight difference in style, maybe, but in content no. Gee, I wonder why that is?

Both political parties have been captured by the “rich donors” who fill party coffers. Since these “donors” are in the cadre of wealthy assholes paying few to no taxes, is this situation surprising to you?

Just another sign that the elites, the wealthy and powerful elites, are on their side of a line and the rest of us are on the other. And they are defending their privileges tooth and nail.

When the whistleblower law was enacted, it was framed as a protection for government officials and corporate officials who “leak” information that the public needs to know.

Isn’t this something we need to know? That the recent Republican tax cuts reduced already small tax burdens on the very rich down to no tax burden at all? And, guess who is going to make up for the lost revenue? (And you don’t get three guesses!)

I wonder how these rich assholes can complain about U.S. tax policy when they are paying no federal taxes at all. Chutzpah personified.

9 Comments »

  1. We are governed by the pockets of the wealthy. I’m not real sure how that is much different than paying taxes to the king.

    The 99% do the heavy lifting. The 1% enjoy their tax free status on their yachts. I suppose if I somehow came to be one of the 1%, I wouldn’t be complaining…

    Steve, you got some good lotto numbers to play? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by shelldigger — June 25, 2021 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

    • Lottery are another distraction, making us think we have a chance to become rich when the chance is very, very small. I think we all ought to declare that we are churches and become tax free.

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 25, 2021 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

      • Ha! Yes, that is so true. But every once in a blue moon I’ll buy a lottery ticket anyway.

        Hmmm, I’ve always thought if I just had to have a god, I’d be a sun worshipper. It can be seen by all, so we can agree it actually exists. It gives us life as we know it, and it therefore already leaps and bounds better than the made up gods the rubes love so. Everything about our puny lives can have the credit given to our sun, and other stars gone nova. Yep I’ll take the sun, it is our most logical god worthy of our appreciation.

        Now if I can just figure out how to make money off it, I can haz a church!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by shelldigger — June 27, 2021 @ 7:31 am | Reply

        • Ah, a George Carlin acolyte. He advocated for the same “religion.”

          There is a great deal of evidence showing that “Jesus” was shaped and interpreted as a sun god (halos being images of the sun behind a head, showing who the sun favored, etc.).

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — June 27, 2021 @ 8:01 am | Reply

  2. Dear Steve Ruis,

    The aforementioned incident regarding “a federal government official leaked the fact that over the past decade, U.S. billionaires effectively paid no federal tax” should come as no surprise for some. Recently, I was informed by the statistics that “a mere one percent of the population owns 43 percent of the world’s wealth”, the issues are not just limited to economic and resource polarizations as well as people’s relationship with money and convenience but also consumerism and the unsustainable rate of consumption of products and natural resources.

    Then there has been worsening inequality, rendered all the more acute and dire by the rich and powerful. Social and economic polarizations can further exacerbate the issues of education and wealth, and such polarizations are increasing for the following reason: The USA is very much plagued in varying degrees by misinformation, disinformation, post-truth politics, demagoguery, plutocracy, oligarchy, ochlocracy, kleptocracy, kakistocracy, narcissistic leadership, neoliberalism and globalization, as discussed and analyzed in great detail on my website in a post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity“.

    Let’s just take one of them under the microscope. Whilst Pluto has been demoted to a dwarf planet, the planet of America has already ascended to plutocracy.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Plutocracy (Greek: πλοῦτος, ploutos, ‘wealth’ + κράτος, kratos, ‘rule’) or plutarchy, is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. The first known use of the term was in 1631. Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy. The concept of plutocracy may be advocated by the wealthy classes of a society in an indirect or surreptitious fashion, though the term itself is almost always used in a pejorative sense.

    Usage
    The term plutocracy is generally used as a pejorative to describe or warn against an undesirable condition. Throughout history, political thinkers such as Winston Churchill, 19th-century French sociologist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th-century Spanish monarchist Juan Donoso Cortés and today Noam Chomsky have condemned plutocrats for ignoring their social responsibilities, using their power to serve their own purposes and thereby increasing poverty and nurturing class conflict, corrupting societies with greed and hedonism.

    Examples
    Historic examples of plutocracies include the Roman Empire, some city-states in Ancient Greece, the civilization of Carthage, the Italian city-states/merchant republics of Venice, Florence and Genoa, and the pre-World War II Empire of Japan (the zaibatsu). According to Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Carter, the modern day United States resembles a plutocracy, though with democratic forms.

    More from Wikipedia:

    Effects on democracy and society
    Economists Jared Bernstein and Paul Krugman have attacked the concentration of income as variously “unsustainable” and “incompatible” with real democracy. American political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson quote a warning by Greek-Roman historian Plutarch: “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” Some academic researchers have written that the US political system risks drifting towards a form of oligarchy, through the influence of corporations, the wealthy, and other special interest groups.

    Also from Wikipedia:

    United States
    Further information: Income inequality in the United States § Effects on democracy and society
    See also: American upper class and Wealth inequality in the United States

    Some modern historians, politicians, and economists argue that the United States was effectively plutocratic for at least part of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era periods between the end of the Civil War until the beginning of the Great Depression. President Theodore Roosevelt became known as the “trust-buster” for his aggressive use of United States antitrust law, through which he managed to break up such major combinations as the largest railroad and Standard Oil, the largest oil company. According to historian David Burton, “When it came to domestic political concerns, TR’s Bete Noire was the plutocracy.” In his autobiographical account of taking on monopolistic corporations as president, TR recounted

    …we had come to the stage where for our people what was needed was a real democracy; and of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy.

    In any case, it is going to be an arduous task because saving and rehabilitating the USA aside, we also need the political economy of saving the planet. Yet the entrenched and insidious issues of plutocracy have loomed even larger, thus continuing to thwart many efforts mounted to save the nation and the planet. Whilst Pluto has been demoted to a dwarf planet, the planet of America, so to speak, has already ascended to plutocracy. Social and economic polarizations can further exacerbate the issues of wealth, and such polarizations are increasing for the following reason: The USA is very much plagued in varying degrees by misinformation, disinformation, post-truth politics, demagoguery, plutocracy, oligarchy, ochlocracy, kleptocracy, kakistocracy, narcissistic leadership, neoliberalism and globalization.

    The underlying opposition is not so much between the Democrats and the Republicans as between the rich plutocrats and the rest of the population. The Democrats need to (re)form their party to unite the 90% of the people living at an entrenched economic and political disadvantage in order to deal with the Plutocrats. In any case, it is going to be a very tall order for Biden to turn things around. It would have been much easier if some Republican senators had been far more honest and incorruptible, for they have been very greedy, uninspired, cowardly and lack criminal, moral and political accountabilities. It is all quite a big mess in danger of getting bigger still. Even a global pandemic still cannot unite folks in the USA and wake them up. Perhaps it will take an even bigger crisis to do so, such as a series of climate change disasters.

    The best and most dedicated amongst the likes of us are also inveterate teachers of everlasting, transcendental wisdom to save humans from themselves, their self-interests and their destructive ways. I often even have to coin new words to do so. The latest example is my neologism “Viral Falsity“, which you can see in my extensive and analytical post entitled “💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 🦠“. This post of mine now has twelve major sections (plus a detailed annotated gallery) instantly accessible from a navigational menu.

    In this said post, I have attempted to unpack as much as I can the core issues and fundamental causes that have plagued many folks, whether or not they are victims or perpetrators.

    The last section named “Denouement: Democracy, Education, Legislation & Sustainability” even gives a very dire warning of what humanity is heading towards if there is still no concerted, meaningful and large-scale change for the better. It also provides a multipronged solution to “get humans to cooperate at scale in ways that put in sufficient limits to ensure survival and empowers creativity and freedom to support individuals to do whatever they responsibly choose.”

    I would like to wish you a lovely weekend. Thank you for alerting us about the leak.

    Yours sincerely,
    SoundEagle

    Like

    Comment by SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ — June 25, 2021 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

    • Always good to hear from you, SoundEagle! I think the really telling thing is how the rich are adamant that we maintain out “pay as you go culture” (No Socialism!) and yet do not want to pay a living wage to all workers. Shouldn’t those two things go together? Wouldn’t that reduce some of the misery? Apparently under their Chrsitian exteriors they are as mean as Hell.

      I heard there was a petition urging Jeff Bezos to go into space … and stay there!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 25, 2021 @ 9:31 pm | Reply


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