Home | About | Donate

Rigged: New Report Details How Combined $5.1 Trillion in Tax Cuts by Bush, Obama, and Trump Went Mostly to Nation's Richest


Take the whole C suite. Do the math.


You’re going to enjoy it. This has been my first foray into the Commons in months.


And yet drumpf has the nerve to complain about the EU not carrying its share of NATO after giving the people who already are not carrying more than a small fraction of their share a massive tax break so that they carry even less.


The top 1% pay almost half of all taxes. Not able to read through the thread?


It’s hard to understand what you’re suggesting.

It’s not a lie to point out that people making less than $13 an hour at Walmart for full time work cannot be expected to maintain the infrastructure while the richest people in the world pay less and less all the time. If you make $35 million a year, can you really expect to pay the same in taxes as someone who makes $25,000?

You speak of lies. One of the biggest lies is that the rich are supporting those in poverty with their taxes, and that this is very, very unfair. If all of those who work for a living were paid a fair and living wage, maybe there would be very little need for relief programs in the first place, but in no case is any poor person living in any form of luxury from any form of welfare.

Perhaps you don’t see income disparity as a problem. Perhaps you believe that the poor bring their situation on themselves, or that they are too lazy to get rich and just want to coast along on government support.

Perhaps you believe that the richest earned everything they have through hard work and sacrifice and have no obligation to society as a whole. Perhaps you believe that a multi-billionaire paying starvation wages is “creating jobs,” and thus is already doing more than he has to support the economy, without having to pay taxes to the government as well.

I don’t know what the entirety of your thoughts are, because all you have said is that the rich pay most of the taxes, leaving the rest of us to infer that you believe that somehow that is unfair.

If you are not opposed to taxes, and you know that the poor cannot support the nation on their own, then what is your point?


Of course the rich pay the most tax because they make the most money, that’s how progressive taxation works. I would ask, why do CEOs currently earn 300Xs more than the median wage of their employees while paying about the same percentage of their income in taxes? In 1965 that ratio was 30 to 1 with the rich paying much higher marginal rates. Are today’s CEOs 10xs better than than their counterparts in 1965 or do they need a drastically cut marginal rate any more than CEO’s of 1965 did in a robust economy that supported a strong middle class? Why have 88% of all of the gains in worker productivity over the last 40 years gone to the the top 1%? I’ll answer that myself, because the system is rigged to benefit top earners at the expense of everyone else. No one is suggesting that tax cuts for the poor are the answer to income inequality. Tax cuts do not create a more equitable society, social spending does.


To the govt where it was then invested in war, defense boondoggles and tax cuts for corporations and oligarchs.


Ah, but not in Oakland. Avg rent for a 900sf “accommodation” in a normal (not expensive) area is $2216/mo. At $13/hr, that would leave the renter a whole $37.33/mo ($448 / yr !!) to spend on food, supplies, health care, transportation, education/entertainment, etc…but ONLY IF they paid NO income tax at all.

I guess I’m around decent people too much. It’s rather shocking to me to realize that there are people who actually think the richest deserve more tax cuts…even as the wealth and income gap has been steadily growing over the past decades while homelessness grows. Have a nice day, AH.


Whenever the subject is money the picture is that of paper money. I think that is deliberately misleading. Under 5% of the U.S. money supply is printed money, printed by the Fed. Almost all of the U.S. money supply, 95%, is Bank Deposit money, created as deposits by the commercial banks. Why does it matter??? Because all that new money, when created makes the banks rich, just as it would make you rich if you were able to create it out of this air, and get the interest from lending it, as if it really existed,


CEO’s don’t pay the same percentage of their income in taxes as their employees. More lies about taxes.


My original point is that this is a stupid article with a misleading title…

Rigged: New Report Details How Combined $5.1 Trillion in Tax Cuts by Bush, Obama, and Trump Went Mostly to Nation’s Richest

Obama didn’t cut taxes (at least permanently) and of course it “went” to the richest, they actually pay a huge portion of the taxes.

From there it was the typical outright lies from several posters that I was simply correcting.


Instead of jumping right into calling people liars, why not set us all straight? Why not show where CEOs and other rich pay taxes at higher rates?

Because it’s a fact that CEOs, company owners, major investors, and so on, pay income taxes at a higher rate than those who earn a smaller salary, but for those who make all or most of their money on investments, the rate is lower. The very rich (and some major corporations) may pay tax at a lower rate than people who work for them.


The statement I commented on is a lie. I can only conclude that many of the commenters here are purposely lying. I have posted the actual facts numerous times.

The people you mention can pay as low as 15% on LTCG’s. A CEO would also have a salary he or she is paying 37% on over $500k (if single).

A single person doesn’t get above 15% until after $38,000 (22% bracket ~38k - 82k)

When you factor in deductions etc. you need to be making 6 figures and the CEO to have a very low salary for it to be true.


Then you are aware that the same CEO pays the lower rate on salary less than the $500k, aren’t you? Taxes are progressive, and on the same amounts, everyone (theoretically) pays at the same rate. A millionaire is not taxed at the highest rate for his entire income, but only for the amount that falls in a given bracket.

Pay your workers more, and they will pay taxes at the higher rates. Paying them subsistence wages and then whining that they don’t pay taxes at the same rate as a billionaire is disingenuous at best.


I am aware of how taxes work. We all pay the same rate at the same income levels. I’ve never whined that they don’t pay taxes at the same rate as a billionaire.

Again, you people can’t stay focused.


Here are some historical FACTS on US federal tax amounts paid by taxpayer groups on Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and percent share of taxes paid by each group 1980-2015. The trends indicated in TABLES 1-5 below have gotten even better for the Top income groups in 2016 and 2017.

TABLE 1 … TOTAL INCOME TAX AFTER CREDITS, 1980-2015 ($ Billions)

---------TOP 1%----TOP 10%----TOP 25%----TOP 50%----BOTTOM 50%----TOTAL






Conclusions: The Top 1%, Top 10%or and Top 25% groups paid 39.0% or $568 billion, 70.6% or $1,027 billion, and 86.6% $1,260 trillion, respectively, of the total federal individual taxes paid of $1.454 trillion in 2015. Bear in mind the 2015 adjusted gross incomes before taxes of the Top 1%, 10% and 25% were $2,095 trillion, $4,803 trillion, and $6,998 trillion, respectively (see TABLE 3). The Bottom 50% paid 2.8% or $41 billion of total taxes paidon an AGI of in 2015.

TABLE 2 … PERCENT SHARES of TAXES PAID On AGI by EACH GROUP, 1980-2015 ($Billions)

----------TOP 1%----TOP 10%----TOP 25%----TOP 50%----BOTTOM 50%


Conclusions: In 2015, the average individual tax rates for the Top 1%, 10% and 25% groups were 27.1%, 21.4%, and 18%, respectively. Given very low incomes of the Bottom 50% group, the average tax rate was 3.6%. In 2015, the Top 1%, 10% and 25% groups earned 20%, 50% and 70%, respectively, of total adjusted gross income of $10.1 trillion in 2015.

In 2015, the Top 25% group comprised 35.4 million individual federal income tax returns filed or 25% of 142 million returns filed in total. This group earned $7.0 trillion or 70% of the total adjusted gross income of $10.1 trillion. The group between 25% & 50& also compromising 35.4 million tax return filers earned a far lower $2.0 trillion or 20% of total AGI income in 2015. The Bottom 50% group of 70.6 million tax return filers, or 50% of all returns filed, earned $1.1 trillion or 11.3% of total adjusted gross income of $10.1 trillion.


-------------TOP 1%----TOP 10%----TOP 25%----TOP 50%----BOTTOM 50%----TOTAL


----------------TOP 1%----TOP 10%----TOP 25%----TOP 50%----BOTTOM 50%----TOTAL


Conclusions: Between 1980 and 2000, AGI increases of Top 1%, Top 10%, and Top 25 % groups soared followed by much lower increases between 2000 and 2015 largely due to the Great Recession. The already very low percentage increases in AGI for the Bottom 50% between 1980 and 2000 went much lower between 2000 and 2015.


-------------TOP 1%-----TOP 10%-----TOP 25%-----TOP 50%… BOTTOM 50%


Conclusions: The Top 1% group share of total AGI increased sharply 2.5 times from 8.5% in 1980 to 20.6% in 2015. This contributed greatly to a near doubling of the Top 10% group share of total AGI from 24.6% in 1980 to 47.4% in 2015. The Bottom 50% group had a sharp drop in its rather small share of AGI of 17.7% in 1980 to 11.3% in 2015.

SOURCE (of All Above Data): TAX Foundation, Summary of the Latest Federal Income Tax Data, 2017 Update," by Erica York, Jan. 17, 2018._______________________________________________________


When one looks at this historical trend data carefully and other similar reports, it’s obvious that Income concentration in the TOP 1%, 10% and even 25% groups have expanded enormously over the 35 years, 1980-2015. And to this day, the income gap is just widening ever more with at 75% or more of the Trump tax cuts going to the rich and corporations. The data gets even much worse when one examines how assets (real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.) owned largely by the Top income groups are accelerating a considerable wealth gap between the Top 10% group and the rest of society.

The 10% meritocratic aristocracy of the rich and powerful we have now - so well explained in recent writings by Steven Brill of Time and Mathew Stewart of the The Atlantic - is systemically accumulating and protecting an enormous income and wealth concentration at the expense of the Bottom 90%. The forces at play self-reinforce and self-perpetuate income and wealth inequality. - fostering societal stratification, e.g., working class immobility, deep class divides and instability where people are not moving forward together, It’s Piketty’s Law of Inequality that returns to invested wealth by the Top 10% grow much faster than the rate of economic growth, thus concentrating more and more money in the hands of a few.

We are now desperately delving again into another try at the past failed ‘fantasy trickle-down’ economic con game that huge tax cuts going largely to the already rich and firms will be widely redistributed through society in the form of more jobs, better paying jobs and well-funded public services. Already, we are exoeriencing lower tax revenues while escalating Defense expenditures - pushing federal debt and deficit levels into record territory over the next three years.National debt will soon be reaching 100% of GDP and sky-high trillion-dollar government annual deficits are becomg a reality. Where’s the money going to come from so critically needed for infrastructure, pre-college education and healthcare improvements?


I should have emphasized that 75% of the dramatic growth in U.S. income inequality from 1977 to 2014 and after (Piketty 2014, p.297) went to the Top 10% of households. The share of total income from capital sources, i.e., financial wealth, soared to 43% in 2014 and higher today. U.S. households in the Top 20% ranked by income own more than 90% of the financial wealth. This is a powerful position to be in to expand continually the Top 10% and 20% groups’ wealth level and well-being - a benefit that vast numbers of the working class have largely lost in recent decades.

The dramatic growth in U.S. income and wealth gaps emerging over the last 4 decades would have truly been disastrous without government transfer payments to individuals. These transfers have risen from about 7% of GDP in 1970 to about 15% of GDP today; this 15% figure compares to 20-22% of GDP in EU countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland where progressive tax rates are averages around 52% on incomes above ±$90,000. In sharp contrast, the U.S. progressive tax rate is 39% on incomes above $400,000. While retired for some years now, I have lived and worked in the Netherlands for over 35 years. Despite the high progressive individual tax rates, the humanly fair, all-inclusive social benefits including one of the best quality, reasonable cost universal healthcare system in the world - the Netherlands (like a Sweden or Denmark) with its 17 million people (on a land territory one-half my state of Maine) has over centuries produced a global reputation for trade skills and some major, global firms like Unilever, Phillips, Royal Dutch Shell, KLM, DSM. Here things are not perfect, but it’s all about getting market capitalism and social programs persistently effectively in fair, equitable balance with public needs and wants, under the general European societal norm, 'We are all in this life together."

U.S. government transfer payments obviously help mitigate the negative effects of rising income and wealth inequality by supporting workers’ consumption needs and general welfare in the face of a structurally shrinking income share and a minimum, if not zero, ownership of assets (stocks, bonds, property) on which to create wealth over the longer term. These payments redistribute income through various social programs such as unemployment insurance, disability, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, etc. Besides socially sound progressive taxation and Social Security, welfare transfer payments benefit primarily households in the 80% income group … as they should. for over 100 million American taxpayers earning a barely sustainable, survival income of less than $50,000.

We urgently need real, inclusive pragmatic REDESIGNS and SOLUTIONS to our broken economic and social model … a challenge and commitment requiring an in-depth focus on and discussion of that seems frozen by our cultural-social- political polarization and tribal divides. But I remain hopeful we’ll ultimately rise above our worst impulses and instincts in the interests of ALL Americans, as we’ve done pragmatically in the past during critical times of change.


In free-market capitalism, capital generates income for the owners of the capital which in turn is used to create additional capital. This is very good. Sometimes, it can be actually too good. As capital continues to accumulate, its owners find it more and more difficult to deploy it efficiently. The business sector generally must interact with the household sector by selling goods and services or lending to them. When capital accumulates too rapidly, the productive capacity of the business sector can outpace the ability of the household sector to absorb the increasing production.

The capitalists, or if you prefer, job creators use their increasing wealth and income to reinvest, thus increasing the productive capacity of the business they own. They also lend their accumulated wealth to other business as well as other entities after they have exhausted opportunities within business they own. As they seek to deploy ever more capital, excess factories, housing and shopping centers are built and more and more dubious loans are made. This is overinvestment. As one banker described the events leading up to 2008 – First the banks lent all they could to those who could pay them back and then they started to lend to those could not pay them back. As cash poured into banks in ever increasing amounts, caution was thrown to the wind. For a while consumers can use credit to buy more goods and services than their incomes can sustain. Ultimately, the overinvestment results in a financial crisis that causes unemployment, reductions in factory utilization and bankruptcies all of which reduce the value of investments.

If the economy was suffering from accumulated chronic underinvestment, shifting income from the non-rich to the rich would make sense. Underinvestment would mean there was a shortage of shopping centers, hotels, housing and factories were operating at 100% of capacity but still not able to produce as many cars and other goods as people needed. It might not seem fair, but the quickest way to build up capital is to take income away from the middle class who have a high propensity to consume and give to the rich who have a propensity to save (and invest). Except for periods in the 1950s and 1960s and possibly the 1990’s when tax rates on the rich just happened to be high enough to prevent overinvestment, the economy has generally suffered from periodic overinvestment cycles.

It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the 1929 and 2007 depressions. The Revenue acts of 1926 and 1928 worked exactly as the Republican Congresses that pushed them through promised. The dramatic reductions in taxes on the upper income brackets and estates of the wealthy did indeed result in increases in savings and investment. However, overinvestment (by 1929 there were over 600 automobile manufacturing companies in the USA) caused the depression that made the rich, and most everyone else, ultimately much poorer.

Since 1969 there has been a tremendous shift in the tax burdens away from the rich on onto the middle class. Corporate income tax receipts, whose incidence falls entirely on the owners of corporations, were 4% of GDP then and are now less than 1%. During that same period, payroll tax rates as percent of GDP have increased dramatically. The overinvestment problem caused by the reduction in taxes on the wealthy is exacerbated by the increased tax burden on the middle class. While overinvestment creates more factories, housing and shopping centers; higher payroll taxes reduces the purchasing power of middle-class consumers. …"


I have no idea what the point is you are trying to make.


Of course, you simply DO NOT RESPOND to the actual points made by the person you reply to.

You are full of shit. You are serially LYING by omission, about the reasons for and about the consequences of income and wealth inequality in the USA.