The richest 1% Americans dodge $175 billion in taxes every year. How do they get away with it? Follow the money...
Where do the uber-rich live? How do they buy political influence? This map shows 600 of the richest Americans and how their wealth has boomed during the pandemic while working Americans have struggled. It highlights seven billionaires - Charles Koch, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Farris Wilks, Rupert Murdoch, John Paulson and Warren Buffet.
Billionaires and their PACs are spending millions to stop President Biden's Build Back Better plan and use their political influence to protect their ability to:
- Slash their own taxes
- Keep drug prices high to boost the profits of their drug firms
- Exploit workers. Deny a living wage. Oppose unions.
- Make it harder for the poor to vote to improve their lives
- Deny women control over their own bodies
- Oppose green energy and climate change measures to protect their coal mine profits
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Billionaires against Build Back Better
"President Biden's Build Back Better offers:
- Paid family leave
- An expanded child tax credit
- Universal pre-K
- Free community college
- Expanding Medicare to cover vision and dental
- A serious effort to address climate change, including a Clean Energy Standard
It proposes to pay for these new policies by:
- Closing tax loopholes for private equity managers and wealthy heirs
- Increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5%
- Raising the top individual tax rate from 37% to 39.6%
- Imposing a 3% surtax on income over $5 million
- Increasing tax enforcement to enable the IRS to collect more money that is already owed
- Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, lowering costs"
Judd Legum in Popular Information
No wonder the billionaires are up in arms about it.
"The Koch political network is mobilizing to sink Biden’s $3.5-trillion Build Back Better plan and deal a devastating blow to his presidency...Koch-aligned groups are together spending millions of dollars on advertising, targeting moderate Democratic lawmakers, and pushing their influence in the halls of Congress to whittle down or outright kill the sweeping policy package. The bill represents the largest expansion of the social safety net in the past 50 years and the biggest step toward addressing climate change in U.S. history." - RollingStone
Billionaires profiting from high drug prices
"Drug spending in the United States is at an all-time high and still rising. Studies have repeatedly shown that the U.S. pays far more for the same prescription drugs than other high- and middle-income countries. Patients in the U.S. are more likely to report that they can’t afford their medications; half of all of adults with lower incomes go without care because of cost." - Commonwealth Fund.
"According to the latest 13F filing in August 2021, Paulson and Co.'s holds more than $750 million stake, in Bausch Health. He also approximately $748 million in Horizon Therapeutics." - Little Sis. Paulson also donates heavily to politicians who oppose lowering drug prices measures in the Build Back Better bill.
TakeAway: Follow the money to see why billionaires are spending millions to stop the Build Back Better plan.
Image credit: Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street