Billionaires dodge taxes through loopholes, political donations and a supporting cast of politicians and judges. The Billionaire Tax Dodger Awards recognize unchecked greed.
- Exploit workers - Keep workers on food stamps and bust unions while making billions
- Greed - Make billions but pay less than 1% in taxes
- Pro-Russia - Put profits over invasions and genocide
- Republican Donors - Donations and lobbying for more tax loopholes
- Supporting Cast - Keep billionaire donors happy by cutting their taxes further
- Supreme enablers - Allow dark money to flood politics and deny working Americans their vote and the ability to demand fair taxation
Billionaire Tax Dodger Awards network map
Billions from exploiting workers
As the largest employer in the US with nearly 1.6 million workers, Walmart has faced criticism for years over low wages, working conditions, a reliance on keeping workers on part-time schedules and wage theft." - The Guardian
Republican tax loopholes for billionaires
"Michael Bloomberg achieved one of the lowest tax rates in the top 400 partly by taking annual deductions of more than $1 billion, mostly through charitable contributions. From 2013 to 2017, he also wrote off an average of $409 million each year from what he’d paid in state and local taxes. The 2018 tax overhaul limited that deduction to $10,000 — but also introduced a huge new deduction that Bloomberg benefited from." - ProPublica
Pro-Russian billionaires. Profits over country.
"In an internal email obtained exclusively by Popular Information, Stand Together, the influential non-profit group run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, argues that the United States should seek to deliver a partial "victory" to Russia in Ukraine. The email was sent to Stand Together staff by Dan Caldwell, the group's Vice President of Foreign Policy, on March 16. The subject line was "An Update on Ukraine... Caldwell then argues that the United States should seek to deliver Russia a partial "victory" as part of a diplomatic resolution to the conflict." - Popular Information
Tax cuts for billionaire Republican donors
"Executives and founders of private-equity firms also commonly report a high percentage of income from long-term capital gains, bringing their tax rates lower. They sometimes accomplish this through complex tax maneuvers and the controversial carried-interest loophole, which allows them to treat fees from managing clients’ money as investment income. Critics argue that these fees should be taxed as ordinary income." - ProPublica
Republican party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich
"Johnson’s demand was simple: In exchange for his vote, the bill must sweeten the tax break for a class of companies that are known as pass-throughs, since profits pass through to their owners. Johnson praised such companies as “engines of innovation.” Behind the scenes, the senator pressed top Treasury Department officials on the issue, emails and the officials’ calendars show.
Johnson’s ultimatum produced results. Trump personally called the senator to beg for his support, and the bill’s authors fattened the tax cut for these businesses. Johnson flipped to a “yes” and claimed credit for the change. The bill passed. Confidential tax records, however, reveal that Johnson’s last-minute maneuver benefited two families more than almost any others in the country — both worth billions and both among the senator’s biggest donors. Dick and Liz Uihlein of packaging giant Uline, along with roofing magnate Diane Hendricks, together had contributed around $20 million to groups backing Johnson’s 2016 reelection campaign." - ProPublica
Supreme Court lets billionaires control politics
"The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on the Citizens United case—opening the floodgates for more corporate cash to stream into our democracy and elections—is a disaster that will lead to many more election cycles of politics dominated by the highest bidder while low- and moderate-income people and their interests are left further behind." - Open Society Foundation
"The Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2013 and brought back the old politics of the past. Chief Justice John Roberts blew up the U.S.’s hard-won voting rights protections. Roberts issued the ruling for a five-vote Supreme Court majority in the Shelby County v. Holder case stating that the pre-clearance formula enacted in the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965 ― which required certain states to get federal approval for voting changes ― was no longer applicable. He reasoned the policy had been so successful at curbing discriminatory election practices that it was no longer justified.
“Shelby is the unfortunate precursor of all of these trash anti-voting, anti-democracy bills that we see proliferating in 47 of our 50 states right now,” said Nse Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project, a voter mobilization group based in Georgia." - HuffPost
Billionaire Tax Bill
Senator Ron Wyden, has proposed a Billionaires Income Tax (BIT) that would raise $557 billion over 10 years from the 700 or so wealthiest Americans. That's money for healthcare, childcare, housing and education more affordable for working families, as well as respond to the climate crisis. American billionaire's wealth has grown $1.7 trillion, or by 57%, during the first two years of the pandemic.
Billionaires will start paying taxes on the gains in their wealth each year just like workers pay taxes on their paychecks each year. The tax will apply only to taxpayers whose net worth either exceeds $1 billion or whose income exceeds $100 million for three consecutive years. There are 704 U.S. billionaires according to Forbes." - Americans For Tax Fairness
Taxes on billionaires will help fund programs for working Americans
Pay your fair share
"Americans have called for higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations now for years. In 2018, two thirds of Americans said they were dissatisfied with “the way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S.”; in 2017, 78% said that what bothers them about the U.S. tax system is that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share, and 80% said what bothers them is that corporations don’t pay their fair share.
Biden’s proposed $5.8-trillion 2023 budget, released at the end of March, proposes tax increases on the wealthy and on corporations. It would end Trump’s 2017 tax cut for the wealthy early. That cut sliced the top marginal income tax rate from 39.6 to 37% until December 31, 2025. It would also tax the interest on stocks and bonds, which currently is not taxed until those assets are sold, which means that their owners can accumulate large sums of money without ever being taxed on it, while wage workers pay full freight on their income. Biden wants to make American households worth more than $100 million pay a tax rate of at least 20% on their real income as well as on the gains on their unsold stocks and bonds.
The administration also wants to get rid of the 2017 Trump tax cuts, which cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Biden’s proposal would raise the corporate tax rate from the Trump low of 21% up to 28%." - Heather Richardson in Letters From An American
TakeAway: Call your Congressperson and Senator to demand they pass the Billionaire Tax Bill. Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes.
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