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The 400 richest Americans pay a lower tax rate than any other group. Wherever you stand politically, you can't justify this morally or economically.
The New York Times
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For the first time in the past hundred years, the working class — the 50% of Americans with the lowest incomes — pays higher tax rates than billionaires, write economists Emmanuel Saez and @gabriel_zucman
The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You
By David Leonhardt
Oct. 6, 2019
Almost a decade ago, Warren Buffett made a claim that would become famous. He said that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, thanks to the many loopholes and deductions that benefit the wealthy.
His claim sparked a debate about the fairness of the tax system. In the end, the expert consensus was that, whatever Buffett’s specific situation, most wealthy Americans did not actually pay a lower tax rate than the middle class. “Is it the norm?” the fact-checking outfit Politifact asked. “No.”
Time for an update: It’s the norm now.
For the first time on record, the 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate — spanning federal, state and local taxes — than any other income group, according to newly released data.
That’s a sharp change from the 1950s and 1960s, when the wealthy paid vastly higher tax rates than the middle class or poor.
Since then, taxes that hit the wealthiest the hardest — like the estate tax and corporate tax — have plummeted, while tax avoidance has become more common.
President Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which was largely a handout to the rich, plays a role, too. It helped push the tax rate on the 400 wealthiest households below the rates for almost everyone else.
The overall tax rate on the richest 400 households last year was only 23 percent, meaning that their combined tax payments equaled less than one quarter of their total income. This overall rate was 70 percent in 1950 and 47 percent in 1980.
For middle-class and poor families, the picture is different. Federal income taxes have also declined modestly for these families, but they haven’t benefited much if at all from the decline in the corporate tax or estate tax. And they now pay more in payroll taxes (which finance Medicare and Social Security) than in the past. Over all, their taxes have remained fairly flat.
The combined result is that over the last 75 years the United States tax system has become radically less progressive.
[Sign up for David Leonhardt’s daily newsletter with commentary on the news and reading suggestions from around the web.]
The data here come from the most important book on government policy that I’ve read in a long time — called “The Triumph of Injustice,” to be released next week. The authors are Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, both professors at the University of California, Berkeley, who have done pathbreaking work on taxes. Saez has won the award that goes to the top academic economist under age 40, and Zucman was recently profiled on the cover of Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine as “the wealth detective.”
They have constructed a historical database that tracks the tax payments of households at different points along the income spectrum going back to 1913, when the federal income tax began. The story they tell is maddening — and yet ultimately energizing.
“Many people have the view that nothing can be done,” Zucman told me. “Our case is, ‘No, that’s wrong. Look at history.’” As they write in the book: “Societies can choose whatever level of tax progressivity they want.” When the United States has raised tax rates on the wealthy and made rigorous efforts to collect those taxes, it has succeeded in doing so.
And it can succeed again.
Saez and Zucman portray the history of American taxes as a struggle between people who want to tax the rich and those who want to protect the fortunes of the rich. The story starts in the 17th century, when Northern colonies created more progressive tax systems than Europe had. Massachusetts even enacted a wealth tax, which covered financial holdings, land, ships, jewelry, livestock and more.
The Southern colonies, by contrast, were hostile to taxation. Plantation owners worried that taxes could undermine slavery by eroding the wealth of shareholders, as the historian Robin Einhorn has explained, and made sure to keep tax rates low and tax collection ineffective. (The Confederacy’s hostility to taxes ultimately hampered its ability to raise money and fight the Civil War.)
By the middle of the 20th century, the high-tax advocates had prevailed. The United States had arguably the world’s most progressive tax code, with a top income-tax rate of 91 percent and a corporate tax rate above 50 percent.
But the second half of the 20th century was mostly a victory for the low-tax side. Companies found ways to take more deductions and dodge taxes. Politicians cut every tax that fell heavily on the wealthy: high-end income taxes, investment taxes, the estate tax and the corporate tax. The justification for doing so was usually that the economy as a whole would benefit.
The justification turned out to be wrong. The wealthy, and only the wealthy, have done fantastically well over the last several decades. G.D.P. growth has been disappointing, and middle-class income growth even worse.
The American economy just doesn’t function very well when tax rates on the rich are low and inequality is sky high. It was true in the lead-up to the Great Depression, and it’s been true recently. Which means that raising high-end taxes isn’t about punishing the rich (who, by the way, will still be rich). It’s about creating an economy that works better for the vast majority of Americans.
In their book, Saez and Zucman sketch out a modern progressive tax code. The overall tax rate on the richest 1 percent would roughly double, to about 60 percent. The tax increases would bring in about $750 billion a year, or 4 percent of G.D.P., enough to pay for universal pre-K, an infrastructure program, medical research, clean energy and more. Those are the kinds of policies that do lift economic growth.
One crucial part of the agenda is a minimum global corporate tax of at least 25 percent. A company would have to pay the tax on its profits in the United States even if it set up headquarters in Ireland or Bermuda. Saez and Zucman also favor a wealth tax; Elizabeth Warren’s version is based on their work. And they call for the creation of a Public Protection Bureau, to help the I.R.S. crack down on tax dodging.
I already know what some critics will say about these arguments — that the rich will always figure out a way to avoid taxes. That’s simply not the case. True, they will always manage to avoid some taxes. But history shows that serious attempts to collect more taxes usually succeed.
Ask yourself this: If efforts to tax the super-rich were really doomed to fail, why would so many of the super-rich be fighting so hard to defeat those efforts?
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: email@example.com.
Listen to “The Argument” podcast every Thursday morning, with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt.
David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. @DLeonhardt ? Facebook
您的位置： 文学城 ? 论坛 ? 时事述评 ? Medicare for All到底有几个意思
Medicare for All到底有几个意思
来源: 非否 于 2019-09-27 00:16:57 [档案] [博客] [旧帖] [给我悄悄话] 本文已被阅读： 1503 次 (1964 bytes)
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“Historically, Medicare-for-all has meant single-payer health insurance, a national government-run program that covered every American and replaced private coverage entirely, similar to the government-run health care programs in Canada and some European countries.“
“But these days, other plans are falling under the Medicare-for-all umbrella. Some progressives, like Green, are even comfortable with the term being applied to the various proposals to allow all Americans buy into Medicare. Some of those plans used to be branded as a “public option”; they would not end private insurance that more than half of Americans get, usually through work, as a true single-payer would.“
?Krystal Ball, 一个聪明女人
您的位置： 文学城 ? 论坛 ? 时事述评 ? Medicare for All到底有几个意思
? What about Obama care? “If you like your plan,you can keep it -baiwen- ♂ 给 baiwen 发送悄悄话 baiwen 的博客首页 baiwen 的个人群组 (124 bytes) (13 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 05:24:23
? Obamacare(Romneycare)是Universal Healthcare，不是Medicare for All.长远 -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (1 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 10:16:42
? Obamacare长远都不取代私营医保，每个人可以选择已有的私营保险 -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (0 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 10:20:08
? 至少杨的Medicare for All既不保所有非移，也不是free -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (0 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 10:22:37
? 谁会相信民主党“逐渐过渡”这种鬼话？ -mobileuser- ♀ 给 mobileuser 发送悄悄话 mobileuser 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (0 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 07:08:33
? 杨说得明白，他就是Single Payer，这个ID典型的一知半解，被猛打耳光以后还喋喋不休，做梦要找回场子的笑话贴， -tibuko- ♂ 给 tibuko 发送悄悄话 tibuko 的博客首页 tibuko 的个人群组 (212 bytes) (10 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 13:53:43
? 问：如何过渡到单一支付？多少年？杨答：乐观地说5-10年 -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (1 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 15:18:28
? 加拿大是Single Payer没疑问吧？还有大医保公司吗？报个名来听听？ -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (71 bytes) (2 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 15:22:55
? 自己找来的视频，听得懂吗？一个还是不止一个，会数吗？看看是谁倒打一耙 -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (0 reads) 09/27/2019 postreply 15:32:29
7.You can find your own net worth number on the chart.
Image credit: Bloomberg. Data sources: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2018 for worth numbers -2 through 8. Bloomberg Billionaires Index for 9-11. Federal Reserve, Financial Samurai, Bloomberg Reporting, Bloomberg Billionaires Index.https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/07/bloomberg-businessweek-wealth-number-ranking-shows-inequality.html
您的位置： 文学城 ? 论坛 ? 时事述评 ? 400个最富有的美国人所支付的税率低于任何其他群体
? 但他们还是交多税钱给政府，美国还有40%几人不用交税呢! -piris1987- ♀ 给 piris1987 发送悄悄话 piris1987 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (1 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 08:44:00
? 不交税是因为收入少 -五刀口- ♂ 给 五刀口 发送悄悄话 五刀口 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (2 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 08:45:04
? 明白。美国还是靠富人和中产的税钱来运作 -piris1987- ♀ 给 piris1987 发送悄悄话 piris1987 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (3 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 08:49:03
? 几乎所有国家都一样， -五刀口- ♂ 给 五刀口 发送悄悄话 五刀口 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (0 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 08:50:15
? 穷人在购物时也要交税，不直接交的还有房东转的地产税，雇主付的payroll taxes等 -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (0 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 09:31:50
? 人家给的理由很高尚：是为了让资本家再投资提高就业率，和几十年不涨最低时薪的理由一样 -宝宝抱抱- ♀ 给 宝宝抱抱 发送悄悄话 宝宝抱抱 的博客首页 宝宝抱抱 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (1 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 08:59:57
? 标题就是假新闻 -tibuko- ♂ 给 tibuko 发送悄悄话 tibuko 的博客首页 tibuko 的个人群组 (0 bytes) (1 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 09:00:09
? 不会数数的，不懂税和税率的区别不奇怪。https://bbs.wenxuecity.com/currentevent/18733 -非否- ♀ 给 非否 发送悄悄话 非否 的博客首页 非否 的个人群组 (132 bytes) (0 reads) 10/08/2019 postreply 09:37:24