Making the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes

For a country essentially born out of a dispute about the inequity of an unjust system of taxes, it is astonishing as to see how modern-day America now operates within a deeply dysfunctional economic system built on, you guessed it, inequitable and unjust taxes.

Taxes are a necessary component for any society to function. Despite the gnashing of the teeth and the swiveling of the eyes of the likes of the Tea Party and the overwhelming majority of the conservative movement, public expenditure (and thus taxes to fund that) is required for things like transport, schools, libraries and those shiny play-things of the right-wing, the police and the military.

While taxes are a necessary component for any society to function, a defining characteristic of a truly progressive country is a progressive tax system. In a nut-shell, the more you earn, the more tax you should be in a position to pay.

As has been well-documented, wealth inequality in the US is now more pronounced than ever before. A handful of billionaires are presently worth more than half of the American population (approximately 160 million people) combined. That gross imbalance is subsequently propped up by the current tax system in the US that does nothing, absolutely nothing, for the average worker, let alone the unemployed, the impoverished and the oppressed.

Here’s the deal. The super-rich, the millionaires and billionaires, can afford slick tax advisers, accountants and lawyers to help them avoid as much tax liability as possible. In contrast, those resources are just not simply viable and / or available to millions upon millions of regular Americans – those that a second yacht is simply never going to be any sort of an option, whereas a second mortgage to afford their kids’ college fees very well may be.

When considering “making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes” we also have to keep in mind our friends (not friends) - corporate America. The top 50 U.S. companies hold close on $1.5 trillion in off-shore assets so as to avoid paying their fair share in taxes. [1] Endless corporate tax loopholes and legally greased by-passes ensure that corporations and the super-wealthy pay laughably tiny amounts of tax compared to the vast majority of millions of hard-working, financially long-suffering, tax-impoverished Americans.