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Archive for Monday, January 7, 2013

Bankruptcies

January 7, 2013

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Douglas County residents or businesses filing for bankruptcy protection recently in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Kansas, according to court records:

• Jalisa Monique Jordan Pointer, 3904 Overland Circle, Lawrence.

• Samaria Ann Harjo, 448 Grandview Terrace, Lawrence.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

Tax Avoidance On the Rise: It's Twice the Amount of Social Security and Medicare http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/07

Three trillion dollars a year. That's how much the wealthiest Americans avoid through the system of subsidies and schemes and sweet deals that deprive middle-class workers of their earned benefits. That's three times more than the deficit. That's enough for a full-time job for every middle-class household in America. Here are the distressing details:

  1. Tax Expenditures: $1.25 trillion

These subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes are estimated to be worth 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion. They largely benefit the richest taxpayers.

That alone is almost enough to pay for Social Security ($884 billion) and Medicare ($524 billion).

  1. Tax Underpayments: $450 billion

According to the IRS, 17 percent of taxes owed were not paid in 2006, leaving an underpayment of $450 billion.

  1. Tax Havens: up to $250 billion

(a) It's estimated that between $21 and $32 trillion is hidden offshore, untaxed. (b) 40% of the world's richest individuals are Americans. That's $8 to $12 trillion of the total. (c) The historical annual stock market return is 6%. That's a return of $480 to $720 billion. (d) The 20% to 35% tax loss amounts to a minimum of $96 billion, a maximum of $252 billion.

  1. Corporate Taxes: $250 billion

  2. Financial Transaction Tax (FTT): $500 billion

The absence of an FTT constitutes tax avoidance. Not a penny of sales tax is paid on U.S. financial transactions, which have been estimated at about three quadrillion dollars annually, or three thousand times the deficit.

Just a half penny from every dollar of total U.S. financial transactions would pay off the national debt -- not just the deficit, but the whole $15 trillion debt.

  1. Payroll Tax: $300 billion

This extremely regressive tax costs the richest Americans only a small fraction of what everyone else pays. If the 12.4% tax (half employer, half employee) were assessed on the full $3.84 trillion claimed by the richest 10% in 2006 (instead of on $1.43 trillion: $110,000 times 13 million payees), an additional $300 billion in revenue would have been realized.

  1. Estate Tax: $100 billion

Conclusion

The total surpasses $3 trillion. The figures may be on the high end, and there may be some overlap, and wealthy Americans may argue that much of it is legal. But the system of loopholes and deductions and exclusions is a statement by the rich that they don't have to pay for their lopsided share of benefits, and that middle-income Americans should give up their own earned benefits to pay the country's bills.

And if tax avoidance is legal it's because the people with money have redefined 'legal.'

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