We all know the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes ... but to know they actually pay less in taxes ?? That is another reason why America's economy is going to fail ... it is being made to crash ...
How I Paid Only 1% of My Income in Federal Income Tax
In 2009, the median U.S. family had an income of just under $50,000, on which they would have paid roughly $2,761 (or about 5.5%) in federal income tax. I, by contrast, enjoyed an income of $207,415 in 2009, but paid only $2,173 (or 1.0%) in income tax.
In a recent newspaper interview, I mentioned my absurdly low tax rate to illustrate the extent to which the tax system is biased in favor of the wealthy (my income varies widely from year to year, but is typically north of half a million dollars). My point was that with our country facing frightening budget deficits amid an ever-widening income gap between the rich and everybody else, I consider it both unwise and unfair that a former investment banker like myself pays less in taxes than working Americans with far lower incomes.
Among the dozens of emails I received in response were many from people who assumed that rich people avoid taxes through complicated strategies devised by an army of expensive advisors (many correspondents asked for the name of my accountant). But under our current tax system, the rich don't need high-priced lawyers who exploit obscure loopholes; I wasn't even trying to minimize my taxes (and, in fact, could have paid zero tax if I was). Warren Buffett has observed that if there's class warfare in this country, the rich are winning. I offer my 2009 tax return, then, as a flare to illuminate the battlefield.
Americans are understandably angry over the government's multi-billion-dollar bailouts of reckless bankers. But low tax rates on investment income have put far more money into Wall Street's pockets than the TARP bill did. Even President Obama's proposal to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for the richest Americans would leave a top marginal rate on capital gains and qualified dividends of just 20% -- half the proposed rate on labor income.
This difference creates a loophole you can drive a Rolls Royce through. Having left Wall Street in 2002, I now earn far more money from my financial portfolio than from my job as an Adjunct Professor, and as a result I consistently pay under 15% of my income to the IRS. Still, I was astonished when my accountant told me that my tax rate for 2009 was a mere 1%.