I pay a hefty sum every year in federal taxes. So does everyone else I know. But the wealthy, I’m learning, do not. According to ProPublica, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk, and many other wealthy people regularly pay little to no taxes compared to their wealth. The details: in 2007, Jeff Bezos, now the world’s richest man, did not pay any federal income taxes. He did it again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, paid no federal income taxes. Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.
Yet ordinary American citizens pay enough that it hurts. In recent years, the average American household earned about $70,000 annually and paid 14 percent in federal taxes. Why do ordinary people make sacrifices to pay taxes while the rich pay nothing?
The answer is the way American tax laws are written. The wealthy have available to them endless loopholes and options that allow them to declare their money nontaxable. I can’t do that. Nor can you. It’s long since time that Congress update, modernize, and revise from the ground up the way we pay federal taxes. The little guys have already suffered too long to benefit the well-to-do.