400 Richest Now Paying LOWER Taxes Than Anyone Else


We reached a new high or a new low, depending
on your perspective in the United States in the growth of [inaudible] income inequality and the 400 richest Americans are
now paying a lower total tax rate, federal, state, and local than any other income group. This is based on 2018 data, which has now
been analyzed. There is a really good piece in the New York
times by David Lennart Leonhard. I’m not exactly sure how he pronounces his
last name, uh, about this. And when you look at the, uh, the data and
the visualizations of the data back in 1950, the top 400 richest Americans paid the most
in taxes when you combined federal, state and local 50 years later, even in the year
2000, the richest 400 didn’t pay the highest total rates, but it was still a much higher
rate than the poor and middle class. You still had the very rich but not quite
as rich as the richness. 400 paying slightly higher rates than the
richest 400. But no question that those richest 400 were
paying a higher total rate federal, state and local than lower income earners. And then last year in 2018 the richest 400
actually paid the lowest total rate of any income group. Now you might see that. You might hear me say this and wonder how
is that possible? Because when you look at the federal tax brackets
for 2018 for example, uh, we see that the tax bracket is highest at 37% for those earning
over $500,000. But what you need to understand is that is
that we’re talking here about a group [inaudible] 400 that is so far above the entryway to that
top bracket of 500,000 that they have so many different mechanisms for deductions and loopholes
and exclusions and the moving around of money on paper that they now are paying the lowest
combined federal, state and local rate of any income group. Now let’s discuss a common argument that we
hear from the American right wing, which is, listen, whatever rules you pass, whatever
tax law you change, the rich will figure out a way to avoid those taxes. So what’s the point? They’ll get better accountants. They will somehow figure out a way to avoid
those taxes. This is completely untrue. Number one, look at the historical numbers
I just showed you, right? I mean, the rich have historically not avoided
all taxes paid the lowest rates they used to pay more than lower income brackets. So historically we know that that argument
is bogus. Number two, Oh, and I should mention, we’re
talking about the very, very rich here. We’re talking about the richest 400 the richest
0.1% we are not talking about a doctor making $300,000 okay? That’s not who we’re talking about here. And it’s important to understand that there
is a distinction here. Number two, historically attempt to collect
more taxes have worked. We know that when we look at historical tax
collections, and number three, if the rich could just avoid any new taxes, why would
they work so hard? Why would they spend so much time and money
and political capital fighting new taxes? Because they know that they would be affected
by them. So that argument is a completely bogus and
ridiculous argument. These are basically just choices to be made
by societies. And the trick of course, by the very rich
and corporations and the upper class is to foam that class warfare down below. This has always been the technique you hear
from some brainwashed right wingers that the left of the middle class and the lower middle
class, the poor are the ones fighting and pushing, you know, race warfare, class warfare,
that if it weren’t for them, then everything would just be completely fine. But understand that this is a technique that
the very rich use look at the battle between American born restaurant and agricultural
workers and so-called illegals from Latin America coming here to steal your jobs. That is a battle that corporate America and
the super rich and the upper class want you to be having. Why? Because if you as an American born restaurant
worker are fighting against the idea of some hardworking Mexican dad coming here to quote,
steal your job, uh, you are not going to be fighting the actual people that are deciding
policy and that are controlling the system and maintaining the status quo. It is by design. A another example, while the super rich and
corporate media talk about millennials are lazy and this and that, it’s the super rich
who win by being ignored. They take the focus off of the fact that the
student loan burden on millennials is astronomical. They remove any discussion whatsoever of how
the ratio between the cost of college and the salary one expects to earn has fallen
completely out of whack compared to what it was 30 40 years ago. This is all by design and it is really important
that we not allow that to distract us from what actually needs to be done when it comes
to policy because when we’re having the wrong debate, they win. That’s the, the sick genius of it. They don’t care who wins these false debates,
right? If you’re a big corporation and you benefit
from cheap labor and deregulation of labor and all of this stuff, do you care whether
the quote, illegals win against the poor American born white people in the battle around who’s
going to steal who’s job? No. The fact that it’s a battle that is even going
on means that you win. And this is what we fundamentally have to
understand when we look at these numbers. So inequality, uh, certainly getting worse
and worse, partially on the back of a tax code that now has the richest 400 Americans
in the lowest total tax bracket. When you combine federal, state, and local.

Maurice Vega

89 Responses

  1. I suggest everyone turn themselves into a business or open a small business and write off everything you do on your taxes…this is precisely how the Corporations like Amazon and others do it…even the so called "non-profits" skirt paying taxes in the same way!!!

  2. "Lower taxes" is a bit disengenous. The tax rate may be lower but that doesn't change the fact that the top 1 percent paid almost 40 percent of all income tax in 2018. The bottom 90 percent of everyone in the country paid 26.9 percent. The top 400 people should pay a higher rate but don't let this distract you from the fact that the rich pay the most taxes.

  3. "American" is NOT a nationality, it's a region or hemisphere, composed of two separate continents.

    Get a clue,… No such thing as an "American Citizen". Not possible to be a citizen of a continent or region. Anyone born in the "America's" is an "American", from Argentina to Greenland, Including the Caribbean Islands. Just take a look at your passport, what does it say? It definitely doesn't say you are an "American" citizen. It says you are a citizen from the USA.

  4. David makes a great point, we should tax and regulate the crap out of big business so that they move their business elsewhere. Also let’s not make their charity donations tax deductible, because the government knows how to spend charity money better then the people who actually care.

  5. Hey conservatives. I bet you think Gordon Gecko was right when he preached "greed is good". Well I believe that applies to everyone. So called "welfare queens" shouldn't be ashamed to want more from the government. After all, greed is good, right? In a free market people pursuing their own self interest is the best way, right?

  6. i agree, but those rules and loopholes are bought and paid for, with the pace politics works, ill be old or dead before the top 1% pay their share, not to mention Steve Benzos only takes home 80k, his company pays for everything, we dont need to tax him, we need to tax the companies

  7. I love how the entire 2nd half of the video is just David taking about how terrible the left and millennials are (lazy, race&class wars, etc.) and then in the same breath says that it’s the 0.1%’s fault.

  8. Andrew Yang seems to have the best plan for this, not only is his proposals more politically viable than any other solution it also affects the most Americans in the most direct way. He is the change we need #YangGang #Yang2020

  9. This was already posted a day or two earlier, then suddenly got pulled. Does somebody out there think this is a secret ?

  10. Richard wolf said Warren's wealth tax which would only effect people with a net worth of over 50 million dollars would effect 75,000 family's in the United states. So 75,000 family's have a net worth of more than 50 million dollars?! The growth in income inequality over the past 40 years is appalling thank you Ronald Reagan!

  11. Waffle waffle waffle …. David you have NO IDEA …. Social Security cuts out at 120k ….. HENCE why anyone above that gets an ever increasing tax break. Second capital gains at 15% …. sadly USA is run by 700 people and an orange clown.

  12. I try to mention this to people on the left who are adamant that a progressive tax is the key to achieving tax revenue, but I get berated for even suggesting that we would make more money by eliminating all deductions and lowering taxes on everyone. There is a psychological effect created in the minds of the wealthy when they see something like a progressive tax, they feel overly victimized and do all in their power to lower the rate of tax that they pay. If you lower the highest tax rate but eliminate deductions, the rich will pay their fair share. They avoid taxes primarily through the use of deductions

  13. 3:33 Yes. Usually it's by race, age, and sex-based internal conflicts. They started going in really heavy on this strategy beginning with the latter-half of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The surge in SJWs that happened around this time was not merely coincidental.
    This is why being an SJW is bad – they're constantly distracting from the main issues while masquerading as champions of social justice. The end result is that they cause internal conflicts, much to the delight of the super-wealthy.

  14. Ok here we go.

    I pay 45% of everything I earn (U.K.) and that’s all your getting not a penny more.

    I pay that, every year, I don’t engage in any matters to dodge it…..

    I will not EVER PAY more, I do the work, I get up, I go out and earn it I get the bigger half.

    Berni’s “billionaires shouldn’t exist” is rubbish who the fuck are you to tell anyone what they can do and earn. (I’m not a billionaire)

    He doesn’t seem to want anyone to do better drag everyone down, and keep it down.

    The problem with this is you eventually run out of other people’s money to spend.

    I don’t know why he hates people with money (when in fact he is rich) I don’t mind berni I just hate his position on this matter.

    Your getting no more then 45% not a penny

    In one year only more than most people do in their lifetime and you get every year

    I should pay no less too. 45% is right

  15. The rich have been waging class warfare against everybody else for decades. But they would be advised to study the French revolution and learn from it. They are outnumbered by more that 300 million to less than one million. Do they really want more than 300 million people that are fed up with being ripped off constantly?

  16. Do you really have to ask that stupid question?.Of course the rich don't pay their fair share! Not only do the working class have to break their backs for the wealthy they have to pay their taxes to!!

  17. Trump must be removed from office immediately. He is threatening (in openly fascistic terms) to stay in power beyond constitutionally mandated term limits & has indicated that he won't accept as legitimate an election that leads to his defeat. The American people must remove him from office immediately.

  18. Antonia AX:on Johnson, who owns one of the biggest superstore chains in Sweden-Willis, paid less in effective tax than 67 year old Lillian, the cashier on the floor, in 2018. Lillian paid 23% in taxes, Antonia 18%. Antonia makes 5.4 million Swedish kr in one month, Lillian, working evenings and weekends, makes 30 000 Swedish kr a month. Experts and advisers for advanced tax planning, flat taxes, deductions and offsetting income against losses and an increasing number of billionaires who manage their capital in their own limited companies.

  19. The simple way to make sure the rich can't avoid all taxes?
    A "flat tax". A basic unavoidable percentage, based on your income/holdings/property that cannot be offset by any schemes, charity or other 'inventive' methods.
    To make this fairer it could only apply after you get above a certain income, let's say $50,000 as an example starting point.

  20. I see that you still have done nothing to go get Trump. If Trump is so terrible for you, it is your duty to go drag him from office but you rather stay in your Moms basement making little videos Why did you not to about the rich under Obama? There were rich back then also. Never said a word under Obama, why?

  21. They pay a fuck ton more than, oh, I don't know…. welfare recipients, college students and illegal aliens to name a few that for fucking sure. If they paid just 2% of their earnings in taxes, hell 1%, this country wouldn't be in so much debt. Stop blaming the rich and sucking off the Government teat expecting people to give you free shit and actually get up and contribute to society.

  22. American tax rates of the Mid-20th Century.
    https://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/24489
    "In 1944-45, 'the most progressive tax years in U.S. history,' the 94%rate applied to any income above $200,000 ($2.4 million in 2009 dollars, given inflation)."

    Those federal income tax’s top rates coming out of World War II, which Eisenhower left in place into the 1960s resulted in, arguably, the most prosperous time in U.S. history. Often referred to as, "The Greatest Generation."

  23. This is the class analysis which is not only true and should be understood, but also explains how people come to vote against their own economic interest and why americans hate each other

  24. Here's the scoop. Lets say you have an uncle, he lives in Isle of Man….or Monaco, maybe he is a F1 racing driver. He asks you to work for him as an adviser for his companies. He gives you a house and a car, and a adviser fee of 20 – 25,000 a year. This is your taxable income. Treat the house like it is your own, he will take care of all your needs. The businesses make 2 – 3 billion annually. It has a global banking charter and pays taxes in Monaco or Isle of Man, problem is, no taxes there. But I see from the video, 400 people are getting tired of 'WINNING'.

  25. The richest 400 get a massive handout from the Government? But, didn’t trump say he was going to fight socialism?

    Of course, to fight something, he needs to be aware of what it is first.

  26. You're wrong in sooooo many levels.

    I've never, not a single time, heard we should avoid even trying to fix our tax code for that reason. Not once.

    The rich LOVE illegals because they devalue labor. They don't care about citizens arguing about illegals. If it weren't that the. It would be football or what Melania wore.

    Millennials have crazy student loan debt because they get shit degrees. All of my engineer buddies had great jobs waiting for them their junior years. And now they're making bank and their student loans are almost paid off.

  27. Is anyone really surprised by this? This is the entire foundation of the republican party. Make the rich richer. They're supposed to use that increased wealth to create jobs but they never do. They use it to buy more influence and create the conditions that help their party make them richer again. The fact that some poor and middle class people fall for their BS and support this is just crazy.

  28. I think the best argument they have is: the rich will move to another country, which we do actually have some evidence of happening.

  29. It’s amazing that so many have had the wool pulled over their eyes on this. Trump’s tax bill should have lost him most of his base, and yet it only made him more popular. It’s just crazy.

  30. The country sure is great when it's anti-government, eh?…

    You guys know there's an right for others to have a fair share in the Constitution, right?

  31. It's funny how most American go after non-existent welfare queens for leeching off the system through little work, and yet the richest people in the country are a more actual example of people leaching off others' wealth.

  32. I have but one question. if the money is not going to taxes where is it going? Most deductions from my understanding come from things like investments, charity, and maybe something like out of country banking to fudge the books. And it could be argued that 2 out of 3 of those categories are a better use of the money than giving it to the government.

    In other words it does not matter whatsoever to me if they are paying any taxes so long as the money is leaving their pockets and going to somebody or something that will make better use of it than the government.

    In even more words just saying "the rich pay less taxes % wise" means absolutely nothing without qualifiers and more explanation.

    If these people are dodging taxes purely by splitting it up between different business, accounts, or something like that and the money is effectively staying in their pockets and not being used then yes thats bad.

  33. I have to pay 10% of my gross income to the Federal government just to come to 0 at the end of the year instance my gross is 60k I pay 6k and get nothing back and owe nothing

  34. The royals the elite haven’t paid their fair share since 1980 when Republicans gave huge tax cuts and doubled my income tax rate! And yet we fight wars to protect there assets overseas?

  35. The real war is the poor against the wealthy who seek to maintain the status quo. All across the globe, the poor are brothers and sisters in arms. If we can ever get ourselves organized, represented, and heard, well maybe we might win this war before it falls to violence and cities of angry poor citizens are mowed down by billion dollar Amazon Military Drones.

  36. Excellent and concise synopsis of the situation in this country as it currently stands. Hopefully the 'right' people will hear it and wake up.

  37. This makes zero sense. Unless you’re a millionaire NOBODY can believe this is a good thing. Even moronic Trump supporters.

  38. These people have more wealth then they will ever spend. They could lose 80% of their wealth and nothing in their life would change.
    It's a perversion of our species that this inequality exist. It's unsustainable.
    Why do we allow this?

  39. Holy shit! This is dusgusting. The very richest are the biggest cheapskates in the world.

    You hear that rich people: you are stingy cheapskates and misers, pikers, who are not pulling your weight. You don't want to pay your fair share? Go move to Mexico or some shithole country with civil strife in Africa or the Middle East. I don't want to support you rich effers anymore with my taxes. I don't want you owning property in the country I am supporting fairly with my taxes and you are not supporting fairly. Go take your effing riches and move to some other country. Sell all your US property and assets and get out of the US! Don't let the door hit you on the way out! Bye bye! Don't ever come back!

  40. Given that the population has more than doubled in that time period but youre still comparing to a fixed sample of 400 doesnt it make sense irrespective of rising inequality that the proportion of tax paid will decrease. This isnt an argument that inequality isnt a massive problem just that this isnt the best example.

  41. It's like, tax loopholes that benefit the ultra wealthy exist or something. Ohh… also Trump has made it even easier for them to do so

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