The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Richest families pay at a lower tax rate than many workers

May 21, 2001

The Internal Revenue Service has revealed for the first time the tax payments of the 400 richest families. These 400 families, on average, had 110 million dollars in income in 1998. That's right. 110 million in one year. They paid 22% of their income in taxes in 1998, down from 29.4% in 1993. Their much lower taxes came from the deal cut by Clinton and the Republicans in 1993 to lower the tax paid on capital gains, that is the profits made from selling stock and real estate.

These multi-millionaires –and billionaires –pay a lower portion of their income to the U.S. government than do many workers. First of all, there are all the loopholes built into the tax laws which serve wealthy people. But equally important is that fact that workers pay a 7.65% Social Security tax on their whole income –while the wealthy pay it on only a very tiny part, the first $80,400 of any salary they get.

Now the two parties are again cutting another tax deal. While publicly fussing and feuding about a few details of the new tax cut, they are working out behind the scenes another way to lower taxes on the wealthy.

And all the while, they are pretending they want to cut our taxes –just like in 1993.