Why Don't Billionaires Pay the Same High Tax Rates the Rest of Us Pay? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Why Don't Billionaires Pay the Same High Tax Rates the Rest of Us Pay?

As with everything else in polarized America, billionaires proclaiming space tourism is the next big thing for humanity neatly divides opinion into two camps: those who laud the initiative, hard work and innovations of the billionaires as laudable examples of the American Can-Do Dream, and those who wished the billionaire space tourists had taken a one-way flight to a distant orbit of blissful silence.

Setting aside that bitter divide, let's explore another divide: how our two-tier tax system enables billionaires to become billionaires while the rest of us get poorer. Whenever I discuss the taxes of the non-billionaire self-employed, armies of apologists leap to the defense of the status quo with various quibbles: the 0.9% Medicare surcharge only kicks in above $200,000, the cap on Social Security taxes is $142,800, and so on.

Setting aside the quibbles--and recall the tax code with regulatory notes is thousands of pages--let's deal with the real issue, which is that billionaires and their corporations pay a thin slice of taxes as a percentage of total income if they pay any at all, while self-employed and small business pay extraordinarily high tax rates.