The emergency room nurses caring for COVID-19 patients and the truck drivers delivering food and essentials who support us during a deadly pandemic are millionaires who live off the Wall Street investment. Did you know you pay more taxes than you pay? Indeed, our tax legislation unfairly favors wealth over work. The top tax rate (20%), which is the main source of investment income, is only about half of the top tax rate (37%) on wages and salaries.
Most of us live on a daily basis with a working wage. But the super rich made sure their money did its job for them. Their income comes mainly in the form of return on investment: the increase in the value of their stocks, bonds, real estate, private sector, etc. If you sell one of these investments at a price higher than the purchase price, it is “Capital gains.” It is capital gains (and the related payments to shareholders called dividends) that benefit from almost half of the tax allowance.
In this way, millionaires enjoyed obscene profits from their wealth during this pandemic, while millions of regular workers lost their jobs, small businesses, income, medical care, etc. In Pennsylvania, 17 billion billionaires more than doubled their fortunes during a pandemic. Their wealth rose from $ 28.4 billion in March 2020 to $ 61.4 billion on August 17... During the same period, 3,365,507 Pennsylvanians lost their jobs, many of whom also lost medical care.
But it is worse. Not only will the rich get richer as our millions of people pass by, but the rich will also allow the lifetime of investment income to avoid income tax forever. Thanks to special tax cuts, their wealth can be kept tax-exempt. This loophole is called Retractable base..
Another way our fraudulent tax system rewards wealth more than work is by reducing taxes on wealthy-owned businesses through equity stakes. Richest 10% of Americans We own shares in companies in almost all countries. Last year 55 major companies paid, including FedEx, Nike and Salesforce.com Zero federal income tax Despite total profits exceeding $ 40 billion. Multinationals dodge taxes by hiding their profits and sending jobs abroad.
The compensation, in addition to President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law, has already given businesses a significant tax cut from 35% to 21%. Under the same law, millionaires also enjoyed large tax deductions, but the average family was much smaller. In 2020 The richest 1% in Pennsylvanias received an average tax cut of $ 49,510, while middle income earners received an average tax cut of $ 770.00.
President Joe Biden and his congressional supporters want to start unequipping this rotten system by rewarding hard work as well as wealth. Their reform Very wealthy people, who earn more than $ 1 million a year, will pay the same tax rate on their investment income as they do on their salary. They will close a strengthened basic loophole for capital gains over $ 1 million. And they are curbing corporate tax evasion abroad, raising corporate tax rates, and ensuring that big companies pay a fairer share and keep their well-paying jobs here.
Those who earn less than $ 400,000 per year will not pay higher taxes under this plan.
Fairer tax income on the rich will help working families by making health care, child care and education more affordable. Offer tax credits to working families so they can spend more money and save.
If these tax reforms and public investments make sense to you, you are not alone. Polls consistently show Democrats, Independents, and even Republicans want the rich and corporations to pay their fair share and use that money to improve the lives of working families.
As people of faith, we believe that everyone is created in the image of God and therefore deserves to live in safety and health with dignity and respect. We live in a country with sufficient resources for everyone. If everyone can contribute equitably to sustaining the economy and living a prosperous life God wants everyone, not just the rich.
This year, we have a historic opportunity to change tax laws to help the wealthy and businesses achieve fair distribution and secure enough money to invest in the needs of working families. We urge parliamentarians in Pennsylvania to support this effort.
Reverend Sandra L. Strauss is the Director of Ecumenical Advocacy and Outreach. Pennsylvania Church Council..