In 2018, billionaires paid 23% of their income in federal, state, and local taxes, while the average American paid 28%.
That’s according to an analysis of tax data by The University of California at Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman for their upcoming book “The Triumph of Injustice.”
Between 1950 and 1980, billionaires paid more than 50% of their income in taxes each year, according to Saez and Zucman.
Saez and Zucman, who also serve as advisors to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, have proposed a moderate wealth tax as a solution to the United States’ growing wealth gap.
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In 2018, billionaires paid a smaller portion of their income in taxes than average Americans. That’s the first time that has happened in history.
Billionaires paid 23% of their income in federal, state, and local taxes in 2018, an analysis of tax data by The University of California at Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman found in their upcoming book “The Triumph of Injustice.” The average American, meanwhile, paid 28%.
“The US tax system is a giant flat tax — except at the top, where it’s regressive,” Saez and Zucman wrote in “The Triumph of Injustice.” “As a group, and although their individual situations are not all the same, the Trumps, the Zuckerbergs, and the Buffetts of this world pay lower taxes than the teachers and secretaries.”
Payroll taxes and regressive sales tax increase poorer Americans’ overall tax burden, according to Saez and Zucman, while capital taxes that target investments typically held by the ultra-wealthy have been scaled back since 1980. Between 1950 and 1980, billionaires paid more than 50% in taxes, Saez and Zucman found.
Read more: The racial wealth gap in the US keeps getting bigger — and it could cost the economy as much as $1.5 trillion by 2028
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett wrote in The New York Times in 2011 that the percentage of his income that he pays in taxes has plummeted in recent decades, saying that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
“Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744,” Buffet wrote in The Times. “That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s …read more
Source:: Business Insider