Welcome to Taxation!
Income inequality is the highest that it has ever been in American history. The way our country currently taxes only exacerbates this problem. If someone has enough money, they can avoid taxes, which means that they are pushing that expense on those who don’t have enough money; after all, the money has to come from someone in order to keep our country running. By avoiding taxes, the rich aren’t being smart, as President Trump would have you believe, they are being unfair, forcing the working classes to pay more even though they have less. This means that the rich are enjoying the same benefits of society, like paved roads and clean water, without paying for the costs.
Politicians tell us that taxation is complicated, but that just isn’t true. Taxes are simple before politicians obfuscate them in order to protect their jobs and their wealthy donors. People’s Tax Page is here to cut through the smoke and mirrors and show you how taxes actually work. We are here to break down what can taxed (wealth), what actually is taxed (the tax base), how much of something can be taxed (the tax rate), when it is taxed (the timing of the tax), and who is taxed (known as the taxable unit). After that, we will show you how some people can avoid taxes and, in doing so, push the burden of financing our nation onto the working classes and onto today and tomorrow’s youth.
Imagine two people. The first person earns a salary and pays taxes directly out of every paycheck. These taxes go to maintaining roads, keeping the water supply healthy, providing health care, even building athletic stadiums for entertainment. The second person is wealthy and owns a business that builds roads and the Tirebiters, an athletic team. The second person is able to avoid paying taxes even though they make the same use of the roads and water as the first person, and even profits when the first person’s taxes are spent on new roads and a new stadium (after all, he builds the roads and now the Tirebiters are more valuable).
What we ultimately propose here is not a way of stealing money from the rich. We are here to show you that the rich are currently stealing money from everyone else, and there is a simpler tax system that would end this highway robbery. Many wealthy people recognize the unfairness of the current system and advocate for change. Bill Gates has discussed the advantages of focusing on spending taxes and not income taxes; Abigail Disney openly discusses the absurdity of her low tax rates. The ideas laid out here are discussed in more depth in Fair not Flat, Professor McCaffery’s book which goes into more detail for why a progressive spending tax a simpler and fairer way to tax.