Yes, America, we can
But if you want this
This section is a series of tabs that looks at specific loopholes versus alternative uses of that money. Loophole amounts come from either the Congressional Budget Office or the Govenment Accountability Office. Infrastructure costs are from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Additional information is in the Sources section below. Click on the headings below to expand each tab.
On the left side of each tab is a series of numbers. The top number in red is the amount of money that goes to the Top 10% every single year for each loophole. The top number in white is the amount that goes to the Top 1%.
Only amounts that go to the Top 10% are included. For example, many taxpayers in the Bottom 90% use the mortgage interest deduction or receive tax benefits for retirement accounts. These amounts are NOT included — only amounts that go to the Top 10% are used.
The other numbers are the amount of government services that are lost each year for every single taxpayer in the Bottom 90%.
It's what the government could have provided in services that would have benefited ALL Americans (like fixing roads or building new schools), but didn't — because Congress decided to donate that money to the Top 10% or to many of the world's most profitable corporations.
Yes, America, we can change this:
But if you want this Welfare for the Wealthy to ever stop, then It’s up to you – yes, YOU – to tell your elected officials to fix this. If We the People don't stand up, it won't change. And if it doesn't change, what’s to stop the Top 10% from taking even MORE of your money?
There are two types of tax expenditures: individual and corporate. The source for most of the individual loopholes is "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System" published by the Congressional Budget Office (May 2013). Official names for each of the individual loopholes are:
The source for "help the rich live even wealthier lives of luxury" is a combination of three tax proposals in President Obama's 2014 White House Budget. These are listed in the "Rebalance the Tax Code" section beginning on page 17:
Corporate loopholes are from "Corporate Tax Expenditures: Information on Estimated Revenue Losses and Related Federal Spending Programs" published by the Government Accountability Office (March 2013). These are:
I've included three corporate loophole proposals from the President's budget.
The source for "companies that pay their CEO's more than $1 million a year" is "Executive-Pay Tax Break Saved Fortune 500 Corporations $27 Billion Over the Past Three Years" published by the Citizens for Tax Justice (April 2013).
Infrastructure costs are from "America's Infrastructure Report Card" by the American Society of Civil Engineers. For more nformation on all tax loopholes, see Chapter 16 - Tax Expenditures in the Analytical Perspectives of the federal budget published by the White House.
This is a website created by a layperson for other laypeople. I'm not an economist — I'm just a regular person like you. There are no complicated statistical models or fancy econometrics here. It's just plain, simple math.
Many taxpayers use the mortgage interest deduction or receive tax benefits for retirement accounts. However, only amounts that go to the Top 10% are included.
The CBO's breakdown of who receives the most benefit from tax expenditures led me to the concept of the Bottom 90%. To get this, I multiplied the number of taxpayers (approximately 143 million in 2010) by 0.9 to get the number of taxpayers in the Bottom 90% (129 million). I then took each amount given to the Top 10% and divided that by 129 million. This gave the amount per Bottom 90% taxpayer that the government would have been able to provide in services, if Congress hadn't decided that Americans didn't need things like good roads or working bridges and dams.
If this were a great investment for them, then the economy would be doing great for the Bottom 90%. Instead, shrinking wages, shrinking benefits at work, and shrinking government services for the Bottom 90% — aka, the majority of Americans — are constantly being pitted against rising food, housing and transportation costs.
Bailout Welfare King Lloyd Blankfein (CEO of Goldman Sachs) says that "entitlements" for the Bottom 90% should be cut. "You’re going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people’s expectations — the entitlements and what people think that they’re going to get, because ... they’re not going to get it." He says "we can’t afford them". It's time to let him know that the "entitlements" that the Bottom 90% really can't afford are the loopholes that go to the very top. It's time to let the Top 10% pay their own way — just like the Bottom 90% do.
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