Leaked IRS Records Reveals Billionaire Avoidance

Leaked IRS Records Reveals Billionaire Avoidance

A new investigative report by Propublica reveals how billionaires use their resources to push the tax burden of funding the government onto workers. Propublica was able to obtain a large cache of IRS tax data over the last 15 years which allowed them to investigate the returns of the wealthiest Americans. 

While the median American household paid 14% of their income in taxes, billionaires are able to pay a much smaller percentage. For example, Warren Buffett’s wealth increased $24.3 billion between the years 2014-2018 but he paid $23.7 million in taxes (0.1% of wealth). 

The exposé also went into details about the methods by which the wealthy are able to avoid taxes. Firstly, through their private ownership of the means of production these individuals are able to acquire a large ownership stake in their respective companies and not pay appreciated capital gains if and until they are sold. 

Through the “step up” in cost basis the wealthy are able to eliminate gains on their investments at the time of their death and reduce taxes. Likewise, the ultra-wealthy have mastered utilizing tax avoidance strategies and methods to minimize the amount they pay in taxes relative to their massive wealth. 

As such, the cost of maintaining the U.S. government and the massive military budget is pushed to the greatest possible extent off the billionaire class and onto the wage workers. This release by Propublica is just further evidence that the capitalist class and their representatives in Congress have gamified the tax law in favor of their class interest. While the capitalists benefit from U.S. imperialism they will push any cost burden onto the working class in any possible manner as they continue to maximize their private wealth.

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