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Ten Numbers the Rich Would Like Fudged

Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, consumers, corporate, corruption, debt, dishonesty, economy, Entrepreneurs, environment, ethics, government, investments, labor, lies, marketing, money, politics, society )

- 2040 days ago -
The numbers reveal the deadening effects of inequality in our country, and confirm that tax avoidance, rather than a lack of middle-class initiative, is the cause.

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Kit B (276)
Monday November 19, 2012, 3:34 pm
(photo: withayou via flickr)

1. Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs.

According to both Marketwatch and economist Edward Wolff, over 90 percent of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), personal business accounts, the stock market, and real estate. Only 3.6 percent of taxpayers in the top .1% were classified as entrepreneurs based on 2004 tax returns. A 2009 Kauffman Foundation study found that the great majority of entrepreneurs come from middle-class backgrounds, with less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs coming from very rich or very poor backgrounds.

2. Only FOUR OUT OF 150 countries have more wealth inequality than us.

In a world listing compiled by a reputable research team (which nevertheless prompted double-checking), the U.S. has greater wealth inequality than every measured country in the world except for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Denmark, and Switzerland.

3. An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.

The Tax Justice Network estimated that between $21 and $32 trillion is hidden offshore, untaxed. With Americans making up 40% of the world's Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, that's $8 to $12 trillion in U.S. money stashed in far-off hiding places.

Based on a historical stock market return of 6%, up to $750 billion of income is lost to the U.S. every year, resulting in a tax loss of about $260 billion.

4. Corporations stopped paying HALF OF THEIR TAXES after the recession.

After paying an average of 22.5% from 1987 to 2008, corporations have paid an annual rate of 10% since. This represents a sudden $250 billion annual loss in taxes.

U.S. corporations have shown a pattern of tax reluctance for more than 50 years, despite building their businesses with American research and infrastructure. They've passed the responsibility on to their workers. For every dollar of workers' payroll tax paid in the 1950s, corporations paid three dollars. Now it's 22 cents.

5. Just TEN Americans made a total of FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS in one year.

That's enough to pay the salaries of over a million nurses or teachers or emergency responders.

That's enough, according to 2008 estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN's World Food Program, to feed the 870 million people in the world who are lacking sufficient food.

For the free-market advocates who say "they've earned it": Point #1 above makes it clear how the wealthy make their money.

6. Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.

Another stat that required a double-check. Based on research by the Tax Policy Center, tax deferrals and deductions and other forms of tax expenditures (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes), which largely benefit the rich, are worth about 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion.

Other sources have estimated that about two-thirds of the annual $850 billion in tax expenditures goes to the top quintile of taxpayers.

7. The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development reported that median wealth for black and Hispanic women is a little over $100. That's much less than one percent of the median wealth for single white women ($41,500).

Other studies confirm the racially-charged economic inequality in our country. For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.

8. Elderly and disabled food stamp recipients get $4.30 A DAY FOR FOOD.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has dropped significantly over the past 15 years, serving only about a quarter of the families in poverty, and paying less than $400 per month for a family of three for housing and other necessities. Ninety percent of the available benefits go to the elderly, the disabled, or working households.

Food stamp recipients get $4.30 a day.

9. Young adults have lost TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR NET WORTH since 1984.

21- to 35-year-olds: Your median net worth has dropped 68% since 1984. It's now less than $4,000.

That $4,000 has to pay for student loans that average $27,200. Or, if you're still in school, for $12,700 in credit card debt.

With an unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds of almost 50%, two out of every five recent college graduates are living with their parents. But your favorite company may be hiring. Apple, which makes a profit of $420,000 per employee, can pay you about $12 per hour.

10. The American public paid about FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS to bail out the banks.

That's about the same amount of money made by America's richest 10% in one year. But we all paid for the bailout. And because of it, we lost the opportunity for jobs, mortgage relief, and educational funding.

Bonus for the super-rich: A QUADRILLION DOLLARS in securities trading nets ZERO sales tax revenue for the U.S.

The world derivatives market is estimated to be worth over a quadrillion dollars (a thousand trillion). At least $200 trillion of that is in the United States. In 2011 the Chicago Mercantile Exchange reported a trading volume of over $1 quadrillion on 3.4 billion annual contracts.

A quadrillion dollars. A sales tax of ONE-TENTH OF A PENNY on a quadrillion dollars could pay off the deficit. But the total sales tax was ZERO.

It's not surprising that the very rich would like to fudge the numbers, as they have the nation.

by Paul Buchheit | Common Dreams |

Kit B (276)
Monday November 19, 2012, 6:29 pm

From the National Women's Law Center:

MYTH: If we raise taxes on the richest 2%, it will kill jobs.

FACT: We've seen that trickle-down economics doesn't work. We had much stronger job growth after President Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans than after President Bush cut them. And, allowing the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two percent to expire would generate nearly $1 trillion in savings. This much-needed revenue would allow us to call off the looming and draconian automatic cuts to programs that are also scheduled to take place. Plus, it would let us invest in human capital as well as physical infrastructure. When so many Americans can't find work, it's important to support programs that create good jobs and long-term economic growth.

MYTH: We have to cut Social Security or it won't be around for future generations.

FACT: Social Security benefits are already modest. They average just over $12,100 a year for women 65 and older yet represent the majority of their income. We don't need to cut benefits that women have earned and depend on to keep Social Security strong. Even if we make no changes, Social Security can pay 100 percent of promised benefits for the next 20 years and 75 percent of promised benefits after that. We could just about eliminate the entire shortfall with a simple adjustment: ask everyone, including the very wealthy, to make payroll tax contributions on all their earnings, the way the vast majority of Americans do.

MYTH: Medicaid is worse than no coverage at all.

FACT: People with Medicaid coverage have better access to health care, including preventive services, are more likely to report being in good to excellent health, are less likely to experience unpaid medical bills, and have significantly lower overall mortality rates than individuals without insurance. Medicaid covers important women's health services, including family planning, comprehensive maternity care, preventive care, treatment for and management of chronic conditions, breast and cervical cancer treatment, and long-term services and supports. Many Medicaid programs also cover supportive services that help low-income women access the health care system and manage their health, including case management, transportation, and childbirth and infant education services.

Terrie Williams (798)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 12:08 am
Eat the rich.....

Robert O (12)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 12:17 am
Thanks Kit.

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 2:07 am
Really amazing numbers. Take money out of politics and tax the rich!

Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 2:44 am
I am surprised the list is not longer Thanks Kit

Gloria picchetti (304)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 4:37 am
If tax cuts created jobs why aren't we working?

Sheryl G (360)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 9:58 am
Good comments by Gloria, Rose, Giana, Terrie (ya, the ole' let em' eat cake has been thrown upon us long enough so sounds good to me) JLA, Roseann, and Kit for the article.

I wish we could afford to place one of these in everyone's mailbox but even at that we'd still have the disbelievers who listen too much to the Diane O's. I loved her comment when she said on one of the threads, that she didn't think one million dollars was much money. Ya, ok, I see where you are. For some people will never make a million perhaps in their entire lifetime, but she was talking per year. At the wages that many work today, that is a far off thought, a million dollars. With the continued thieving of the system, the Super Rich are going to make sure many don't ever see a million dollars or any where close to it.

As for the 4 Countries that are mentioned in the number 2 on the list, at least I know in Denmark and Switzerland they have Universal Health Care, here in the US we don't even get that.


Nancy M (169)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 12:34 pm
Terrie- WOW.

Great article Kit. I have seen many of these before but not all. I remember one of the last conversation I had with my Dad, the lifelong conservative, before he died. Early 2009, after the crash and after Obama was elected. I think before Obama took office. I asked him where all the money went. Housing bubbled, stocks, bubbled, banks bubbled, etc. He shook his head and said it's gone. I asked if it were possibly in the hands of the few in offshore accounts. He said that was probably true and it would be the death of America.

David C (129)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 5:43 pm

Vanessa Escobar (9)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 6:03 pm

Vanessa Escobar (9)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 6:04 pm

Nancy M (169)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 7:16 am
Dave, that is so true. It seems the majority of our economy is a war economy. Without a war, where are the jobs?

Kit B (276)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 8:11 am

Nancy, that made me think. I can not think of a time in US history that the job market was not directly or indirectly related to a war industry. Maybe, before the war of Independence, most of our meager economy was trade with England and France for our fishing "industry" and our agricultural products. Once the DuPont family brought the manufacturer of "gun powder" to our shores, it does seem that war became good business and highly profitable for the few.

Nancy M (169)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 8:38 am
I guess it is also a matter of how much of our GDP goes to war. And how much of the federal budget. Has it changed? Don't forget to throw in all the contractors. Well, if we are researching, developing, and manufacturing items that could also be used in other ways........

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 3:42 am
Interesting numbers.
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