As you're doing your holiday shopping this season, think about this: While big brand names travel hither, thither and yon to play Milk the Taxpayer, Amazon is totally rewriting the rules of the taxpayer subsidies game, super-sizing its piles of public money without even having to go door to door.
Hightower: The Definition of Obscenity Is the Huge Money and Benefits Our Gov't Hands Over to Amazon
Jeffrey Preston Bezos is the man of unbounded ambition who founded Amazon, the online retailing colossus that trumpets itself as "Earth's most customer-centric company." He's considered a model of tech wizardry for having totally reinvented retail marketing for our smart-phone, globally-linked age. Amazon peddles a cornucopia of goods through a convenient "1-click" ordering system, rapidly delivering the goods right to your doorstep.
The entire 2017 safety net is about $850 billion, compared to over $1.5 trillion for tax expenditures, most of which are for rich Americans.
The Unrelenting Wealth Grab by the 1%
The average 1% household increased its wealth by $3 million in 2016. Since much of that was in the form of stock gains, they paid tax on only a small part of their incomes, and then took an average of about $200,000 per household in tax subsidies. When all forms of taxes and income and capital gains are considered, the richest 1% pay lower tax rates than the poorest 20% of Americans.
The Rich Old White Guy's Safety Net: Retirement and Health Care
Wealthy people are living longer, so they're getting much more of the late-life benefits. A Brookings report estimates that lowest-quintile Americans born in 1960 will receive "only 78 percent of the lifetime Medicare benefits received by the top income quintile."
For several decades, state and local governments have been showering private businesses with tax breaks and direct subsidies based on the theory that this practice fosters economic development and, therefore, job growth. But does it? New York State’s experience indicates that, when it comes to producing jobs, corporate welfare programs are a bad investment.
Of the 30 largest U.S. corporations, seven paid their CEO more last year than they paid Uncle Sam.
Even by the anything-goes ethical code of the corporate jungle, Amazon.com’s alpha male, Jeff Bezos, is considered a ruthless predator by businesses that deal with him. As overlord of Amazon, by far the largest online marketer in the world (with more sales than the next nine US online retailers combined), Bezos has the monopoly power to stalk, weaken, and even kill off retail competitors—going after such giants as Barnes & Noble and Walmart and draining the lifeblood from hundreds of smaller Main Street shops. He also goes for the throats of both large and small businesses that supply the millions of products his online behemoth sells. They’re lured into Amazon by its unparalleled database of some 200 million customers, but once in, they face unrelenting pressure to lower what they charge Amazon for their products, compelled by the company to give it much better deals than other retailers can extract.
Republicans say they're pro-life, but in reality, they're pro-death.
Los Angeles paid at least $204 million in fees to Wall Street in 2013, and probably significantly more, in addition to principle and interest payments, according to the report, "No Small Fees: LA Spends More on Wall Street than Our Streets." The study, issued today by a coalition of unions and community organizations, shows that due to revenue losses from the “Great Recession,” L.A. "all but stopped repairing sidewalks, clearing alleys and installing speed bumps. It stopped inspecting sewers, resulting in twice the number of sewer overflows." L.A. spends at least $51 million more in Wall Street in fees than it allocates for its entire budget for the Bureau of Street Services.
The Rich Get Tax Breaks for Destroying Jobs? How the Capital Gains Tax Helps the Wealthy and Hurts the Rest of Us
Why are "capital gains" taxes so much lower than taxes on other income? The reason capital gains taxes are lower is because most of the income of the rich is from capital gains. And the reason most of the income of the rich is from capital gains is because capital gains taxes are lower.
With April 15 upon us, I’d like to talk about taxes. Not about the part of the tax code that generates revenues. You’ve already heard enough about the taxes you pay to last a lifetime, and the election campaign has just begun. Instead, I’ll focus on the less visited topic of the taxes we don’t pay, the part of the tax code that reduces revenues.
How Lobbyists and Charlie Rangel Diverted Money From Schools Into Tax Breaks for a Liquor Conglomerate
A transfer of billions of dollars in federal aid from public projects in Puerto Rico to one of the world's largest liquor conglomerates over the next 30 years continues to move forward without any objection from Congress.