The New York Times has a story about Washington lobbyists’ effectiveness in convincing Congress to pass tax breaks that benefit the wealthy.
Just one of those tax breaks – capital gains and dividends – costs an estimated $161 billion a year. That would pay not just for the Sequester cuts, but also for all the additional cuts that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan wants to make in next year’s federal budget.
No surprise, the top 1% get 75% of the benefit of that particular tax break. (The bottom 60% of taxpayers get only 1% of the benefit.)
Another way to look at it? The amount the 1% gets from the unearned income tax break – just in a single year – would pay for 10 years of Paul Ryan’s cuts to Medicare.
If you haven’t already, read Sunday’s post about corporate tax breaks.
Wondering why you should take the time to learn about this? The next few budget battles are going to come down to questions of revenue versus cuts, and corporate welfare versus Social Security and Medicare. Basically, it’s going to be a question of whose interests our government will serve: the people who can afford to hire lobbyists? Or the very tired and distracted middle class?
The House GOP is still marching to the same drummer they have been following since 2001. Nothing much is going to change in Washington, unless we the people work to change it.