The 400 wealthiest Americans paid less in taxes last year than people in any other income group for the first time in the U.S. history, and that’s thanks to decades of tax cuts and loopholes benefiting the rich.
The richest people in the country were subject to a 23% rate in local, state, and federal taxes a year after the often called #GOPTaxSscam Republican tax plan was passed into law.
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt showed in a graphic that the tax rate wealthy Americans have to pay has plummeted over the last seven decades, while middle-income households have paid roughly the same share of their incomes each year.
Watch how radically taxes on the wealthy have fallen over the past 70 years:
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) October 7, 2019
Rich Americans paid 70% of their income in taxes in 1950, and it’s a system Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested returning to. The 400 wealthiest people paid 47% of their income in taxes by 1980, and Leonhardt called the trend “maddening”.
He wrote that the U.S. tax system has become radically less progressive over the last 75 years.
The op-ed also points out the fact that billionaire Warren Buffet was dismissed by economists and journalists in 2012 when he said that his secretary paid a higher tax rate that he had to pay.
Leonhardt also added that office workers who pay a greater share of their earnings to contribute to services for the greater good than the wealthy CEOs of their companies are “the norm now”.
Many critics of the U.S. economic system praised the op-ed, and one of them was Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Many others wrote that the increasingly regressive tax system explains a variety of issues facing today’s working families.
On the same day the op-ed was published, though, CNBC released a report claiming that millennials are “stingy” and they are to blame for the sluggish economy.
Pippa Stevens suggested that millennials spend too much money on avocado toast and they save too much of their income.
She wrote that according to a research from Raymond James, this new generation, scarred by the financial crisis, is saving more than the free-spending boomers did before them, and it’s causing an economic imbalance.
AOC corrected CNBC, though, writing that millennials aren’t stingy, but they’re broke.