Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the richest person ($75 billion), and Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison and Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, are the other Americans on the list. (Spain's Amancio Orrega and Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu are the remaining two.)
Oxfam's policy adviser, Max Laweson, cited the "Panama Papers," leaked in 2016, in saying billionaires mostly don't pay their share of taxes (often paying less thas "than their cleaner or their secretary"), thus creating a global trust crisis.
Implications of the crisis are "deep and wide-ranging," according to Oxfam CEO Richard Edelman, wo said the consequence is virulent populism and nationalism, which along with the "emergene or a media echo chamber" shuts out opposing views and magnifies a "cycle of distrust."
"The lack of trust in media has also given rise to the fake-news phenomenon and politicians speaking directly to the masses," Edelman said.
President-elect Trump's cabinet, which includes seven prospective members worth a combined $11 billion, would be the richest cabinet in U.S. history, according to CBSnews.com. During the campaign, Trump proposed to cut taxes by $6 trillon over 10 years, with steep tax rate cuts for corporations and higher-income individuals, Latimes.com reported.
Trump's tax plan would give each of the richest 0.1 percent of American households an average $1.1 million tax cut while giving each of the poorest 20 percent of households a tax cut of $110, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, as reported in the Seattle Times.
Trump, himself, acknowledged Oct. 9 that he used a $916 million loss reported on his 1995 tax return to avoid paying any personal income tax for up to 18 years, the New York Times reported Oct. 9, 2016.
The number of billionaires in the U.S. has increased tenfold since 2000, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders noted in October 2016.
America's 50 largest companies received $27 back in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts for each dollar they paid in taxes between 2008 and 2014, according to Nicholas Kristof, citing a study compiled by Oxfam America.
Kristof said another study found that major corporation tax dodging cost the U.S. Treasury up to $111 billion a year, and he cited a USA Today analysis showing that, among the Standard and Poor's index 500 corporations, 27 were both profitiable in 2015 and yet paid no net income tax globally.
Overall, he wrote, the corporate taxation share in federal revenue has declined from 32 percent in 1952 to 11 percent -- while the share coming from payroll taxes has climbed.
The total amount for all Fortune 500 companies held in offshore accounts has reached $2.4 trillion -- which would result in a federal tax bill of more than $600 million, according to Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times, whop cited Citizens for Tax Justice, a tax-policy think tank.
The top tax-dodgers are Pfizer, Apple, Microsoft (all with over $100 billion each overseas), and Amazon and Expedia both have $1.5 billion in profits off shore as well (Costco, Starbucks and Paccar are on the list too), Westneat wrote.
The 20 wealthiest Americans are worth more than the poorer half of the entire American population, Nicholas Kristof reported in February 2016, citing a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.
The report also said Forbes' wealthiest 100 Americans together are worth
as much as all African-Americans (over 42 million people or roughly 14%
of the American population).
Kristof reported that the pharmaceutical industry used lobbying to get Congress to prohibit the government from bargaining for drug prices in Medicare. The ban amounts to a $50 billion annual gift to the industry.
About 60 donations to 2016 presidential campaigns of $1 million or more (Hedge fund biggie Robert Mercer gave $11 million) accounted for a third of more than $380 million raised in the first six months of 2015, according to the Associated Press on Aug. 2, 2015.
Boeing Corporation is the biggest recipient of state and local tax incentives, with more that $13 billion of them, according to GoodJobsFirst.org as reported in the Seattle Times on March 17, 2015. The former Seattle-based corporation compiled enough subsidies from Washington state to make Washington the second biggest tax-incentive provider (behind New York). Boeing also was a winner of federal subsidies and loans, totalling more than $450 million in subsidies and $64 billion in loans.
The wealthiest 10% of Amercians owned about 80% of stock at the end of 2014, according to the Federal Reserve and as reported by the Seattle Times on March 13, 2015.
In March 2015, Forbes.com said the top 10 richest billionaires (see
below) are Bill
Gates ($79.2 billion), Carlos Slim Helu ($77.1 billion), Warren Buffet
($727 billion), Amanacio Ortega ($64.5 billion), Larry Ellison ($54.3
billion), the Koch brothers, Charles Koch ($42.9 billion) and David Koch
($42.9 billion) -- together, the richest by far -- and Christy and
Jim Walton ($41.7 and 40.6 billion), and completing the list Liliane
Bettencourt ($40.1 billion)
On Jan. 15, 2015, counterpunch.org published a chart showing that in the last 40 years (since 1950), hourly compensation for American workers has increased only 113.1% while U.S. productivity has increased 254.3%.
The website's article quoted economist Lawrence Mishel, who noted that
1973 and 2011, the growth of "real hourly compensation of the median
worker" increased by just 10.7%. (In the same period, productivity
increased over 150%.)
The biggest gain went to Jack Ma, co-founder of China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group -- he added $25.1 billion to his fortune.
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) added $13.7 billion to his wealth to become the world's second richest person (passing Mexican telecommunications billionaire, Carlos Slim, to take over runnerup spot billionaire Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, who added $9.1 billion).
As of Dec. 31, 2014, Gates was worth $86.6 billion; Buffett, $73.8 billion; Slim, $72.6 billion.
The Bloomberg index listed conservative brothers, Charles and Paul Koch, whose biggest asset is Georgia-Pacific, at just over $50 billion each -- number five and six on the richest billionaires list.
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) saw his fortune gain $10.6 billion -- he was 13th riches on the list and, as of Dec. 31, 2014, was worth $34.5 billion.
in 2014 made about 257 times the average worker's salary, an increase
from 181 times in 2009 (in 2013, pay for U.S. workers as a whole increased
1.3 percent), according to Associated Press reporter Josh Boak in the May
29, 2014, Seattle Times.
The year 2013 was the fourth year in a row that CEO compensation increased -- the average CEO of an S&P 500 company earned $10.5 million, up 8.8 percent from $9.6 in 2012, Boak wrote, citing an Associated Press/Equilar pay study.
By 2004, the top 1 percent of Americans took 16% of national income -- whereas in Japan, it took a little over 8% and Sweden, it took just under 6%, according to TooMuchOnline.org.
One percent of the world's adults own 40% of the world's wealth -- and most of the richest people live in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific nations, according to a U.N. University report. (The average adult wealth is $181,000 in Japan and $144,000 in the U.S. as compared, for example, to Indonesia with $1,400.)
The wealthiest 20% of households own 50% of U.S. wealth the Census Bureau showed in 2002 -- that's up from 44 percent in 1973.
For the bottom 20%, their share is now only 3.5%, down from 4.2% in 1973.
Now, 10% own 80% of the nation's property -- and 13,000 of its richest families have net worth equal to the 20 million poorest families.
By mid-2010, the pre-Bush budget surplus of $5.6 trillion had become a debt of $13 trillion, according to http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock (as of 3.25.10) -- see the clock for the current debt total: National debt clock.
The richest 1% of Americans now own 37% of the wealth -- more than the poorest 90%.
16 million Americans now live in deep poverty (annual income less than $9,903) -- a grown of 26% from 2000 to 2005, according to a McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures.
The percent of American poor in extreme poverty has grown from 29.9% in 1975 to 43.1% in 2005.
Over the last 20 years, America has had the highest or nearly highest poverty rates for individual adults, families and children among 31 developed countries (Luxembourg Income Study).
The added tax breaks of 2003 similarly benefited the rich (savings for those with income under $10,000 will be $5, with 8 million low-income taxpayers not receiving anything and another 6.5 million low-income taxpayers not receiving a $400 child-care tax credit -- which excludes 12 million children).
The Seattle P-I reported that under the tax cuts, on their 2004 taxes, President Bush saved over $29,000 and Vice President Cheney, $81,336.
For those with incomes over $1 million, tax savings was $88,873
Prior to that, the tax burden for the richest 1% increased by 48% between 1979 and 1997 -- but their income grew 157% (to an average of $677,900 -- up from $263,700 in 1979).
That means that in 1979, the richest 1% of families made 10 times that of the average family but by 1997 were making 23 times the amount -- and the gap is still growing.
Now, the nation's 10 highest paid CEOs make $154 million a year as opposed to the $3.5 million made by the top 10 in 1981.
In 1974, the average CEO made 34 times as much as a production or non-supervisor worker.
In 1990, it was 96 times as much.
In 2000, it was 458 times as much.
The average CEO of a major corporation makes $13.1 million a year in compensation (about $36,000 a day).
An estimated 61 percent of U.S. corporations paid no federal taxes between 1996 and 2000.
CEOs averaged $1.3 million in 1980 (in year 2000 dollars) and $13.1 million in 2000.
The 2001 income tax booklet shows that half the federal income for Fiscal Year 2000 came from personal income tax. Corporations provided just 10%.
According to Harpers (July 2004) 61 percent of U.S. corporations paid no federal taxes between 1996 and 2000.
In October 2004, Congress passed and President Bush [later signed] a tax-cut bill of $136 billion for corporations, the Seattle P-I reported Oct. 12, 2004.
The same day, the P-I reported that one in five jobs in America earns poverty-level wages, meaning 39 million Americans earn barely enough to cover basic needs.
1.4 million more people are without health insurance
2 million jobs have been lost in the private sector
The budget surplus of $5.6 trillion has become a deficit of $400 billion
Economic growth has been 1%, the lowest of any presidency in 50 years
Value of stocks held by Americans dropped $4.5 trillion, equal to a 30 percent drop in the value of IRAs and 401(k) plans
$2 trillion has been transferred from Social Security taxes to the non-Social Security budget.
The amount by which total Social Security contributions since 1983 exceed total benefit payments since then: $999 billion -- (Harpers said in July 2004, citing Social Security Administration in Baltimore)
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Social Security trust fund will not run out until 2052, but even after that Social Security revenues will cover 81% of the promised benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office found that extending SS into the 22nd Century with no change in benefits will require additional revenues that amount to only 0.54% of GDP -- that's less than 3% of federal spending.
According to columnist Paul Krugman (March 13, 2005 -- Seattle P-I), Social Security officials have been partisan and deputy commissioner James Lockhard has been giving misinformation at pro-privatization rallies. Also, the Social Security Administration has begun to slant the information provided in the information it gives the public.
An example of the bias is the March 24, 2005, announcement by the trustees reported in the Seattle P-I that suddenly the system will now go broke in 2041 -- prompting Nevada Sen. Harry Reid to say that the SS crisis exists only in the minds of the Republicans.
Krugman also says that the proposal would harm the middle class, with workers of average pay ($37,000) facing cuts of 10% when they retire in 2075, workers earning the equivalent of $58,000 today being cut by 13% but million income Americans would see cuts of only 1%.
The AARP Bulletin in April 2005 listed NINE ways [see similarity to AP 2012 solutions above] other than privatization to tune up Social Security: 1) Raise the cap to allow those making over $90,000 to be taxed; 2) Increase payroll tax rate slightly; 3) Raise the taxation on SS benefits; 4) Preserve some estate tax and dedicate it to SS; 5) Make SS universal (so that the 30% of state and local workers currently outside the system are inside; 6) Invest some of the SS trust in indexed funds; 7) Adjust the Cost of Living Adjustment 8) Raise retirement age; 9) Index benefits to prices, not wages.
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