Over and over I am hearing the meme that, "the poor do not pay taxes". WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Please People try to focus here.
I am a low income person, and I can tell you I pay more taxes than one of the richest men in the world who lives in my state ~ Bill Gates. BTW, Mr Gates along with a PACCAR heiress and others in my state even put out a video begging that they pay something near the taxes I pay. This is because they know that indeed, THE POOR PAY MORE TAXES THAN THEY DO.
More over the fold.
You know, the going attitude is that poor people like me are ignorant. We "choose" poverty, and it is all our fault we are poor. This is because the general population is not aware the poverty in this country and around the world is an institution, it is not an individual choice. This institution of poverty is based on several things: racism, sexism, ageism, and classism. I can go in more as to why this is true in the comments, if you want.
Embedded institutions remain in place because they benefit someone. In the case of poverty it will remain because it benefits the classes above them and this is why eradicating poverty will never happen unless it is understood how YOU benefit from those who are poor. Most of all, the poor provide cheap labor (think of that cheap stuff you get at WalMart, Target, etc., all based on below poverty work that make people like the Waltons the richest family in the world while their workers suffer with below-poverty wages).
First of all one way the rest of the population benefits is with taxes. According to the Institute for Taxes and Economic Policy in every single state the poor pay a higher proportion of income than anyone else. Check your state out here: http://itepnet.org/... . In my state, I pay upwards of 17% of my meager income in taxes: http://www.itepnet.org/... while Bill Gates pays less than 2% of his income.
There are a few things I have to yell so protect your ears: TWO PERCENT OF $70 BILLION HURTS WAY LESS than 17% of less than $10,000. Get real, Mr Gates still has BILLIONS to live off after paying his taxes while a few thousand dollars for someone like me is devastating. Furthermore if Bill Gates alone out of the rich 1% in my state, paid what a welfare mother pays, not only would we be able to finance all the services that are being drastically cut, we would be a couple billions in the black. Remember we have TWO of the richest men in the world in my state so do the math and you will see THE RICH SHOULD PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE BECAUSE THEY SUFFER LESS THAN THE POOR FOR WHAT THEY SHOULD PAY.
And we are not even talking about corporations who not only don't pay any taxes at all, they get billions back. In my state Boeing, who gets all the consideration in the world here, not only doesn't pay taxes, they got $1 BILLION dollars back. Oh. Oh. I see ... Every legislator here defends this by saying, "Well Boeing gives us joooooobs ..."
Yeah right. Well ask their unions what jobs they give when they import thousands of people from all over the world and then lay them off, flooding the labor market and burdening the safety net every few years that Boeing REFUSES TO PAY. And ask these same unions why in exchange for all the perks Boeing has gotten over the past 100 years, they feel the need to move to a non-union "right to work" state while their CEOs rake in millions in bonuses, much less their pay? (crickets) .
I do not just mean to pick on Boeing, these same perks apply to many large industries here and around the country.
While these elites are not paying taxes, guess who pays for the roads, courts, and Commons that they use more than the poor?
Now. Let's get into the Poverty Industry that benefits upper income people far more than the poor. Let's start with large non-profits. The biggest nons in this country collect millions a year in state and federal funding and spend on the average of $64,000 per client. This is for "services" such as managing federally funded energy assistance, which at most comes to about $2000 or less per year per client, subsidized child care coming to at most $8000 per year, or emergency rental assistance coming to no more than $500.00, more often less than $50.00. Additionally these nons also collect millions in donations, most of it from the upper income people who use it for their tax deductions.
Where does the rest of that $64,000 go? Well for one, the rich LOVE to employ their relatives and spouses in those 6 figure "executive" jobs. I am not making this up to tell you that in a large non-profit, you can literally ascend the stairs and notice that the higher you go, the fancier the digs. At the bottom it is littered with broken electronics, furniture that has seen better days, and employees who cannot make the rent on their salaries. When you get to the top keeping this 6 figure salary in mind, you will see expensive furniture, original art on the walls, plush offices, and the newest in electronic equipment and an immaculately groomed and dressed executive. All tax deductible.
Many of these non-profits claim they are "teaching" the poor "employment skills". They use them as their galley slaves, employing the poor in below poverty wages and using unpaid "volunteers" (see WorkFare ~ the biggest union buster program around) who are on the floor selling their donated goods, running their warehouses, and driving their pick-up vans ~ none who are able to support a family on what they are paid ~ AND also these gally slave's pay is government subsidized.
I cannot say enough about small grassroots non-profits who actually do REAL work yet struggle and beg for every penny they use while these large non-profits roll in the dough ~ for their rich beneficiaries. These small nons are having bake sales, working for free or little incomes, and competing for the sliver that is left of the government pie, while trying to do the work these big nons refuse to do. Such as working hard to change a rigged system by lobbying (with free volunteers pouring their hearts out to bored legislators) and advocating for desperate families who are scrambling for services that are being cut more and more that they need.
And now you know the beneficiaries of poverty refuse to do any real work to eradicate poverty because they live off people in poverty
Yet idiots still spout the crap I do not pay taxes. While it seems my little $2000 a year is not as much, believe me, it it a horrible sacrifice and it hurts my family. $2000 makes all the difference for necessities needed when you cannot even afford to keep the heat on. As the federal funding dwindles and states have to make up what they lost, guess who THEY pretend "doesn't pay taxes" Loud whisper here "The POOR DON'T PAY TAXES!" Yet in truth people like me sacrifice a lot to pay taxes in order to make sure rich people and corporations do not scream because their taxes might go up 2%.
So yes the poor DO pay taxes and we sacrifice a lot to do it, dammit!
Cat in Seattle