While working men and women, the owners of small businesses, and senior citizens struggle to pay their tax bills each year, billionaires in this country are being allowed to dodge taxes. That’s just plain wrong and it must be stopped. The loopholes in our federal tax laws favor the rich and penalize all others. Last month, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a Senate subcommittee, started an investigation of the proliferation of offshore tax abuses. The committee has heard from several individuals who tried to use a complicated scheme to avoid taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars in capital gains. At least, that appears to be a start. But, it must go much deeper and really get to the heart of the matter.
Tax shelters are marketed to the rich and are designed to allow them to abuse the system. The subcommittee said that it would recommend changes in the federal tax law to halt offshore tax abuses. In my opinion, that is something that is long overdue. In addition to individuals, we have larger corporations which use offshore mailing addresses to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. I would like to hear an explanation for why the tax code gives tax breaks to companies that move U.S. jobs oversees. In my opinion, this makes no sense whatsoever. A congressional study in 2000 found that 63% of U.S. corporations paid no income taxes. According to the study, between 1990 and 2000, corporate profits rose 93% while the average pay for CEOs increased by 571%. As a result, billions of dollars are lost by the government each year. Add to all of this the Bush tax cuts for the rich and that really compounds the problem.
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