When a certain someone, who tells everything they are worth billions, but then only pays $750 (NYT 9/27/2020) in taxes, he says it’s because he’s smart. To me, that is extreme greed by someone who cares more about money than they do about people. But then again, this an apt description for the man in the Oval Office.
It is a travesty actually he only paid $750 in federal taxes in 2017 (in many of the past 18 years he has paid $0). That is less than I had to pay. That is less than many people I know had to pay. To the best of my knowledge, none of the people I know are allegedly billionaires. Yet, we all paid our fair share of taxes.
Let’s break this down a little based upon what the man said he made in 2018, $434.9 million. If, as we common working folk, he had paid about 27% of his income in federal taxes, the amount he should have paid, if he were like the rest of us common working folk, would have been roughly $117,423,000.
A little more perspective before we begin. A person earning $25,000 annually (which is what a whole load of working folk earn each year), would have to work 40 years to earn just $1,000,000. 20 years if you earn $50,000. Roughly 17% of households earn less than $25,000, with roughly 37% earning less than $50,000 annually, and 53% of workers earn less than $75,000 annually (data year 2019 statista.com).
Back to $117,423,000. That is a lot of money.
It would build roughly 29 miles of a four lane highway into a rural area to help with commerce. If only a two-lane road 58 miles. That would help a lot of families get to a highway or freeway quicker, and small farmers quicker to market.
It would construct roughly seven elementary schools housing about 624 students each. For small rural areas, with smaller populations and less tax base, it would build even more schools.
It would construct roughly 46 libraries. A library can be the lifeline of a small community. It is where an adult or student can access the Internet in search of a job, or to help with homework. A library can also be a place for teens to hang out in a safe space. It can be the hub where a food bank might be held, adult learning classes, or pre-school aged children’s weekly read-aloud.
It would provide 19,570 families $500 a month for a year to put food on their table via SNAP. This would go a long way towards providing food security to parents who have lost their jobs due to the current economic depression. Or a single parent trying to raise a child alone due to divorce, death, or abandonment by the second parent.
It would enable a 117 small communities to build a 10,000 square foot modular health center. These clinics could be the only health centers in rural areas across the country.
It would provide up to four years of tuition at a community college for 8,770 students. This would allow a great number of younger and older students to learn a trade, earn certification, or gain enough credit hours to transfers to a four-year institution. Even a two year college degree can increase the earning potential of a graduate by several thousand dollars a year, thus improving their own lives and that of their families.
It would, because we live in the age of Covid-19, and might have another pandemic before long, enable roughly 33 schools to upgrade their HVAC systems to provide better heating, cooling, and ventilation in the midst of a pandemic. This would help keep everyone in the school a little healthier, even when not in a pandemic.
Now, the man in the Oval Office is not the only billionaire in the country who doesn’t pay their fair share of taxes, not to forget the corporations who also cheat society out of paying their fair share. If the roughly 540 billionaires in the United States, and the at least 50 companies earning more than a billion dollars a year (like Apple, Amazon, Facebook) all paid their fair share, that total amount would be $159,300,000,000.
If they all paid a fair share of only 27% (and I would argue that isn’t nearly a fair share), it would equate to roughly:
- 39,825 miles of four-lane highways built
- 9,513 elementary schools built
- 62,421 libraries built
- 26,550,000 families fed for a year
- 159,300 health centers built
- 11,553,524 student’s tuition paid
- 44,772 school HVAC upgrades
That is a lot of good, and it is just the tip of the iceberg as there are many people and companies earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year not paying their fair share.
The above is just one of many reasons to vote Democrat up and down the ballot.
Democrats may not be perfect, but they do care about the working folks of our country and reigning in big business and billionaires. Just think of all the good, and the benefits, of having billionaires and big businesses paying their fair share of taxes. All of us, including them, would benefit in some small way through a reduction in health care costs if people can do preventative care; student well-being through newer and renovated schools; more people able to access good jobs, students able to conduct research, and a higher level of literacy; better roads; and fewer families having to worry about their next meal, helping them get back on their feet and reducing stress, meaning happier healthier family structures.
Remember to vote, and I urge you to vote blue from dog catcher to president. Let’s bring honor, decency, and good will back into our lives.