“John Paulson, the most successful hedge-fund manager of all, bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made himself $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero. Congress lets hedge-fund managers earn all they can now and pay their taxes years from now. In 2007, Congress debated whether hedge-fund managers should pay the top tax rate that applies to wages, bonuses and other compensation for their labors, which is 35 percent. That tax rate starts at about $300,000 of taxable income—not even pocket change to Paulson, but almost 12 years of gross pay to the median-wage worker.”
This is a stunning, eye-opening article about taxes in the USA. Reading it made my head swoon – there’s so much corruption, deception, and outright lying going on when it comes to the issue of taxes, it makes you wonder how much longer this can continue. I’d classify myself as “anti-unnecessary tax” – I have no problem paying taxes every year because I know that my taxes go toward funding the things that make the lives of my family better: healthcare, defence, roads, police, fire-fighters, etc. I don’t embrace extra taxes, however; the GST we have in Canada (currently at 5%) irks me because it’s a tax everyone has to pay, regardless of income level, and when you combine it with the taxes we already pay on fuel, property, etc. it adds up. Paying taxes are part of what it means to live in a society where services are provided though, and seeing people – very wealthy people – manage to get away with paying nothing is infuriating.