Anand Giridharadas: Billionaire Tax Avoidance Shows ‘Social Contract Built On Madness’

Anand Giridharadas joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the ProPublica report that the country’s 25 wealthiest individuals pay little-to-no income tax. Giridharadas says if the government doesn’t start taxing the ultra-rich on their wealth instead of their income, we will continue the “slouch toward plutocracy.”
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Drawing upon his experience as a former chief of staff on the Senate Finance Committee and as an Emmy-winning executive producer and writer of "The West Wing," Lawrence O'Donnell examines the compelling and impactful political stories of the day. O'Donnell convenes diverse panels of guests, including a variety of politicians and cultural voices, to offer unique viewpoints and perspective. In his signature style, O'Donnell highlights the latest news developments and offers his take on the political stories driving the national conversation.

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  1. If case you need reminder whose side the GQP is on, the 2017 t’rump tax cuts for corporations was permanent but the cuts for middle class workers end in 2025.

    1. There is no such thing as “permanent” tax cuts as some maintain. Congress has the power to levy taxes and can change them any way they want, if they have the will. And that’s a big “if”.

    1. Correct!
      Years ago on Bill Maher, the Reagan person in charge of coming up with the theory, term, and guiding its implemention fessed up and openly confessed it to be a scam (a redistribution of wealth to the top) and that Reagan not only knew it to be a scam to benefit his corporate and political buddies but also approved it without a word of protest.

    2. @El Ram Back before that, the unions were beginning to fail. The minimum wage didn’t mean much. Because the corporations had a choice. Pay taxes or expand and/or give your people more benefits. Trickle down let them put it all in their pockets. Seems the GOP has been screwing the people for decades.

    3. Reagan, Thatcher and many others embraced the nobel prize winning social-economic theory, neoliberalism and the privatisation of all public services and assets, deregulation, casualisation of labor, the war on the so-called welfare state and lowering those ‘evil’ taxes for the trickle di trickle da trickery done effects

  2. Normal people jus don’t understand that the OBSCENELY WEALTHY pay an army of CPA’s a lot of money to “fix” their taxes!

    1. Exactly. There is an elite industry of tax avoidance professionals who make sure that any “trickles” from the coffers of billionaires land in their own buckets. They, too, avoid taxation. Such a racket!

  3. This all started under Ronnie “Bedtime for Bonzo” Reagan. Reagan despised-loathed working class people.

    1. Who elects those politicians? We do. Democratic voters have elected many good politicians who want to raise tax rates on the wealthy, and to redistribute wealth among the poor and middle class to create greater income and wealth equity. Republicans keep electing corrupt politicians in the back pocket of plutocrats. It is Reich-wing politicians, demagogues, and media which sells the pipe dream of opportunity and wealth to voters, when opportunity to raise oneself to greater income levels has actually decreased in America, while increasing in many European nations, who tax the wealthy at higher rates than the U.S. and provide far fewer loopholes. It is Republicans who have pushed neo-liberal economics, such as “trickle-down” economics, which is a proven farce. Such ruses to benefit the wealthy have affected voters, and had an affect on some Democratic politicians, who are often merely reflecting the will of their constituents. Have long wished that Democrats would stick to their guns, stick to representing the poor, the workers, the middle-class, which would benefit them more in the end, anyway. Democrats need to do a better job of messaging and educating voters, a better job of organizing, instead of allowing themselves to be pushed around by the propaganda of plutocrats like the Koch brothers, Reich-wing demagogues, politicians, and media who are only exploiting their Republican voters, many of whom are poor and in the lower middle class. Democrats—-both politicians and voters—-need to fight back hard against unjust labels like “socialists” affixed to them by the Republican propaganda machine, not allowing it to influence our policies and goals, instead of caving and letting Republicans move the goal posts ever farther to the right towards fascism and plutocracy.

      “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

  4. So is it that they are Over-Charging everybody for the “Service” they provide, milking Internet Business & Users, to increase profits, as well as just being inconsiderate selfish arseholes, while a lot of people, who may use their services, or even work in their businesses, live on the the side of a road, and require help with food to survive ?…

  5. Most citizens make a wage worth *much* less than the worth of their labor, pay much more for goods and services than those reasonably are worth, and pay a *much* larger share of their income in taxes than the wealthy class.

    1. The income from stocks should be considered to be income where they bought the stocks as no one else would have the ability to have the money that was given to them to be untaxed if they bought stocks. The only other way that stock purchases would be tax deductible is if it was considered to be a contribution to a 401(k), but 401(k)’s have tax caps on them. 2021’s cap if my Google search is right is $58,000. The big problem with this is since the owner buys stocks in the beginning from nothing, the value of this income looks to be extremely ill-defined.
      The other way to consider it is a gift paid in taxation from the corporation. Although this looks like it is a gift as much as a $1 property transfer looks to be a legal purchase.

  6. Don’t pay more than Traitor Trump’s $750 tax.
    Add a note that you will NOT pay more than Traitor Trump does.
    Where are the loopholes for the majority?

  7. Every great civilization has collapsed operating under the same
    model that we are operating under.

  8. Did they mention the $10 billion Bezos just got from the gov’t for his Blue Origins?

  9. Interesting article in the New York Time today, with regards to Jeff Bozos outlook toward his employees. I will never spent a penny supporting Amazon.

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