Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Man and the Moochers

So today's the day we all sit around complaining about how much we have to pay in taxes to support those lazy good-for-nothing moochers who live the good life on the government's dime. You know, these guys:
On tax day, when millions of American taxpayers and small businesses pay their fair share to support critical public services and the economy, they will also get stuck with a multi-billion dollar tax bill to cover the massive subsidies and tax breaks that benefit the country’s largest employer and richest family. 
Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States,1 with 1.4 million employees.2 The company, which is number one on the Fortune 500 in 2013 and number two on the Global 500,3 had $16 billion in profits last year on revenues of $473 billion.4 The Walton family, which owns more than 50 percent of Walmart shares,5 reaps billions in annual dividends from the company.6 The six Walton heirs are the wealthiest family in America, with a net worth of $148.8 billion.7 Collectively, these six Waltons have more wealth than 49 million American families combined.8 
This report finds that the American public is providing enormous tax breaks and tax subsidies to Walmart and the Walton family, further boosting corporate profits and the family’s already massive wealth at everyone else’s expense. 
The whole report is worth reading, although it is guaranteed to make you angry. The crazy thing is this doesn't begin to take into account all of the ways the Waltons benefit at our expense. The report only focuses on the taxes they avoid paying, and the way we subsidize their low-paid workforce, but what about all of the extra services they use (that they clearly aren't paying for)?

How many times do you use the police each year compared to Wal-Mart stores across the country. Access the court system much? Wal-Mart does on a daily basis. Their trucks use our roads; their container ships use our ports; they get great value when we sign trade agreements allowing them to import cheap goods from China. They over-consume every one of these "common goods," profit handsomely from them, and then do not come close to paying their share of taxes, while underpaying their workers so the rest of us get stuck making up the difference.  

Next time a right-wing relative starts talking about the makers and takers, share this report with them so they can see who the real moochers are.

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