Hiltzik: Why billionaires’ wealth must be taxed

 Hiltzik: Why billionaires’ wealth must be taxed

The nonprofit news organization ProPublica has just performed a significant public service by publishing federal tax records of some of America’s leading billionaires, including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

The records are eye-opening, showing how the super-rich have gained from a tax system rigged in their favor. As ProPublica reports, the system allows them to pay a minuscule portion of their wealth, and sometimes their conventional income, in taxes.

It’s not their tax-avoidance methods that are so striking, for those are familiar to anyone paying attention, but the scale of tax breaks.

This is a system designed for the fortunate few by professional tax dodgers.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), in 2019

Bezos’ wealth grew by $99 billion from 2014 to 2018, but he paid only about 1% of that growth in federal taxes. Musk’s fortune grew by about $14 billion in that time frame, but he paid only…

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