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April 23, 2014

Managing Editor, Moyers & Company

Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent

At state and local levels, while the poorest fifth of Americans pay an average tax rate of over 11 percent, the richest one percent of the country pay -- are you ready for this? -- half that rate. Now, neither Nature nor Nature's God drew up our tax codes; that's the work of legislators -- politicians -- and it's one way they have, as Chief Justice John Roberts might put it, of expressing gratitude to their donors: "Oh, Mr. Adelson, we so appreciate your generosity that we cut your estate taxes so you can give $8 billion as a tax-free payment to your heirs, even though down the road the public will have to put up $2.8 billion to compensate for the loss in tax revenue." All of which makes truly repugnant the argument, heard so often from courtiers of the rich, that inequality doesn't matter.

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