Tax breaks for the super-rich might be great for the super-rich. They just don’t do much for the rest of us.
Extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich would would boost the economy by an almost negligible amount, according to a recent analysis from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute -- far less for GDP growth than continuing stimulus measures. Letting the tax cuts expire wouldn't hurt job growth either, according to data from a University of California at Berkeley economist, cited by Mother Jones.
The findings echo those of a similar Congressional Budget Office report last month, which found that the Bush-era tax cuts will cost the U.S. $1 trillion over the next decade.
Though many wealthy Americans, and some Republicans, insist that tax cuts for the rich help the economy, Ronald Reagan’s chief economics adviser found that the economic recovery during that presidency had little to do with the administration’s tax cuts, according to Businessweek.
The findings come as President Obama and other critics have accused Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s tax proposal of favoring wealthy taxpayers at the expense of the middle class. Romney, who is a millionaire, recently defended his low tax rate, arguing that most of his income comes from capital gains, which should be taxed at a lower rate in order to spur investment.
Obama called for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts -- but only for those making $250,000 or less -- earlier this year. A proposal that Republicans shot down.
In addition to their overall tax rates, there’s a more specific tax break the super-rich are hoping to preserve -- taxes on charitable giving. More than half of billionaires gathered at a recent Forbes summit said that tax policies affect their charitable giving, according to CNBC. President Obama has proposed putting a cap on deductions on charitable giving for those making more than $250,000.
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Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter
Lil Wayne had an IRS lien filed with Miami Dade County in late March 2011. The lien <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1661259/lil-wayne-tax-lien-irs.jhtml" target="_hplink">noted</a> that Lil Wayne had unpaid income taxes amounting to $3,351,078 for 2008 and $2,258,956 for 2009.
Dent was hit with a $1,160,056 federal tax lien in March 2011. The former Chicago Bears player was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one month prior.
In January 2012, Lindsay Lohan reportedly received notice from the IRS that she owed over $93,000 in unpaid taxes from 2009. According to TMZ, the actress was simply unaware of the issue.
David "Sinbad" Adkins
<a href="http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2010/02/14/feeling-heat-from-irs-sinbad-will-sell-la-home/" target="_hplink">According to AOL Real Estate</a>, Sinbad was said to owe $8.5 million to the IRS in 2010 and another $2.1 million to the state of California that year. Sinbad was named as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/12/sinbad-taxes-embarrassmen_n_185976.html" target="_hplink">one of the state's biggest tax evaders</a> in 2009.
In 2008, former Met and Yankee Darryl Strawberry <a href="http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/02/darryl_strawberry_agrees_to_pa.html" target="_hplink">agreed to pay</a> more than $430,000 in back taxes he owed, plus interest and penaltie, for money he neglected to pay in 1989 and 1990.
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne
According to the IRS, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon owed $1.7 million in taxes from 2008 and 2009.
Actor Forest Whitaker <a href="http://www.bvonmoney.com/2011/03/23/forest-whitaker-having-significant-tax-problems/" target="_hplink">was hit</a> with a large tax bill last year, after failing to pay $185,000 he owed to the IRS. The tax collectors in the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds cited Whitaker and filed a lien for the balance.
Actor Chris Tucker had a <a href="http://newsone.com/1883935/wow-chris-tucker-now-owes-over-12-million-in-taxes/" target="_hplink">tax lien filed against him in the state of Georgia earlier this year</a> for $592,594.08, plus $11,571,909.26 from the federal government for taxed owed in 2001, 2002 and 2004 through 2006.
"Baywatch" actress Pamela Anderson owed nearly half a million dollars to the IRS in 2010.
In 1974, comedian Richard Pryor was sentenced to 10 days in jail, fined and put on probation after pleading guilty to a charge of willful failure to file an income tax return, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/arts/11pryor.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1&ei=5090&en=ea88c61b92de25e6&ex=1291957200" target="_hplink">the <em>New York Times</em></a>.
Singer El DeBarge <a href="http://www.vibe.com/posts/nas-irs-debt-totals-more-3-million" target="_hplink">owed $354,000 in delinquent federal taxes</a> in 2010, according to Vibe.com.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Davis <a href="http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/destroyed-by-the-irs#ixzz1rYjZPHxQ" target="_hplink">owed nearly $7.5 million in back taxes</a> at the time of his death.
"Pan Am" actress Christina Ricci was hit with a federal income tax lien of nearly $180,000 on her 2008 earnings.
In December 2010, actor Wesley Snipes <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20025363-504083.html" target="_hplink">began a three-year prison sentence</a> for failing to file income tax returns in the amount of $7 million.