New Report: Representative Gardner Lets Billionaires Skip Out on Taxes
A new report by Bloomberg News revealed that billionaires are using tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes, as a result taxes paid by the richest 400 people has been cut nearly in half in recent years. Representative Cory Gardner (CO-04) has refused to close tax loopholes for billionaires and Big Oil and Republicans, like Gardner, demanded even more tax breaks for billionaires while repealing the Medicare guarantee during the congressional Supercommittee negotiations that failed yesterday. In 2009, there were 1,500 millionaires who paid no income taxes at all according to the IRS.
“Representative Cory Gardner demands even more unfair tax breaks for Big Oil and billionaires instead of asking the ultra wealthy to pay their fair share so we can reduce the debt,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “This new report shows that the ultra wealthy are already getting away without paying their taxes thanks to these loopholes, but Representative Gardner thinks those tax breaks should be expanded while the Medicare guarantee for seniors is eliminated.”
New Report Shows Billionaires Skipping Out on Taxes. Bloomberg News reported that, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service, the tax rate of the nation’s richest 400 people has fallen from about 30 percent in 1995 to 18 percent in 2008. Bloomberg also cited the improprieties of America’s billionaires who have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars from failing to report stock transactions that would otherwise have been considered taxable income. [Bloomberg, 11/21/11 
1,500 Millionaires Paid No Income Taxes in 2009. “At a time when America is borrowing about 40 cents of every dollar it spends because tax revenues cannot keep up with government spending, hundreds of America’s wealthiest households are paying no income tax at all. According to a recently released IRS report, almost 1,500 of America’s 230,000 millionaires avoided paying any federal income tax in 2009.” Most of the money went through tax “expenditures,” which are deductions, write-offs, subsidies and loopholes. [ABC News, 8/6/11 ; USA Today, 8/8/11 ; see also: IRS Publication 1304 ]
The Rich Keep Getting Richer. According to a study from the Congressional Budget Office, the rich have been getting richer over the last three decades. Between 1979 and 2007, the average after-tax income of the top one percent of Americans has risen by 275 percent while the poorest Americans in the bottom 20% of wage-earners saw an increase of just 18 percent. The report also found that the middle 60 percent of Americans have risen by just 40 percent. [LA Times, 10/27/11 ]
Gardner Pledged to Protect Tax Breaks for Tax Breaks. Gardner signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, stating that he would oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. Americans for Tax Reform has claimed that instituting a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires is a tax increase. [Americans for Tax Reform Pledge Signers, accessed 11/15/11 ; Americans for Tax Reform, 10/10/11 ]