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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
Corey Nydick
Professor Laura Howard
ENG215040VA016-1164-001 Research and Writing
Spring 2016
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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
In today’s society, there are many tax breaks and write-offs that exist for those who earn
over $250,000 in the US. Meanwhile, there is a much higher percentage of society that is just
making ends meet or even living below the poverty line. I intend to show that by increasing the
taxation on those who earn over $250,000 as well as removing many of the unfair write offs that
exist for them will benefit society by having more funds available for education and
neighborhood improvements which can ultimately lead to less people living a poor life.
Additionally, the information presented will show that a small tax increase to those earning over
$250,000 will hardly be noticed by them, but a small decrease in taxation to those earning less
(or significantly less) will let them live like people again instead of drains on society. Finally,
the facts will show that the increase to the amount of taxes paid by those earning in excess of
$250,000 can be used to better our future and society by investing it into education, the school
system and programs for the youth of today that will help them become better adults of
tomorrow. This type of funding will make for a better educated and better-rounded young adult
as they graduate high school or college and can help them lead lives to become a more
productive member of society and help society to grow and prosper as well.
Throughout time, business owners and those who earn an income that is considered to be
well above average have always looked for tax breaks. While some will always be legitimate,
such as charitable donations, interest write offs and normal business expenses, many members of
the “rich society” of the US are finding tax breaks that were not intended for them but that have
enough of a loop hole to allow them to take advantage of them. These tax breaks, which we will
examine some in detail, are saving some of these individuals hundreds of thousands of dollars in
some cases. The issue is twofold. First, as an individual makes more money, they should have
to pay a tax amount equal to or greater than those who are struggling just to make ends meet.
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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
Second, that money can be used to fund education, youth programs, college grants and much
more to better society and that is what is needed more. With everything that you see on the news
and social media about kids fighting, kids partaking in the knockout club, kids harassing and
attacking officers and much more, funding is needed (that is currently not available) to help get
the youth of today on a better track so that our country can thrive in the future.
One of the major loopholes that I have discovered involves the rich taking advantage of a
farmers tax break. Essentially, because farmers typically are not rich and we need them to
provide food, the government has set up tax breaks for the farmers to pay less on real estate tax
to help offset their high costs and low profits. This tax break, which was passed in 1964, gives
farmers a 98% tax exemption (Schneider). Many celebrities have found out about this tax break
and are exploiting it. Famous singers such as Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen have leased
portions of their property to farmers and are taking advantage of this tax break. For example,
Jon Bon Jovi, who owns property in New Jersey and is known as a musician and actor, paid a
total of $100 in property taxes in 2010 while his tax bill was supposed to be over $130,000
(Mataconis). To put that in perspective, the United States currently has over 160,000,000 adults
in this country who would be considered to be normal working age but only 1% of those people
fall into the income levels of earning in excess of $250,000. While not everyone will get the
sizeable break that Bon Jovi did, it is easy to see that if we disallow these erroneous tax breaks
and actually focus on taxing them more that there can be a substantial amount of money that the
government can raise in order to fund some of the programs that I discussed.
The second issue is that a high percentage of Americans believe that the middle class
pays too much in taxes and that the upper class pays too little just based on normal tax laws. In a
poll conducted in 2014, close to half of Americans asked said that the middle class pays too
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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
much which was close to a 20% increase in that type of opinion from a year earlier while 61% of
those surveyed thought the upper class does not pay enough (Dugan). This is indicative of a
need for change based on the beliefs of the American People. To further back up this claim,
close to 25% of millionaires in America pay less taxes than those in the middle class (Madison).
Even Warren Buffet, a man well-known for his strong financial beliefs as well as being a
millionaire validated the point when he said that the percentage he paid in taxes was less than the
individuals who work in his offices. While it is pointed out that some of these millionaires pay
lower percentages because some of their income is from long term investments, it does not
negate the fact that they still should be taxed especially when many of these long term
investments get passed to heirs through estates and trusts and then avoid the estate tax as well
(Madison). While there are some tax breaks available to the middle class, many don’t know
about them or are not able to take advantage of them and many in the middle class do not make
enough income to have these breaks make enough of an impact on their taxation (Shead). The
fact remains that when you make more money, you can afford to contribute more money and that
will better society.
The other issue is comparing low income earners to the upper class earners. Currently, a
poll conducted says that 45% of Americans believe that the lower class pays too much in taxes
(McCarthy). The average income for a lower class household is just under $30,000 per year
(Morello). At an income level like this, it is easy to understand why the poverty rate is almost
15% and comprises 46.7 million Americans (US Census Bureau). These are individuals who do
not always make enough to keep a proper roof over their heads, put enough food on their table
but, because they don’t earn a lot, they have no write offs and pay their “fair share” of taxes
while those earning in excess of $250,000 are, in some cases, paying less. We need to change
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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
the taxation levels and balance the scale so that there is less separation from lower class to upper
class and so that everyone pays their fair share of taxes based on what can truly be afforded and
to help allow people to live.
There are a lot of ways that balancing out the taxation and relying on higher taxes to
those who earn significantly more can be used. The number one thing that could benefit is
education and youth programs. All too often, stories are on the news discussing how school
districts can’t make their budgets. Currently, 62% of education leaders say that they need a
better technology and IT infrastructure in order to teach properly especially with the infusion of
Common Core around the country (Nadeem). While raising the taxes on the rich will not fully
fund education and cities and states have to get creative such as Colorado raising money through
the sale of Marijuana (Robles) or Philadelphia raising money through the increased tax on
cigarettes (Romeo) the fact remains that a huge boost to funding education can and should come
from raising taxes on higher earners. It is the opinion of this author, as well as many other
people that education should not rely on selling pot and smoking more. That seems to give a
mixed message to society and especially to the youth of today. Returning back to the earlier
example of Bon Jovi, the one tax break for him reduced just property taxes by over 99%. If the
upper class was forced to pay their fair share of income and property taxes and have many of the
erroneous loopholes taken away from them, there will be a huge influx of income into the
country’s economy that could be very beneficial. For example, if we took the higher earners
over $250,000 up to the millionaires and these tax laws were changed and they each paid an
average of just $50,000 more per year, that would generate $80,000,000,000 per year and that is
a very conservative number based on the tax break examples given earlier. That number won’t
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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
solve all of the country’s issues but it sure would make a nice start a nice dent into the
educational and other funding issues this country currently has!
6
The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
References
Dugan, Andrew (April 14, 2014), As Taxes Rise, Half in US Say Middle-Income Pay Too Much
from: http://www.gallup.com/poll/168521/taxes-rise-half-say-middle-income-pay.aspx
Madison, Lucy (October 13, 2011), 25% of Millionaires Pay Lower Tax Rates Than Many
Middle-Class Americans, Study Says from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/25-of-millionairespay-lower-tax-rates-than-many-middle-class-americans-study-says/
Mataconis, Doug (November 15, 2011) Who Knew Bruce Springsteen Was a Farmer? From:
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/who-knew-bruce-springsteen-was-a-farmer-hes-not-but-hegets-farm-subsidies/
Morello, Robert (2011) Lower, Middle and Upper Class Income Levels from:
http://finance.zacks.com/lower-middle-upper-class-income-levels-9877.html
Nadeem, M (July 29, 2013) Schools Need More Money, Knowledge and Technology For
Common Core from: http://www.educationnews.org/technology/schools-needs-upgraded-itstructure-to-meet-common-core-state-standards/
Robles, Yesenia (November 13, 2014) Colorado Hands Out $975,000 In Pot Funds To schools
For Health Workers from: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26926069/colorado-hands-out975-000-pot-funds-schools
Romeo, Tony (September 23, 2014) Senate Ok’s Philadelphia Cigarette Tax Measure from:
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/09/23/senate-oks-philadelphia-schools-cigarette-taxmeasure/
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The Rich Are Getting Richer While The Poor Are Paying For It
Schneider, Marc (March 25, 2015) Why Bruce Springsteen’s Organic Farm in Jersey May Not
Cut His Tax Bill Anymore from: http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6509638/brucespringsteen-organic-farm-tax-new-jersey-bon-jovi
Shead, Mark August, 2009) Upper, Lower and Middle Class Tax Breaks from:

Upper, Lower and Middle Class Tax Breaks


US Census Bureau (2014) 2014 Highlights from:
https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/
8
ENG 215 – Appendix A: Peer Review Feedback Form 1
Appendix A: Peer Review Feedback Form 1
Reviewer’s Name: _
Date: __
Writer’s Assigned #: _
Course:____
Section:__
Assignment 3: Persuasive Paper Part 1: A Problem Exists
Peer reviews should provide feedback to a peer on the criteria expected in the paper. Follow
these instructions:
1) Receive a classmate’s paper from your professor (in class if on-ground; by e-mail if online).
2) Copy the Peer Review Feedback Form from the Appendix.
3) Comment on all criteria, noting strengths and / or areas for improvement on the feedback
form.
4) Provide completed Peer Review Feedback Form and classmate’s paper to your professor.
Note: On-ground students should submit the feedback form and paper to the professor during
the class meeting in which the paper is reviewed; online students should submit the feedback
form and paper to the professor via the Assignment Tab in the course shell.
Criteria
1. Provide an appropriate title and an
interesting opening paragraph to
appeal to your stated audience
(appeal with logic, ethics, or
emotion).
2. Include a defensible, relevant
thesis statement in the first
paragraph. (With revised thesis
statement.)
3. Describe the history and status of
the issue and provide an overview of
the problem(s) that need to be
addressed. This should be one or
two (1-2) paragraphs.
4. Explain the first problem
(economic, social, political,
environmental, complexity, inequity,
ethical/moral, etc.) and provide
support for your claims. This should
be one or two (1- 2) paragraphs.
5. Explain the second problem
(economic, social, political,
environmental, complexity, inequity,
ethical/moral, etc.) and provide
support for your claims. This should
be one or two (1-2) paragraphs.
6. Explain the third problem
(economic, social, political,
environmental, complexity, inequity,
ethical/moral, etc.) and provide
support for your claims. This should
be one or two (1-2) paragraphs.
+ Strengths
Comments < Areas for Improvement ENG 215 – Appendix A: Peer Review Feedback Form 1 7. Use effective transitional words, phrases, and sentences throughout the paper. 8. Provide a concluding paragraph that summarizes the stated problems and promises a solution. 9. Develop a coherently structured paper with an introduction, body, and conclusion 10. Support claims with at least three (3) quality, relevant references. Use credible, academic sources available through Strayer University’s Resource Center. 11. Other ... Purchase answer to see full attachment

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