Why Do Kindergarten Teachers Pay More Taxes Than Hedge Fund Managers?

republish
  • submit to reddit

That’s right — just 25 men managed to make more money in a year than all 157,800 kindergarten teachers in the entire country.
A popular meme that made the rounds last year revealed that the top 25 hedge fund managers in America made more money than all the kindergarten teachers combined. That’s right — just 25 men managed to take home more money in a year than all 157,800 kindergarten teachers in the entire country. These hedge fund managers make millions — sometimes billions — of dollars investing other people’s money with the expectation of realizing large capital gains. And a new video produced by Brave New Films points out an even greater absurdity: These millionaires and billionaires pay a lower tax rate than those teachers — and almost surely a lower rate than you, unless you’re part of the top .01 percent.

All this brings to mind a conversation Bill Moyers had in 2012, early on in Moyers & Company’s run, with former Reagan budget director David Stockman. The architect of President Ronald Reagan’s now infamous “trickle-down” economics policies, even Stockman thinks today’s Republicans have taken their anti-tax dogma too far. He told Bill he would like to see the elimination of the carried interest loophole, hedge fund managers’ primary route to reduced tax rates. “It’s really pretty shameful,” he told Bill.

“Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” Stockman said, borrowing a quotation from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. “What they’re saying today is foolish, it’s irresponsible. How can anyone believe with the kind of deficit that we have — a trillion dollars, year after year after year — that we can keep taxes as low as they are?”

If you agree that the carried interest loophole should end, like or share Brave New Films’ video on Facebook, or tweet about it using the hashtag ##billionairesVSteachers.

Theresa Riley is the director of digital content & strategy at BillMoyers.com. She creates content and oversees the planning and execution of Bill Moyers’ social media strategy. She is an award-winning web producer and editor whose work has been featured on PBS Online and TIME.com.
republish
  • submit to reddit