I find it profoundly sad that such a young man thought his personal protest was worth his life.
Warning: Rant to follow which is not directed to you namelus or anyone else here, but rather to society at large. My apologies if I offend anyone but today is April 15th of IRS fame and I’m not happy with what I have paid.
It has become very fashionable to point to the so called 1% as not paying their fair share, and certainly there are some at the very top of the heap who don’t pay much as a result of loopholes that only apply to them. Try to change the rules and they’ll either find ways around it or they’ll leave the US and pay nothing at all. Look at how many of the wealthiest people in France left the country when they tried increasing the tax rate last year. The folks on the left that scream loudly and often about the 1% know this but they don’t care because its not really the 1% they’re after. Its the top 5% or 10% who for the most part typically don’t have the kinds of loopholes the 1% use.
The stats change a bit year to year but the top 1% does pay about 38% of all income taxes. The top 5% pays about 59%, the top 10% about 70%. Run of the mill upper middle class people are in the top 10%. Personally I fail to see how 10% of the population paying 70% of the taxes even remotely comes close to their not paying their fair share, yet that’s all we ever hear. Meanwhile the bottom 50% pay 3% of the total and the left screams about how the poor carry too much of the burden.
My retirement at the end of 2013 triggered several taxable cashing out type transactions in 2014 & 2015 that could not be sheltered via rollovers into an IRA or otherwise delayed so as to at least smooth it out over a longer period in lower tax brackets. This included capital gains on the sale of company stock bought long ago, a non-qualified supplemental pension account that had to be taken in a lump sum and treated as taxable income (vs qualified plans that can be rolled over into IRA’s), and at the same time paying me in full for the first year in exchange for helping them with the transition and a complicated special project that only I knew how to do certain parts of. Between Federal & State income taxes. FICA taxes, the Medicare Surcharge Tax for high incomes, Capital Gains Taxes, and the Alternative Minimum Tax, I will have paid about 50% of my income last year and again this year. My patience has worn thin with those who say I should be paying more. If 50% isn’t enough, just what do they think is fair? What were they (the ones who say I should be paying more) doing for those decades that I was working 50 – 60 hours a week and was tethered to a cell phone and laptop nights/weekends/vacations in case work needed me? What were they doing when I was scrubbing pots in a corporate cafeteria starting a couple days after I turned 15 and then working non-stop at any job I could get to put myself through college? What were they doing when after working all day I then drove another hour each way to go to grad school to get my MBA? Yet to the social justice warriors the financial rewards I earned from my lifetime of sacrifices really don’t belong to me, that I should just gladly hand over an even larger share to those who didn’t make even a fraction of the effort I did.
End of rant. And it truly is sad that this young man died this way.