"Civilization has been defined as a conflict of lower and higher races, in which the lower has been compelled to do all the common, dirty necessary work, while the higher class had leisure to loaf, dabble in art and science and study the laws to keep the rich idle and the poor busy.” --The Curse of the Carribean and the Three Guianas, 1920
While we can focus only on the massive excesses by multi-millionaires and billionaires, let’s not lose sight of a lot of petty and not so petty theft in the US represents income that is under the radar. Altogether, it amounts to a huge pile of cash that could go for many expenses associated with keeping the public business afloat. We give a lot of stuff away in the form of tax deductions and loopholes, not to mention what goes missing from outright theft—the white collar kind.
Not to let the rich folk off of the hook: What I am talking about includes lavish “business expenditures.” One example of the fat cat tax dodge is exemplified by the new Trump Pay for Access non-profit charity where donors will get “premiums” for their generous tax deductible foundation “donations”, such as canned hunts with the Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb boys. Shoot a trophy in a corral and stuff it for your wall in your ostentatious country lodge or mountain retreat.
As for the somewhat smaller players, I have known many trade people who do a significant amount of cash business on the side that never shows up on their books or with the IRS. Some are eventually chagrined because the valuation of their businesses (electricians, plumbers, mechanics, et al.) are artificially low when they go to sell, since the off-the-books business doesn’t show up in their company legers. Ironically, many of these folks routinely bitch about government overreach and oppressive taxes. All the while a significant part of their income is being hidden and therefore goes untaxed. Scammers galore out there, folks. Are you one of them? So this may explain why these citizens, generally those who you hear whining and bitching about the government the most, like the Lying King so much. They simply aspire to do this on a scale like he does and admire his cunning. Some the Trump supporters resemble people back in the 1930s who liked and even rooted for the John Dillinger and Ma Baker criminals because they felt like they were “Sticking it to the Man” so to speak. Crazy but true.
Some other everyday excesses are things like buying sports and concert tickets and giving them away as gifts/business expenses to host other business people (often family and friends). Or scalping the good tickets and pocketing the difference. I know of people who make thousands on the side with their little ticket bonanzas, like Dallas Cowboys season tickets.
We didn’t mention deducting vehicle purchase and operation costs, when half of it is used for a hunting or fishing trip. Simply take that magnetic sign off of the door and off you go. I think all such vehicles should have to be painted generously and permanently with the business name, location and phone number.
There are lots of free-riders out there, including churches who avoid taxation, while they use their churchly donations to support right wing social culture candidates in many ways and other bat-shit ideas like fraudulent Miracle Water. Crooks and felons are perhaps better titles for these religious zealots. The do it in plain sight on TV.
So, when all is said and done, there is a lot of credit to go around for tax cheating. As usual, this leaves the subsistence worker way down the totem pole, since they have little access to these kinds of income and spend 110% of every dollar they are paid to survive…maybe mow a lawn here and there or shovel a driveway under the radar…but that’s about it. I think that the vehicle expense of commuting to a job should be deductible to some degree if other “self-employed” people get their freebies. There will always be freebies out there, but the biggest go to the ones with the most discretionary income and the best tax accountants. The little guy doesn’t have a lobbyist in DC to represent them. That used to be the job of their congress person or senator, but those folks have now been almost completely privatized to the highest bidders. The little people had better get their shit together and vote more often, if they can find the 4-6 hours it may take them between their jobs. Remember the game here: Rich=Idle; Poor=Busy.