The Pulitzer Prize-winning online news source ProPublica has been exposing the inequality in our federal tax system, and revealing that the extremely wealthy are not paying their fair share.

Today’s ProPublica highlighted the four richest Americans: Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Elon Musk. Here is what they made and what they gave our government for the privilege of living and operating in America.

Warren grew his wealth last year by $24 billion. He paid in taxes $24 million. His tax rate was one tenth of one percent. He paid a dollar for every thousand dollars richer he became last year.

Jeff’s wealth grew the most - by $99 billion. He paid almost $999 million in taxes – nearly a billion dollars. But, Jeff only paid 1% to America for the benefit of using America (and Americans) to help grow his wealth by nearly a hundred billion dollars in just one year. OK with that, my fellow 99 percenter?

Michael (the “liberal billionaire”) grew by $23 billion last year and paid 1.3% of that in taxes. What a guy.

Elon – who actually produces a product (electric cars) only made $14 billion and got nailed with a 3.3% tax. I guess, in America, the more you do - the less you make and the more you get taxed.

99 percenter, you should be frightened enough by this to want to defend yourself and yours. We absolutely should be scared, because every dollar these guys “make” (take) will in turn be used against us to gain more market share.

Now the richest 17,000 Americans own 1/3 of America. Their share has grown by leaps and bounds ever since Ronald Reagan’s tax cut revolution started 40 years ago. It has decimated America’s middle class.

I hope to continue relaying to you all the many ways America’s super wealth use our America without paying for it. There is plenty to tell in the best democracy money can buy.

Tracy Rupp

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