On Wednesday, a self-described one percenter explained why Bernie Sanders has his vote for President. It might seem odd that Sanders, whose campaign donations come primarily from small donors and “everyday” working people, would earn the support of a man who would benefit more from Republican policies, which are geared mainly toward the rich.
But, this wealthy person has a good reason to support Sanders. “I’m a white male in my 30s. I grew up in a fairly poor family, didn’t inherit anything from anybody,” Imgur user “secretingredients” explained before detailing how he became wealthy:
Spent the better part of a decade in the Military and then left and started my own consulting firm which has become quite successful and has earned me membership in the 1% by pretty much any definition of the phrase. My lowest paid employee (early 20s, only 2 years out of college) makes just over 100k/year right now even though I could definitely pay him less (I bill him out at a rate that supports his cost to me plus a reasonable profit).
TL:DR I’m a white, self made, well off guy.
Because of his background, the unnamed One Percenter understands that it is necessary to tax people like himself at a higher rate for the good of society.
“After all the write offs, business expenses, mortgage interest deductions etc… My Taxable Income is less than half of my Gross Income,” he writes after posting a meme of Bernie Sanders explaining that “corporate CEOs often enjoy an effective tax rate lower than their secretaries.”
“Add in my capital gains earnings at their super low tax rate even though my gross income is well over the top tax bracket my effective tax rate is usually around 17-18% every year and could actually be quite a bit lower if I put actual effort into (legal) tax avoidance strategies,” he says. “This gives me a slightly lower effective tax rate than my housekeeper.”
He suggested, as Sanders did, that we return to the tax rates of “radical socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower,” which could hit people like our One Percenter for 90 percent of their earnings:
An annual income of $1,000,000 (makes math easy) under Eisenhower’s tax plan would result in a $630,000 tax bill assuming you paid full marginal tax rates on the gross earnings leaving $270,000 left over. [NOTE: His math is off. He lost $100,000 somewhere.]
Assume every single deduction and basic tax avoidance strategy still applies to shrink your AGI (i’ll use my own as an example).
That 1,000,000 gross income would end up paying about 337,000 in taxes. So please don’t let the “91% top tax bracket” fool you. The rich will still be PLENTY rich. My standard of living will change exactly 0% if I have to pay an effective 33% instead of an effective 18%. I’ll still drive an expensive car and go on nice vacations and pay my employees and buy the same things I always bought.
“If someone is 100% employed and still on welfare and government housing then the taxpayer is picking up the bill,” the One Percenter says. “I’d much rather have that poor yet hard working person earn a wage that takes them off of the tax payer’s dime and distributes the cost to industry / the consumer etc..”
“Feel free to look up all the studies of how very little product prices would have to increase to support doubling the minimum wage and still maintain profit margins,” he urges readers. “It’s laughable. I’ll gladly pay 50 cents more for a burrito if it means that everyone in the kitchen can afford rent and groceries.”
“Secretingredients” dismissed claims that paying higher wages has no positive impact on business:
I pay every one of my employees above market rates cutting into my own profit margins and here’s the result. I have a cult following. My staff do so much to sell our services that I no longer have a full time sales team. Morale is excellent and that bleeds through to our clients which results in even more business. Ever notice how so many of the most successful companies are also great places to work?
Despite his ability to benefit from the practice of outsourcing work, our One Percenter is in favor of Bernie’s suggestion that we stop enabling Corporate America in this practice:
I see this first hand every single day. Every single one of my clients that manufactures anything does so almost exclusively outside of America. Every single one, even the iconic American brands. These factories are often very depressing to visit and when we look at the net savings of manufacturing overseas it’s usually in the single digits to very low double digits percent wise meaning in order to keep the exact same profit margin on a product the price would (usually) only have to go up slightly.
And for your defense hawks out there imagine what would happen to big aggressive China if we started pulling all our manufacturing jobs and dollars back to the US?
Most importantly, “secretingredients” laid out his plan to fill the rosters at companies with reliable people, shrink welfare costs, and grow the economy — affordable, quality education for everyone:
You want to see welfare costs shrink? You want to see the economy grow? You want to see America retake a vast lead in the global economy? This is how it’s done. I’ve not done or looked up a study on this but I’d bet every single one of you dinner that every dollar we spend on education we see returned back to the economy at least two fold.
While this person’s identity is unverified, his comment history shows that if he is lying, it is a long con — one that obviously has no benefit to him. “Im a member of the 1% and I just pity people like you. My ilk have done such a great and thorough job of robbing you of independent thought,” he commented on a, “I’m a white, heterosexual, conservative, Christian, pro-life gun owner” meme on June 30. “As a member of the 1% I actually may end up voting for this guy,” he wrote more than a month ago, referencing Sanders. Numerous earlier posts point to both his claimed profession and tax bracket.
Sanders is quickly winning the hearts of Americans, which Clinton’s overwhelming initial lead in the polls narrowing as time passes. What is interesting about Sanders’ success in campaign fundraising is that he has raised more money than Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and the rest of the clown car that is the GOP presidential field. Via the New York Times:
More than 80 percent of Bernie Sanders’ campaign contributions came not from big businesses or SuperPACs — but from small donations of $200 or less:
If one looks at Sanders’ campaign contributions in the 2014 campaign cycle, one thing is apparent: his money certainly doesn’t come from large corporations:
This looks very different from Rand Paul‘s top donors:
…Or Ted Cruz‘s, for that matter:
If we take Mr. One Percent’s post at face value, he is a wealthy individual with the ability to think critically about our deeply-flayed, yet fixable system. If he is being deceitful about his identity, he still knows his facts, and is able to present a well-researched and compelling argument.
Both Sanders and Clinton have strengths that will greatly benefit America, but Sanders is in every sense the “People’s Candidate.”
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.