Fact of the Week: Education vs. Hedge Fund Managers


June 16, 2014

Last year, the 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers in the United States made a total of $21.15 billion – about 2.5 times as much as all the kindergarten teachers in America combined. (New York Times, Vox)
In addition to the massive earnings, these hedge fund managers pay taxes at the lower tax rate applied to investments and capital gains instead of the higher tax rate on work income most Americans pay. The revenue raised by making sure millionaires and billionaires pay a tax rate at least as high as working families could support any number of unmet needs in our country. Case in point: our friends over at Americans for Tax Fairness determined this tax break for hedge fund managers costs $1.7 billion a year in lost revenue, the same amount that was cut from elementary and secondary education – including special education – as a result of  sequestration. Is our country better off by giving this $1.7 billion to hedge fund managers like the 25 mentioned above rather than using it to support the roughly 158,000 kindergarten teachers educating our children? The mega-rich can afford to – and should! – pay their fair share to ensure we have an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

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