At one point we had no national debt. No deficit. A thriving middle class. Poverty on the decline. Now we have all of that in its opposite form. What changed? Reduced taxes on the rich.
I’m not saying we necessarily need to tax them at the 90% rate we used to, but it seems to me that they do need to share more of the burden, and their political apologists and excuse makers need to be booted from public life.
Rich people have no interest in anything except wealth (it’s accumulation or expression). There are minor exceptions, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but even there they are getting tax write offs that, to one degree or another, help them (and most don’t even do that much). Besides, the Gates are so wealthy it is mind boggling.
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2 Responses to “Taxing the Rich”
- Nob Hill Ken says (March 5th, 2011 at 16:46:15 )
The rich absolutely need to be taxed at higher rates than they are currently. But corporations are also a massive part of the problem. Corporate tax breaks/welfare and bailouts hobble tax revnue while spurring debt growth.
As to the idea that “Rich people have no interest in anything except wealth”, while it’s a common populist platitude, I don’t buy it as a truism. Rich people actually contribute significantly–and voluntarily–to American philanthropy. I won’t cite figures here, but I can provide you with them at a later (less busy) time if you’re interested. That said, it’s completely valid to argue they should do much more–though I’m not sure if it would ever be deemed ‘enough’ by the masses, which perhaps has more to do with jealousy in the guise of class consciousness than economics? At the end of the day, it begs the (rhetorical) question: How much money, as a percentage of net income, is it reasonable to *expect* a ‘rich’ citizen *of a capitalist society* to donate?
BTW, do you advocate eliminating or restructuring the deductibility of charitable contributions? If so, why and/or how? Mostly academic curiousity.
Finally, again with my pet peeve: you want the interests of big business and the very rich out of politics, look toward banning their contributions. (And yes, I know it won’t happen. Grrr.)
- Nob Hill Ken says (March 5th, 2011 at 18:14:54 )
Was speaking of banning political contributions, *not* charitable donations, just to be clear.