It is time to Tax the rich

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Angie

Livingston, TN

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#1
Sep 20, 2011
 
6 Dumb Arguments Against Taxing the Rich,

óBy Josh Harkinson|
the Obama administration unveiled the "Buffett Rule," a proposed tax on millionaires and billionaires named after celebrity investor Warren Buffett, who has long argued that the federal government should demand more of the wealthy. The millionaires tax is certain to become a major point of contention in the 2012 presidential campaign, and Republicans have wasted no time in heaping it with calumnies. Here are the six most popular conservative arguments against a progressive tax code, and why they're wrong:

It's class warfare!
Yeah right. Three decades of laissez-faire economic polices have allowed the rich to double their share of the national income while paying tax rates a fifth lower than before. The result, notes Kevin Drum, was "wage stagnation for everyone else, a massive financial collapse that ravaged the middle class, an enormous deficits that they'll be asked to pay off eventually." If the millionaires tax is the only blowback, the wealthy should count their blessings.

It's a tax on small business
"Don't forget that most small businesses file taxes as individuals," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Fox News Sunday. "So when you are raising top tax rates, you are raising taxes on these job creators." Except when you aren't. ThinkProgress's Pat Garofalo points out that fewer than 2 percent of the nation's small businesses fall into either of the top two tax brackets. Plus, many of the small business filers in the upper brackets are merely investors who have nothing to do with running the business. And if small businesses don't want to pay taxes as individuals, they can file always as corporations.

It reduces incentives to work and invest
Experience shows otherwise. As Nancy Folbre points out over at Economix, "average annual rates of growth in gross domestic product in the high tax era between 1950 and 1980 exceeded those of the last 30 years. Increases in the top tax rate under President Bill Clinton were followed by robust economic expansion."

It's an unstable source of revenue
A recent essay in the Wall Street Journal argued that the high volatility of upper-level income makes it impractical to rely on taxing it. But this concern is vastly overblown and can be easily dealt with by establishing rainy day funds.

It's unfair
In the libertarian view, the rich are entitled to their gains because they worked for them. But this ignores how structural changes in the economy such as globalization, financial deregulation, and the rise of the knowledge-based economy has disproportionately rewarded the wealthy. At the same time, we've failed to reinvest in government programs that once leveled the playing field, such as financing for community colleges and public universities.

The rich will leave the country
Good riddance, writes Don Peck in a recent Atlantic essay on how to save the middle class: "America remains a magnet for talent, for reasons that go beyond the tax code; and by international standards, none of the tax changes recommended here would create an excessive tax burden on high earners. If a few financiers choose to decamp for some small island-state in search of the smallest possible tax bill, we should wish them good luck."
Former Sheep

United States

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#2
Feb 14, 2012
 
Angie wrote:
6 Dumb Arguments Against Taxing the Rich,
óBy Josh Harkinson|
the Obama administration unveiled the "Buffett Rule," a proposed tax on millionaires and billionaires named after celebrity investor Warren Buffett, who has long argued that the federal government should demand more of the wealthy. The millionaires tax is certain to become a major point of contention in the 2012 presidential campaign, and Republicans have wasted no time in heaping it with calumnies. Here are the six most popular conservative arguments against a progressive tax code, and why they're wrong:
It's class warfare!
Yeah right. Three decades of laissez-faire economic polices have allowed the rich to double their share of the national income while paying tax rates a fifth lower than before. The result, notes Kevin Drum, was "wage stagnation for everyone else, a massive financial collapse that ravaged the middle class, an enormous deficits that they'll be asked to pay off eventually." If the millionaires tax is the only blowback, the wealthy should count their blessings.
It's a tax on small business
"Don't forget that most small businesses file taxes as individuals," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Fox News Sunday. "So when you are raising top tax rates, you are raising taxes on these job creators." Except when you aren't. ThinkProgress's Pat Garofalo points out that fewer than 2 percent of the nation's small businesses fall into either of the top two tax brackets. Plus, many of the small business filers in the upper brackets are merely investors who have nothing to do with running the business. And if small businesses don't want to pay taxes as individuals, they can file always as corporations.
It reduces incentives to work and invest
Experience shows otherwise. As Nancy Folbre points out over at Economix, "average annual rates of growth in gross domestic product in the high tax era between 1950 and 1980 exceeded those of the last 30 years. Increases in the top tax rate under President Bill Clinton were followed by robust economic expansion."
It's an unstable source of revenue
A recent essay in the Wall Street Journal argued that the high volatility of upper-level income makes it impractical to rely on taxing it. But this concern is vastly overblown and can be easily dealt with by establishing rainy day funds.
It's unfair
In the libertarian view, the rich are entitled to their gains because they worked for them. But this ignores how structural changes in the economy such as globalization, financial deregulation, and the rise of the knowledge-based economy has disproportionately rewarded the wealthy. At the same time, we've failed to reinvest in government programs that once leveled the playing field, such as financing for community colleges and public universities.
The rich will leave the country
Good riddance, writes Don Peck in a recent Atlantic essay on how to save the middle class: "America remains a magnet for talent, for reasons that go beyond the tax code; and by international standards, none of the tax changes recommended here would create an excessive tax burden on high earners. If a few financiers choose to decamp for some small island-state in search of the smallest possible tax bill, we should wish them good luck."
We already do have progressive tax rates which insure that the "wealthy" pay a larger proportion of their income than everyone else. According to IRS statistics, about half of lower earning Americans pay no taxes at all while the top 10% pay about 75% of the tax bill. Next time you hear someone saying "the rich need to pay their fair share," be assured that the person is either ignorant or is doing so in order to further their political agenda. I almost fell into that same trap until I did my own research and found out the truth. Like many others, I was being played like a puppet. It is simply dishonest to take a few of the exceptions and apply them to the whole class.
Former Sheep

United States

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#3
Feb 14, 2012
 
We already do have progressive tax rates which insure that the "wealthy" pay a larger proportion of their income than everyone else. According to IRS statistics, about half of lower earning Americans pay no taxes at all while the top 10% pay about 75% of the tax bill. Next time you hear someone saying "the rich need to pay their fair share," be assured that the person is either ignorant or is doing so in order to further their political agenda. I almost fell into that same trap until I did my own research and found out the truth. Like many others, I was being played like a puppet. It is simply dishonest to take a few of the exceptions and apply them to the whole class.
Former Sheep

United States

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Report Abuse
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#4
Feb 14, 2012
 
I am amazed at how Buffet's secretary has been portrayed as a victim because her boss pays a lower marginal tax rate than she does. What do you think that poor woman makes in a year? I bet she is wealthy compared to me and you, but that does not bother me. I am not envious of her wealth, but am happy that she was able to get a job working for Mr Buffet.
Think about it. Buffet's secretary, who is arguably wealthy, is being portrayed as a victim because she is in a high tax bracket and must pay too much in taxes. Is this really suppose to be a valid argument to increase taxes even further?
What about all of the wealthy people who are let off of the hook by the "tax the wealthy more crowd" because they act like they are victims for not paying enough taxes? It seems that as long as someone whines about not being taxed enough that they can continue to reap the rewards of capitalism without being portrayed as a "bad rich person." I propose an Amendment to the Internal Revenue Code that would allow these wealthy bleeding-heart folks to make an election to be taxed at a much higher rate. I have a feeling that none of them would make the election and pay more of their own income.

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