One of the most ridiculous arguments in right wing world is the argument that no one will want to become rich if the tax rate goes any higher, because the tax rate will be too cumbersome. As a result, all of the wonderful things the rich do for us will dry up, because they won't want to do those things that made them rich.
Seriously, doesn't that logic make you laugh?
Before the last stimulus package was passed, the top tax rate was 36%; now, it's 39.6%. Now, let's suppose we raise that to 50% (gasp!). According to this logical construct, The guy who made $2 million in taxable income and cleared $1.2 million after federal income taxes last year, will no longer want to make $2 million, because he'll "only" clear $1 million.
How stupid do you have to believe to believe that horseshit?
You can hear the wingnuts now.
What? What did he say? He's saying we should penalize people for being successful? Does this mean he thinks the people who become rich should be forced to share their wealth with everyone else, against their will?
Just remember they're wingnuts and pay them no mind. Think about it logically, instead. .
Taxes are the cost of living in a free society. Yes, that's right; freedom from tyranny is not the same as freedom from responsibility. And I'm not talking about taxing the rich into the poor house. But the fact of the matter is, the rich in our society are that way because of safeguards and services the government provides, and they should be paying their fair share.
All of us benefit from the services government provides. We all have the option of using the schools, roads and parks, for example, to give us a shot at making a living, and making our lives better. That means everyone should pay, of course. But those at the higher end of the economic spectrum actually use more government services than everyone else.
Sure, we get to drive to work on the roads the government builds, but those who own businesses use them for that, and they use them to move goods and people from one place to another, to make money. So, while you use the roads to get to work, the rich use the roads more.In fact, it could be said that the rich use the roads to get you to work and make them rich.
How about education? We all get to have access to a public school and a decent education, and the rich have access to those same schools as well. But they actually use the schools even more, because they create a well-educated pool of workers from which to choose. And the larger the educated workforce, the cheaper the labor, which makes them even more money. Therefore, the rich benefit from a healthy public school more so than you do. In all fairness, since most schools are paid for with property taxes, businesses and the rich do pay the bulk of education costs, but that is as it should be. They get the most benefit from an educated populace, so they should pay more.
The laws government passes protect us from eating poisonous food (at least in theory) and taking dangerous medicines and the like. But they also protect the rich, by preventing an unscrupulous competitor from coming in and flooding the market with cheap and potentially hazardous goods, as well. Yes, the rich have to follow certain rules (again, theoretically) in order to make money and get rich, but the government also provides them with intellectual property protection, so that if they spend many years building a name and a reputation, no one else can come along and make money from that name, or use a too-similar name to siphon business away, and to even protect that name from slander.
The government actually provides the means (or at least is supposed to -- since the neocons took over, this is less true) for people to become rich. The government offers grants and subsidies, and even guarantees loans for small or large businesses to start or expand. They provide the regulatory mechanisms that guarantee a level playing field. They provide legal protection for businesses, so they can collect money. They also provide laws that make it possible to collect money from those who refuse to pay for no good reason. They even protect investors from being scammed, for the most part, through a regulatory scheme that makes (okay, supposed to make) people honest.If there wasn't at least some confidence in the markets, how would the rich be able to raise money in those markets? The government makes it possible for them to raise gobs of money with as little risk as possible.
The government provides the basic services that anyone needs to get rich. It is damned near impossible to become rich without the government being there at some point. Then, when they get rich, they provide the means to protect their wealth to a significant degree, by protecting them from predators and crooks.
If you think about all the services the actual rich person gets from the government in order to become rich, and compare that to the services the poor receive, it's not even close. Ever notice the difference in response times for 911 calls in poor areas vs. rich areas? Have you ever compared a school in the inner city with a school in a rich area? Compare how the rich use the court system with its use by the poor. How many lobbyists for poor people do you think inundate Washington and state capitols? How much income do poor people get to shelter from taxes, do you think?
And right now, this country faces a mountain debt, mostly caused by the wingnuts' insistence that the rich are too put upon to bother for more money. Well, screw that. In order to keep most people employed and to prevent all-out economic disaster, our government has had to bail out rich people. Once again, we're not bailing out poor people; we're keeping the rich afloat, so that the middle class doesn't get sucked into their vortex. The morons who led us down this treacherous economic path weren't working stiffs trying to keep their families going on $50,000 a year. No, this economic disaster was caused by the whiny assholes who are now supposedly scared to death that their tax bill might go up.
And of course, there are those right wing apologists, who listen to their mega-rich masters, like the uber-rich Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly, and believe that the rich are incredibly saddled with huge tax bills and are already doing more than their fair share. I mean, the wingnuts constantly whine and complain about the huge deficit Obama is running up, but they simultaneously piss and moan about the prospect of raising Rush's tax bill. Who do they think is going to pay the goddamn deficit in the end? And yes, wingnuts; the bill is coming due. We can't carry this much debt forever. The rich ran up most of the bill, so the rich should pay the bill. This isn't rocket science.
Imagine you walk out of a supermarket with one grocery bag filled with milk, bread and potatoes and the clerk charged you $20. Then the guy behind you walks out with five bags of groceries, filled with steaks and chops and fish, and was also charged $20? How would you feel? That's basically how this is working out, folks. The rich get a hell of a lot more from the government than everyone else does, and they should pay for it. And frankly, it should be a patriotic imperative for the rich to want to pay more in taxes. Paying taxes isn't a punishment; it's a cost of living in the greatest country in the world.The government isn't some separate entity from the people; it IS the people. You're rich because the rest of us helped make you that way; you owe society a greater share of the costs, because you used society to make your fortune.
The rich use government more than anyone else. The rich screw up the economy more than anyone else, and we always have to bail them out, so they don't drag the rest of us down with them.
Of course they should pay more in taxes.