Our country can’t afford to tax the rich

by on December 17, 2010 · 6 comments

in Are You Kidding?, Economy, Satire, War and Peace

Originally appeared in the Dec. 14 issue of City Times, the campus newspaper of San Diego City College.

Admittedly, the USA needs money to help pay for vital American programs such as Medicare and foreign occupations. But the push by some Democrats to let tax cuts expire for America’s highest earners is too much audacity, not enough austerity.

For starters, higher taxes could inhibit economic growth. Think of Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft in the mid-1970’s, when he was barely 20 years old. If taxes had been higher back then, Gates might have decided that starting the company wasn’t worth it and headed to the disco instead of the computer lab — meaning consumers would never have enjoyed high-quality products like Windows Vista and the ZUNE.

Also consider people who are rich by birth, such as Paris Hilton. What if her family had been forced to pay higher taxes over the years? Sure, the Hiltons would still have hundreds of millions of dollars. But would a slightly poorer Paris have managed to become such a widely respected entertainer and purveyor of fine perfumes and colognes? We can’t know for sure — and we can’t take that kind of risk.

President Barack Obama and his wife jointly reported income of more than $5 million in 2009, landing them in the top federal tax bracket, where the rate would rocket from 35 percent to 39.6. Perhaps Obama can afford to pay 4.6 percent more — but that doesn’t mean other rich folks can, too. Obama flies free on Air Force One, for instance, while other rich Americans must buy their own private planes. And with Far East Movement all over the radio, Gulfstreams ain’t getting any cheaper.

In fact, most of our country’s top earners are corporate officers such as CEOs — and even the AFL/CIO admits that income for the average large-corporation CEO plummeted to $9.25 million in 2009, a drop of nearly 10 percent from the previous year.

What kind of country would kick its millionaires and billionaires when they’re already down?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar mr fresh December 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

here’s just how bad it really is in a chart format. the rich are richer. and the rest of us are simply screwed. http://goo.gl/5dw1k

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avatar annagrace December 17, 2010 at 11:37 am

Alan Grayson explains, in his inimitable style, the tax cuts for the rich.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-mZtdI7-hY&feature=related

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avatar RB December 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm

In the spirit of compromise, perhaps we should call them the Bush/Obama tax cuts now.
Thank you Mr President for not allowing the perfect to stand in the way of the good.

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avatar barbara December 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm

You almost had me,Shane! I heard a republican congressman from TN on NPR yesterday. It was the first time in a very long time I could even listen to one of them. Talking about reforming the tax code. He said what I have said for decades, IT’S NOT THE TAXES, RAISING OR LOWERING, IT’S WHAT WE DO WITH THE TAXES WE ALREADY GET THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Of course he wants to start with Social Security and I would start with outmoded, redundant, not needed weapons systems. For example the billions we are spending now to develop a tactical nuke!!!!

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avatar Wireless Mike December 17, 2010 at 8:53 pm

It’s a great time to be a billionaire in America!

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avatar jettyboy December 19, 2010 at 10:47 am

One way to deal with this conundrum would be to follow the advice of a great Motorhead song – “Eat the Rich!”

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