OB Rag Readers Favor Raising Taxes on Most Wealthy Americans

by on December 18, 2012 · 8 comments

in Economy, Ocean Beach

The OB Rag just ran a poll this past week that asked the question:

Should Congress raise taxes on the most wealthy 2% of Americans to avoid deep cuts in programs from Social Security to Defense?

The answer was overwhelming: 77% of our readers who responded said “Yes”.

Only 19% said “no”.   4% were unsure.

The poll ran from December 11 to the 18th; there were 74 responses.

In contrast, the East County Magazine had the same poll – although for a longer period of time – and the results from their readership were slightly different, probably reflecting the less liberal bent of its readership.

But nevertheless, using the exact same poll question, the East County online mag found that most of its readers agreed with the gist of the OB Rag readers:  63% favored raising taxes on the most wealthy.

34% were against, and 3% were not sure.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jason December 18, 2012 at 9:44 am

These 2 choices are mutually exclusive so all answers should be “N/A” or possibly something more inline with the silliness of the question like “WTF?”

Lemme explain:
Raising rates on the top 2% generates between $40 billion and $70 billion in additional revenue per year, pick your source from either side of the aisle:

At most, raising taxes on the wealthy would generate about $70 billion per year in additional government revenue, according to an Ernst & Young report prepared for several lobbying groups opposed to tax hikes.

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center figures that there are about 2.8 million Americans making $250,000 or more. They account for a little more than two percent of American tax filers.
Raising taxes to 39.6 percent on the Obama Rich would yield around $40 billion to $45 billion in added tax revenue in the first year of the president’s plan.

The US is running Trillion dollar deficits

I’m not opposing raising rates but I’m also not living in a dream world where a small amount stating with a “B” does anything to offset any amount starting with a “T”


avatar Frank Gormlie December 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thanks Jason for the links. However, the deficit is not the big problem that the conservatives want us to think it is. Government should run in the “red” – that means people, businesses believe in it and have invested in it. Deficits are not the main problem facing the country right now, as raising revenues to fund the social contract is.


avatar Jason December 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

So unlimited debt shows our patriotism? If record debt and deficits are not a problem why are both sides committed to reducing both? Why did the current President pledge to cut debt in half in his 1st term while he was campaigning in 2008? It would have made more sense to pledge to double or triple it to show how patriotic he is.

Give me an amount of national debt that exceeds patriotism so I don’t annoy by pointing out these “small problems” of ridiculous patriotic debt.


avatar Frank Gormlie December 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

We’re talking concepts here, Jason. It is good to invest in something that you believe in, right? And government is not supposed to be run as if it were a business. Government is not business and does not exist to ensure that business succeeds.


avatar Jason December 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

OK, willing to ignore how odd it is for a government to not be in business while investing billions in R&D for the sake of getting back on topic. And far be it from me to question anyone’s patriotism, um, er debt.

So let’s get back to the poll question:
I assume the $70 billion/year in revenue estimate is fine by you and of course a trillion dollar budget deficit is very patriotic so we don’t need to cut spending by much. Side note, if debts and deficits are not the problem, why do we need to raise taxes then? Why not be the ultimate patriot and cut all rates to zero?

Again, I digress, so which “programs from Social Security to Defense” should we apply the $70 billion to “avoid deep cuts”?


Obviously (of maybe not so obviously) we can’t save ALL the programs but then again, the Fed could just print some more money I guess.


avatar Frank Gormlie December 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Jason, why don’t we get back to the original poll question and the results. Most of our readers, most readers who responded to the poll, and to the poll at the East County Mag, and in general, most Americans n fact also agree – and believe we should tax the top 2% of Americans.

And, despite the fact that up to a quarter of working people in this County earn their livings directly or indirectly from government, I think that after a decade of glorious military splurging on two wars, we could cut some slack off the Pentagon, the military contractors, the defense industry in general – the industry that old Dwight Eisenhower warned us against, the “military-industrial-complex”.


avatar Jason December 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm


There is no point to get back to because the polling question is unattainable so no matter how many people polled agree that raising taxes on the top 2% of earners in order to avoid deep cuts in programs from Social Security to Defense it is simply not mathematically possible.

Your seeming unwillingness to believe the math and a reckless devotion to a belief that raising so little revenue can do so much to save exceeding large entitlement programs makes you sound much more like a conservative than a liberal.

And then you go and try to get off the point with your military industrial rant.

Like I said, I think it’s a good idea to raise rates on the top end but it’s not going to offset the needed trimming the DoD, SS and H&HS programs.

So either take up my previous offer to point out which program would benefit the most from a modest $70 Billion of new tax revenue or just go back to sleep and enjoy your dream.

Just for fun I’ll put the program budgets up with what percentage of the budget $70 billion is, and I can’t make it much more clearer than that:
program budget what % $70 Bill is
H&HS $1,110,000,000,000 6.3%
SS $808,000,000,000 8.7%
DoD $449,000,000,000 15.6%
Interest $474,000,000,000 14.8%
on debt

Sweet dreams


avatar Wizard of Cape May December 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

Borrowing $0.46 for every $1.00 you spend for things you believe in is unsustainable. Especially when the Federal Reserve is monetizing our debt. Your social contract will be meaningless once the government checks bounce.

Seem far fetched? Look at what’s going on in Spain…

For Spaniards, Having a Job No Longer Guarantees a Paycheck

$ quote:
“With the regional and municipal governments deeply in debt, even workers like bus drivers and health care attendants, dependent on government financing for their salaries, are not always paid.”


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