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Why Do We Have to Raise Taxes on the Rich?
National Review ^ | 05/06/2011 | Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Posted on 05/06/2011 6:51:18 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

It has become standard wisdom that tax increases on the rich are a necessary part of any bipartisan deal to avoid federal financial meltdown. It is simply not possible to talk to any member of the media about the substantial problems in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, or other entitlements without the first response being “but don’t revenues have to be on the table?” Why?

It’s not like the numbers work. Obama’s budget itself proves that. The projected Obama budget deficit (as priced by the Congressional Budget Office) in 2021 is $1.2 trillion — and this assumes that the economy is back to full employment and that Obama has successfully raised taxes on rich people (which currently raise only $46 billion annually). Raising taxes just is not a serious solution to the debt explosion.

It’s also not good tax policy. If the U.S. is going to effectively slay the twin evils of unemployment and fiscal unsustainability, it will have to grow as fast as possible. Now fair-minded analysts can disagree about the growth consequences of raising taxes on individuals and small businesses, but one can’t conclude that they arepositive. (The only ones who do are those that willfully ignore the late 1990s dot-com bubble and claim that the Clinton top rate “caused” growth.) The best-case scenario is that the negative impacts are small. But it is unquestionably a move in the wrong direction.

It is also contrary to the stated desire of the president, his Bowles-Simpson Commission, the House budget, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee to achieve fundamental tax reform. Tax reform means lowering rates and broadening the base. These proposals raise rates and make tax reform harder.

Growth issues are paramount at this juncture, but some will insist that the proposals are needed as a matter of fairness — the rich should pay for their fair share of government. I find this absolutely bizarre. For most Americans, the largest tax they pay is the payroll tax. But those taxes fund Social Security and Medicare, and the vast majority of those paying will get back in benefits dramatically more than they are paying in, so they come out ahead.

Paying for the rest of government, that is, everything envisioned by the Founders — national defense, infrastructure, basic research, education, etc. — plus subsidizing the entitlements relies on the income tax. As has been well documented, 51 percent of Americans pay no income tax, and the top 5 percent pays nearly 60 percent of the income tax.

The bottom line is that a small minority is paying for all of the government Americans enjoy. Why is it fair that they be required to pay more?

Moreover, if you are obsessed with fine-tuning the ratio of contributions to government services for the rich, why not simply do the obvious and means-test more aggressively Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlements (e.g., farm programs)? This would be “fair,” address the real problem of spending, and improve growth. What am I missing?

This leads me to the sad conclusion that the only reason that taxing the rich has to be “on the table” is pure jealousy. Is jealousy really a good public policy? And why is it accepted as a “fact” by the mainstream media?

— Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: rich; taxes; wealthy

1 posted on 05/06/2011 6:51:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Because dangerous controlling powers must always have a scapegoat. Be it Der Juden, Der Richen, or Der Banken.

Actually hold on just a minute. All of those are euphemisms for each other.


2 posted on 05/06/2011 6:57:14 AM PDT by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge MA grad student. Many conservative Christians my age out there? __ Click my name)
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To: SeekAndFind
“but don’t revenues have to be on the table?”

Our revenues are already astounding. Unprecedented in the history of the world. We just have an insane fixation on spending twice as much as we take in, no matter how big the revenue number is.

3 posted on 05/06/2011 6:57:59 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ( "The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended." - Rowan Atkinson)
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To: SeekAndFind

Because they are EEEEEEEVil.......~!!!!!

and we must SHARE THEIR WEALTH

oops.. I mean SHARE “THE WEALTH”


4 posted on 05/06/2011 6:58:49 AM PDT by Mr. K (this administration is WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY~!! [Palin/Bachman 2012])
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To: SeekAndFind

Because they are evil.


5 posted on 05/06/2011 7:00:06 AM PDT by allmost
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To: SeekAndFind

Because ... Yes We Can!


6 posted on 05/06/2011 7:01:44 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The USSR spent itself into bankruptcy and collapsed -- and aren't we on the same path now?)
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To: allmost

So, Steve Jobs and the Koch Brothers, who are responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide are evil?

Will a holy, poor man help me put bread on my family’s table?


7 posted on 05/06/2011 7:02:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Winston Churchill

It's funny, but maybe the Liberals feel compelled to further tax the ‘rich’ because they have so successfully pauperized the middle class that there is no more revenue to be had from THEM.

8 posted on 05/06/2011 7:02:53 AM PDT by SMARTY (Conforming to non-conformity is conforming just the same.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Congressional worms wriggle this way and wriggle that way, and will do ANYTHING but the most obvious - cut expenses.

Why?

Because expenditures are no longer about the good of the nation, and have not been in a very long time; congressional expenditures are all about bribing a very corruptible public in order to purchase votes.

Being a senator or congressman is a cushy job, with power, perks, popularity, and the high life; once they get to Washington, they’ll do anything to stay there.

Naturally, they invatriably want more funds with which to tempt a jaded electorate.

Meanwhile, those not paying attention - fully occupied with their bread and circuses - care nothing for what goes on, provided only they can be left alone to sit mesmerized in front of the television with their popcorn and their frozen dinners.


9 posted on 05/06/2011 7:03:40 AM PDT by Jack Hammer (e)
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To: SeekAndFind

I believed the sarcasm tag implied. I guess those greedy rich people must have stolen it... again.


10 posted on 05/06/2011 7:07:49 AM PDT by allmost
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To: SeekAndFind

Because Americans are driven by jealousy, bitterness and covetousness.


11 posted on 05/06/2011 7:12:55 AM PDT by all the best
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To: all the best

RE: Because Americans are driven by jealousy, bitterness and covetousness.

If true, and if this becomes prevalent, it will be the end of America as we know it.


12 posted on 05/06/2011 7:14:57 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

The dirty little secret in all of this is that you can raise the tax rates for the “rich” to 100% and it won’t matter a whit because the income tax code allows those with the financial wherewithal to arrange their affairs in such a way that they can take in gobs of money none of which will fit the definition of “income” under the income tax code!

http://www.fairtax.org


13 posted on 05/06/2011 7:16:11 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: SeekAndFind

Illinois slides toward bottom of CEO business climate survey
By: Lorene Yue May 04, 2011

(Crain’s) — Illinois plunged nearly to the bottom of an annual list rating the best and worst states for business, as judged by the nation’s chief executive officers.

The state was third-worst for business, according to Chief Executive magazine, which notes Illinois is “now in a death spiral,” having dropped 40 places among the 50 states in the past five years. It fell three places from last year’s ranking.

(Read the full list on the website of Chief Executive magazine.)

The 2011 “Best/Worst States for Business” ranking marks the seventh year for the survey. Texas has held the top spot and California last place for all seven years, the magazine said. Chief Executive is a bi-monthly magazine published by Chief Executive Group LLC of Greenwich, Conn

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20110504/NEWS02/110509937?template=printart


14 posted on 05/06/2011 7:18:23 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: Jack Hammer

Very good post. It’s very frustrating more people don’t see that.


15 posted on 05/06/2011 7:21:51 AM PDT by justice14 ("stand up defend or lay down and die")
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To: SeekAndFind

Class warfare is in the Democrat arsenal that’s why.


16 posted on 05/06/2011 7:21:51 AM PDT by sigzero
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To: SeekAndFind
This leads me to the sad conclusion that the only reason that taxing the rich has to be “on the table” is pure jealousy.

Mabeee.... more like assault on the base of America's foundation - freedom, prosperity, hard work, daring people who still think America is the land of OPPORTUNITY?

What made America great? Opportunity, freedom, limited government - shackles that creeped in Europe and rest of over-governed world. You worked hard, you got ahead, you were rewarded with better life and you lifted those around you too, you provided jobs.

Meet government inquisition: establish "taxes" to rob those who work hard. Instead of entrepreneurs using their money to expand business, hire more people, make more stuff, government confiscates their money and WASTES it on ...... (insert anything they touch or try to "run").

Pushing Estate Tax on destroying the family businesses. If children are to inherit family business, especially involving real estate, farm, assets - they will be forced to liquidate the assets to pay the Inheritance Tax. Another nail in the coffin of free enterprise.

Now add Oblabla Kenyan impostor bent on distributing (destroying) America and you get the picture of accelerated march to "shining Soviet example".

Time to wake up and dump the liberal destruction or we will be enslaved like the Eastern Europe was.

Tea Party patriots and decent people can save this great nation and vote the bastRATs out into oblivion!!!

17 posted on 05/06/2011 7:27:01 AM PDT by Leo Carpathian (fffffFRrrreeeeepppeeee-ssed!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The reality that the Dems don’t want to talk about is that if you aren’t going to seriously cut spending, you have to raise taxes on the Middle Class. The 50% who don’t pay taxes are going to have to start chipping in for their own benefits.


18 posted on 05/06/2011 7:29:50 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("The time will come when Winter will ask you what you were doing all Summer" -- Henry Clay)
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To: SeekAndFind

One thing that surprises me is that no one ever seems to want to ask the “Tax the Rich” crowd if they really want to live in a society where everyone is poor.


19 posted on 05/06/2011 7:31:17 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: SeekAndFind
You have three options, cut spending now, raise taxes, are sell your sole to the devil(also known as inflation and the Chinese): Have not seen one real plan to cut spending now?
20 posted on 05/06/2011 7:35:23 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: SeekAndFind

What is rich?
Is it Income?
Or is it Net Worth?


21 posted on 05/06/2011 7:40:57 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Wealth = Net Worth ...........Income = Net Work!)
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To: SeekAndFind

What is rich?
Is it Income?
Or is it Net Worth?


22 posted on 05/06/2011 7:40:57 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Wealth = Net Worth ...........Income = Net Work!)
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To: stocksthatgoup

The top five states for business in 2011, according to the magazine:

1) Texas

2) North Carolina

3) Florida

4) Tennessee

5) Georgia

The five worst states:

46) Michigan

47) New Jersey

48) Illinois

49) New York

50) California


23 posted on 05/06/2011 7:43:53 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Wealth = Net Worth ...........Income = Net Work!)
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To: SeekAndFind
It has become standard wisdom that tax increases on the rich are a necessary part of any bipartisan deal to avoid federal financial meltdown.

Yes, let us raise taxes on the "rich" so we can punish and discourage the successful workers in our country. Eventually the "rich" become anyone who has a job and earns over the minimum wage or less. This is the socialist, Marxist, Communist way of course. The Democrats want to make it the "American" way. They have been pretty successful. Too many Republicans fall into line and become corrupt.

24 posted on 05/06/2011 7:52:13 AM PDT by olezip
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To: SeekAndFind

In all my years, I’ve never seen a reason for pushing high taxes on the “rich” that didn’t involve jealousy. The argument is always “Why should so and so be allowed to make such and such money, while you have to subsist on minimum wage?”


25 posted on 05/08/2011 5:38:33 PM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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