A Daily Republic columnist recently wrote about the evils of income redistribution by taxation. Should we continue such an unfair practice?
I certainly hope so.
I hope we agree that the government has to be fully funded in normal economic times. For approximately 30 years we’ve gotten used to someone else paying for some of it as we gaily ran deficit after deficit. I’m gratified that everyone now seems alarmed by the resulting national debt, so this long-lasting delusion has hopefully dissipated. No more of “deficits don’t matter.”
I predict taxes will go up after the economy begins humming again; a bit for us and more from those who can well afford it, the very wealthy. Let’s clarify: Taxes are not punishment. They don’t select out “job creators.” Few of them go to “lazy people.” We’re simply trying to pay for the quality of life we Americans have become accustomed to and to balance the federal budget. Someone’s got to pay more.
Please don’t tell me what budget line item you object to, dear reader, so you can wiggle away. The gridlock you see in Washington, D.C. is proof positive that there are powerful constituencies for each and every program we have. Cuts will be nominal. Taxes must rise.
If you don’t want to “punish success” we can exempt multimillionaires and billionaires as the Republicans want, and you and I can close the deficit with taxes on our declining income. That would allow the people who have doubled their incomes over the past 30 years to accumulate even more assets.
This is your choice.
Vote Republican if you want to protect the billionaires. Vote Democratic if you want them to pay more (because they can). All else is screen static: abortion, immigration, Ayn Rand, Benghazi and that Muslim guy Obama. But believe me, the brass ring for the billionaires is tax rates. They use all those other issues to distract (and pretty effectively, too).
Let’s assume that the direction from the above paragraph is obvious. You will hear, “We billionaires already pay so-and-such percent of all income taxes; more is unfair.”
Here’s your answer. Many super-rich are rich due to inheritance. They did nothing to earn their wealth. Their tears don’t impress me.
For entrepreneur-billionaires who innovated something, welcome to the 442 billionaires in the U.S. I admire you. But you didn’t get there without the help of the rest of us. For those corporate executives who have put pliant friends on their boards who return the favor by giving ridiculously high compensations, I suggest your pay be cut to the low millions.
But listen up, all of you fat cats. I want to put a dent in your conceits. You piloted your corporation to new products and markets. I’ll bet the ideas came from a bright subordinate. You assigned a committee to check it out. It checked out. You gave the thumbs-up.
Could someone in Fairfield who was fortunate enough to have been there done it? I think probably so. So lots of other people were important to your success.
I want you to become very wealthy, but wealthy enough to influence the government, national elections, the Supreme Court? Not that wealthy, and you are. Plutocracy – rule by the rich – is a near reality, right now. Look at the last election. Two rich guys running whose major platform was cutting taxes on the rich. Meanwhile, cut Medicare and Medicaid.
Your taxes represent payback to society. We taxpayers paid for a lot of the schooling for your assistants and executives. We made the roads and airways and kept them safe. We paid for the courts that protected your patents that you registered at our expense. We kept war and criminals away with military expenditures and police forces. Your employees had no concern for food poisoning and waterborne diseases.
The way corporations are seeking relief from corporate taxes makes me wonder if they think these things were their rightful due. Real corporate taxes are low, one of the reasons why you get such ridiculous levels of compensation. So pay higher taxes instead as just payment for services rendered.
Yes, taxes need to go up. Start at the top of the economic ladder. The top has doubled its income over 30 years. The top 1 percent has taken every bit of increased national wealth produced since the end of the Great Recession four years ago. I think that’s disgraceful.
But if you don’t think so, vote Republican and let’s hope that the wealth trickles down . . . maybe . . . someday.
Yes, this is called income redistribution, and I’m in favor. The GOP calls this “class war.” But the GOP began income redistribution to themselves 30-some years ago, and as billionaire Warren Buffet said, “Yes, there’s class war, and we’re winning.”
It’s not punishment; it’s called paying for the government. So increase taxes; start at the top.
Jack Batson is a former member of the Fairfield City Council. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.