Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shouldn't the Wealthy at Least Pay to Control the Country's Wealth?!

So, with a three day reprieve, we (well most of us) filed our tax returns yesterday. And while most of the people I know plot what to do with their refund, I also know a number of people - not rich, by any stretch of the imagination, like my parents - who usually have to pay.

Which is why it strikes me as odd that people, presumably NOT millionaires, write various blogs and respond to articles about the rich paying more taxes actually defending the rich paying less! The new argument is that those who make less pay no taxes. A recent Mother Jones article, however, shows the disparity between the taxes of the working class (which really is the issue) and those of the rich...


""We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes," billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley famously (and allegedly) sniffed. She wasn't entirely correct: The superrich do still pay taxes. The wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers pay 32 percent of all income tax collected by the federal government."
"But the superrich don't pay as much as they used to—and thanks to a combination of tax cuts and preferential tax policies, their tax obligations can be less demanding than the so-called little people's. In fact, the very wealthiest Americans' tax burden has been steadily dropping for years, even as they've enjoyed astounding income growth not seen by the vast majority of Americans..."
"Leona Helmsley's distaste for paying taxes eventually landed her in federal prison. But the rich have little need to break the law to avoid the tax collector. As Martin A. Sullivan of Tax.comrecently calculated, a New York janitor making slightly more than $33,000 a year pays an effective tax rate of nearly 25%. And the effective tax rate for a resident of the Park Avenue building named after Helmsley, earning an average of $1.2 million annually? A cool 14.7%."

















Ours has been a country of staggering income inequality, by which I mean the gap between the wealthiest in our country and the average income of ordinary Americans is astoundingly disproportionate...


The disproportionality in income of course extends to control of our country's wealth. In other words who actually determines the direction and distribution of our country's assets...


The way I hear the argument - not by the wealthy, but by those who, for the most part, fall in the bottom 90% - is that 'we shouldn't 'penalize success'. I have even heard it suggested that since the janitor in the first diagram, for instance, would get a refund and therefore pay 'no taxes' he shouldn't be allowed to vote, making him a virtual non-citizen. Let's not deal with the irrationality of that for now. I have another question...

If the wealthy owe nothing to the country for the advantages it (actually we) provide (and allow) that make their wealth possible; if the wealthy have a 'right' to enjoy a lower tax rate by virtue of their wealth,  and if it is categorized as 'unfair' and 'class warfare' to suggest that the wealthy should pay more because they benefit more...then shouldn't they at least pay to control 2/3 of the nation's wealth?! 

If that's not the case my friends then the wealth of this country has already been redistributed...just look up!

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