President Obama was scheduled to give a speech this afternoon on his plans to reduce the debt that is crippling our economy and our nation. It is now $14 trillion and counting. One of his solutions that always comes up is raising taxes on the wealthy.
My question is, why are we considering passing extra taxes onto the people that will eventually get us out of this mess?
I remember a few years ago having a conversation with one of my friends regarding politics and that one of the reasons he was voting Democratic is that the rich make too much money.
You know the old saying, “The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer.”
But, according to a 2007 edition of The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, the wealthiest 1 percent of the American population earn 19 percent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax, while the top 10 percent pay 68 percent.
Compare that to the bottom 50 percent, who earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of taxes.
And yet, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) recently said that we are not taxing the millionaires and billionaires enough.
Now, I’m not saying that the rich shouldn’t pay their fair share. The fact that General Electric reportedly paid no federal taxes in 2010 despite earning $14.2 billion dollars in profit should infuriate most people.
I also recognize the fact that the situation that the country faces was brought on in part by corruption and greed on Wall Street.
However, there seems to be a tendency among some people to look upon every person of wealth as someone who won life’s lottery, bucked the system or got to where they are because of an inheritance.
In other words, they didn’t work for their money or earn their money or their money just appeared out of thin air.
I wonder how many people out there know what it takes to be rich or wealthy? For those that do, I wonder if they are willing to do what it takes to be rich or wealthy and put the hard work or time that is necessary?
If you look at the stories of some successful people, you would find that their path to the top was anything but easy. Apple CEO Steve Jobs dropped out of college because he couldn’t afford tuition and helped start Apple in his parents’ garage and was ousted from the company before returning in 1996.
I’m sure that if you talk to CEO’s of most companies, you would find out that they got to the top of their company by starting out at the very bottom and working their way up.
Founders of successful businesses could tell you stories of the sleepless nights they endured learning and working to make their vision a reality.
I remember awhile back looking at something online called “Letter From Your Boss.” I won’t recap the whole letter, but one of the paragraphs reads:
“My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.”
The author of anonymous letter goes on to say that too many taxes and government regulations are crippling him and his company and that business is the heart of America. The letter is definitely worth a read and you can read it by clicking here.
According to a 2009 Wall Street Journal article, the state of Maryland created a special tax that went towards the wealthiest in the state, raising their marginal income tax-rate to 6.25 percent, hoping to gain an extra $106 million in revenue. However, the state ended up losing about $257 million, and Maryland’s wealthiest soon started fleeing the state.
Democrats in New Jersey are currently trying to raise the top tax rate on those in the state that earn over $1 million.
Why do you think that many people are heading south to states such as Florida and Texas? It’s not just because of the warm weather, it’s because of the low tax rates, making them friendlier places to do business.
It’s easy to thumb our nose at people who we believe have more than us instead of asking ourselves what are we doing with our lives. Have we made the right choices? Are we living responsibly? Are we doing all that we can to better ourselves?
Meanwhile, while many Americans are making a budget and trying to live within their means responsibly and trying to better themselves, this current government is spending like a credit card that has no limit.
The government is funding entitlements that are out of control, an education system that is lagging behind other countries, a stimulus that the government currently cannot afford to pay back to taxpayers and a health care overhaul that is far-reaching and unnecessary.
Not to mention with rising gas prices, we’re relying on other countries for our energy and crippling our economy with overreaching environmental regulations rather than exploring energy sources in our own country.
While I’m all for looking at alternative sources of energy, the reality is that some of these green projects have not been proven to be sustainable or are years away from becoming sustainable and oil remains our main source.
Some people may also include the wars that America is involved in as well.
And yet Obama believes that by increasing taxes on the job creators will get us out of this mess. Keep in mind that in his world, a millionaire is someone who makes over $250,000 a year.
While it was former President Bush’s policies that helped drag us close to the edge of the economic cliff, we are now, under Obama, Thelma and Louise flying into the Grand Canyon in a 1966 Ford Thunderbird.
Meanwhile, America’s “Teen Moms” irresponsibly continue to have children out of wedlock that they cannot afford to raise, sometimes with fathers that are virtually non-existent, and rely on the government to take care of them.
While financial corruption and greed certainly needs to be tackled, we need to stop looking at all of America’s wealthiest as if they are Charlie Sheen; putting on a lackluster performance and saying “I’ve already got your money!”
Comedian Bill Maher concluded his recent “Real Time” show on HBO by saying that as long as America has three wars going, it should start a class war.
I say, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to ask for a class “cease-fire,” overhaul America’s tax code for the benefit of all Americans, and give those decent men and women who have earned their success room to grow their businesses so that other people have the chance to work and be successful.
Not to mention the more money that the rich spend, the more the rich would pay in taxes and the more tax revenue would be generated. Sounds better than making the rich pay the hard way.