Why do we tax the rich at all ?

Is it at all possible that the world today is even just slightly different than it was after WWII?

I think it’s worth remembering that no country is a closed system. Less taxes on the rich does leave more money in the hands of investors, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll invest that extra money where we want it invested. If building a toy factory on the other side of the world is more profitable than building it in one’s home town, the rational thing to do is to build it on the other side of the world. This provides the most benefit to the investor, and it may do the most to raise the worldwide standard of living, but it won’t necessarily do very much to raise the standard of living in the country that cut taxes in the first place.

My point, such as it was, was that just as the banks are assumed to be the places where cash is by the typical member of the public, the rich are the ones assumed to have the most taxable money.

Actually, I don’t have an issue with tax shelters for the rich – but IMO make such shelters things that advance public policy. Need new economic development in the Rust Belt? Make it advantageous to invest there. Want to have a new sports stadium? Don’t build it with bonds paid off with tax money, have a joint venture build it and run it at a profit. Want research into renewable fuels? Make it financially beneficial for ExxonMobil and BP/Amoco to do that research and benefit from it.

Don’t forget farmers. They employ lots of people, or is talking about farm subsidies still taboo?

Not with me. That whole program needs cutting way back.

I don’t see how that has anything to do with my point. The plain facts on the ground are that lowering taxes on the rich for the last 12 years has not produced the large number of jobs that the Republicans said it would (quite the opposite), and that it has locked away a large amount of wealth, just like the Democrats said it would. In other words, we’ve actually run the experiment, and the results are quite plain, but one party keeps arguing that it’s “obvious” that lowering taxes on the rich creates jobs.

That level of obliviousness to actual data just irritates me no end.

Profits are up, hiring is still non-existant, unemployment and underemployment is still high.

Maybe corporations are taking advantage of this low-tax situation to sit on their profits and earn tons of interest. After all, there’s nothing to encourage them to actually spend the money on job creation.

On the other hand, if we were to raise corporate taxes, companies would have two options: spend their profits on expansion/hiring/new factories/etc. Or pay more of their money to the government. Which do you think most companies would choose?

This pig-headed idea that we MUST keep taxes low on the job creators is a bad, bad thing.

In the year 2525…

Hey, it’s working just fine for the rich folks already! Isn’t that all that matters? :stuck_out_tongue:

The big assumption: Demand stays at the same rate for your product, right?

If money were just money it would still be wrong to let the rich escape any taxes. Money is also power. As the money started trickling up, then became a river flowing up, more and more political power went with it. We are allowing a new ruling class to get richer and more powerful every day. The rich own our politicians .
The argument that the rich will hire is wrong. Hiring is spurred by demand. Demand to the poor will help the economy. Giving the tax breaks to the rich has been going on since Reagan. The jobs have been getting scarcer and scarcer as the rich have gotten more and more money.That theory has been tested thoroughly and proven wrong.

Or to

(http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2493/who-was-phoebe-snow) the Master, "People nowadays have the historical awareness of squirrels. "

If it does, and you don’t expand, money goes to the government who can funnel it to those who will spend it. Which will increase demand, eventually.
Is the owner going to expand with taxes kept low or cut? Cutting taxes further means government workers are laid off, or unemployment payments and other programs to put money into the hands of people without much decrease, which cuts demand still more. How does that help?

Hmmm, I usually agree with Cecil, but I don’t have any knowledge of what squirrels did historically.


No, the best way for him to maintain the same income would be to outsource.

Anyway, the Bush tax cuts should be rescinded when the bottom 40% or whatever it is of people who don’t pay Federal income taxes start to pony up. I think that’s fair. I find it odd how the, as I’d like to call them, “tax-the-rich” people don’t have a problem with the fact that the U.S. has become more progressive in that the rich shoulder more of the burden than they did years ago. Why should some people get the proverbial “free ride”?

I like your style: raise taxes on the poor, cut taxes for the rich.

It also just occurred to me: poor people also don’t pay the estate tax. Do you think we should also start taxing the $52.17 cents that Hobo Joe had in his pocket when he expired while panhandling on the street?

Huh? Rescinding the Bush tax cuts would be an effective tax hike on the rich. How is that “raise taxes on the poor, cut taxes for the rich”? That’s more “raise taxes for everyone”, though that idea won’t be too popular. Everyone is for tax hikes unless it requires raising your own. That’s kind of why I always find it funny when I see liberals demand tax hikes on the rich. Why aren’t they, as a whole, willing to shoulder tax hikes instead of hoisting those tax hikes on someone else?

No, but we should definitely cut stuff like EITC and other welfare programs to the poor, since they tend to cause the poor to receive more than they pay out in (combined) taxes.


You are assuming liberal = poor. There are plenty of well-off people who believe that taxes should be raised on the wealthy.

Some of those people include Warren Buffett, Reed Hastings of Netflix, these folks, and Barack Obama, to name just a few. Oh yeah, even odds that I’d pay higher taxes if the Bush tax cuts for the well-off were rescinded, and I’d be happy to.

Meanwhile, fiscal conservatives continue to snooker people who would never pay the estate tax into thinking that they will, just by mislabeling it the scaaaaaary death tax.

No they don’t; they pay much lower taxes as a percentage of their income than at any time since WWII.

Those are two different claims. One is that they pay a greater percentage of the burden, the other is that they pay a lower percentage of their income. Both can be true at the same time.

Only because they control a vaster larger percentage of the nation’s wealth than they did years ago.

Clearly it’s unfair to ask the wealthy to shoulder such a burden. The obvious solution is to divest them of their huge holdings and spread the wealth around so the tax burden can be shared more equitably.