- Sep 11, 2006
22; Wealth should be taxed
However, wealth is not taxed at all.
If a billionaire says "I have enough money to last a lifetime, I don't need anymore", doesn't work, doesn't invest, and rents a large house, he can live the rest of his life paying only sales tax.
The recent tax cuts were not all for earned income. Taxes on stock dividends and inheritance were lowered or eliminated, forms of income which a person does not earn, things which contribute nothing to society, (unlike actually working for ones money, as most of us do.)
The rich pay a lower percentage of their total wealth than does the poor. (Note, I said wealth not income)
The taxes also affect them less.
Someone with 1 million dollars of income paying 90% taxes still has
$91,000 more than someone with 10 thousand dollars of income paying 10% in taxes.
The reason the rich pay the majority of the taxes, is because the rich have the vast majority of the wealth.
Since in the US the top 20% of the population controls 83% of the wealth, it is perfectly fair and reasonable that they should pay 83% of the taxes.
Since the top 1% controls 38% of the wealth, is it not reasonable that 1% of the population should pay 38% of the taxes?
Do we all honestly believe that those with amassed fortunes have been, and continue to be, that much more valuable to society that they shouldn't have to pay an equal percentage into society through taxes? Those who inherit their fortunes (which is at least half of the very wealthy), contribute little if anything to society, and never need do any real work. And yet many middle class, and even poor Americans feel those people are being treated unfairly.
We take this way of life for granted. Our level of income inequality is third highest in the 'developed' world after Turkey and Mexico. Every other 1st world country (if you can even consider those two to be 1st world) has a smaller spread between rich and middle and poor classes.
That's why the rich pay so much more.