I’m not envious of all of these plutocrats and their wealth … I want to start off by saying that. I am very happy with what I have and what I don’t have is a want not a need. So – I do not begrudge these billionaires for their success. In many cases – it is entirely earned frankly. But at some point – we have to look at our tax code and ask why these billionaires are being asked to pay such a small amount in taxes relative to their significant wealth.
If someone like David Koch makes $1 billion this year – he might be able to get away with paying $200 million in taxes. That’s a lot of money but he’d still have $800 million in the bank. All I want him to do is to pay an extra $300 million. That would leave him with $500 million in one year. And yes – I do believe a person making $1 billion a year should be paying at minimum a 50% effective tax rate. And how does that give him less freedom exactly?
If we don’t fix the income inequality in this country – we will not be able to pay for educating the next generation’s greatest thinkers. We won’t be able to protect our seniors to ensure they enjoy their twilight years with dignity and respect. We won’t be able to fund the nextgen energy and infrastructure projects. We won’t be able to transition into the next century as other countries leave us behind. And while all that happens – hundreds of millions will suffer.
We need to ask ourselves what the purpose of government is. Adam Smith – the founder of American capitalism – once wrote:
Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
And I don’t think that most people really understand that concept. We decide what rules we want to live by. If we choose not to make theft a crime … the rich have to watch their backs. If we chose to tax the rich more than the poor – do the rich really lose? I mean … they’re still super rich.
Later Adam Smith … once again the FOUNDER of American capitalism said this:
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more.
And Thomas Jefferson also supported progressive taxation. I am of the Jeffersonian worldview relative to progressive taxation. It was true in the late 1700′s and it’s true today.
Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.
Reuters has the story HERE:
Collectively, this group’s net worth is the equivalent of one-eighth of the entire U.S. economy, which stood at $13.56 trillion in real terms according to the latest government data. But the 13 percent growth in the wealth of the richest Americans far outpaced that of the economy overall, helping widen the chasm between rich and poor.
Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corp, topped the list for the 19th year in a row with $66 billion, up $7 billion from a year earlier.
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc, stood second with $46 billion, followed by Larry Ellison, head of software maker Oracle Corp, with $41 billion; and the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who run the energy and chemicals conglomerate that bears their name, Koch Industries, were tied for fourth with $31 billion, Forbes said.
But consider this … this is how large a gap there is between the rich and the poor … Forbes tracks people who have public shares (not even including the individuals in privately run companies) and every 5 minutes they compile their list of “biggest winners for the day”. Today so far these 5 individuals make $1.5 billion extra in their net value. 5 individuals … $1.5 billion and the day isn’t even over yet. See for yourself HERE.
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