March 11, 2011 by David K. Sutton
Why Are Tax Increases Not An Option?
To hear some people talk it seems like there’s always a good reason why taxes can’t be increased at any given time. Bring up the subject, there is sure to be a rebuttal proclaiming tax increases would harm the economy, etc. It wasn’t always this way. But right now we have a very vocal minority in this country that has been really good at pandering to all of us. Nobody wants their taxes increased so it’s a very easy position to take as a politician. But this position also lacks vision and leadership. It’s utterly arbitrary to say tax increases can never happen or that tax cuts are always a good thing. It requires no proof of the claim because the politician who says such things knows it’s a winning position with the public. I say somebody needs to grow a backbone and show some leadership even if it means potentially jeopardizing re-election. Somebody has to stand up and be the adult in the room.
Why is it that we will cut benefits for the working class instead of raising taxes on the top tax bracket? The argument that states that the top few percent pay the largest percentage of all taxes and therefore we can’t increase their taxes is both old and stale. This statement is obvious, we know this. How exactly does it support not raising taxes? The fiscal policy of Republican and Democratic administrations over the past several decades (which includes massive de-regulation) have allowed the top few percent in this country to amass a large portion of this country’s total wealth. At any given time there is only a certain total collective wealth. If more is going to the top few percent who do you think it’s coming from? Who’s losing out on this arrangement? Making the argument that you can’t increase taxes on the super-rich because they already pay a large amount of taxes is not much of an argument at all. Anybody that has paid attention to the transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the upper class over the past few decades realizes that something needs to be done to reduce the gap between the wealthy elite and the rest of the country. I hear some say that redistribution of wealth is wrong and socialist. I’d like to point out that this “redistribution of wealth” has already been going on for several decades now, only it’s going from the “have nots” to the “haves”.
I think the best solution is for several new tax brackets to be created above the current top tax bracket. I don’t know where the lines should be drawn but I think it’s safe to say that somebody making millions per year (or more) should not be in the same tax bracket as someone making 250k per year. I don’t pretend to think this will solve all of our problems. But shouldn’t we at least be doing this FIRST before we make drastic cuts that could have devastating effects on lower income individuals? It’s not about free handouts. It’s about a collective well being and a collective prosperity as a country. But instead, a relatively small amount of wealthy people have been hoarding a large percentage of this country’s wealth and sitting on it. How many bridges could this fix or build? How many streets could this repave? How many state budgets could this help balance? The list goes on. Keep this in mind the next time you this it’s “not fair” to increase taxes on the rich.
In case you are wondering. I’m not rich and no I’d rather not pay more taxes. But I will pay more taxes to help solve our problems because I’m an adult and a responsible citizen that cares about more than just my own situation.