Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The 99% Talk With the 1% Walk

When I said we rich guys should have higher federal tax rates, I didn't mean that I wanted to pay more money to the federal government!

Higher tax rates are one thing. Rich people have lots of attorneys to figure out how to get around that technicality.

Actually paying more money is another altogether. That is reserved for the people who don't have attorneys to exploit the rules.

Face it, any rich person who thinks they should give back more to society can instruct their tax people to avoid tax loopholes. And if they can't do that, they can simply write checks to the Treasury Department as a donation.


UPDATE: I know that proponents of increasing taxes on the wealthy ask why can't we go back to top rates of the Clinton era when the wealthy did fine. One, that won't come close to providing the revenue we need to balance the budget. Two, if I concede that we go back to Clinton-era tax rates, we should go back to Clinton-era spending levels as a percent of our GDP. Do that--but address the spending side first since I'm tired of these tax-hike-spending cut deals that always falter at the spending cut portion.

Yes, I realize that our GDP has taken a hit so the denominator is affected, but even official projections that assume revenue as a percent of GDP rises above pre-recession levels, our spending as a percent of GDP stays high (see table 1.2).

Already we see that for all the liberal whining that evil Republicans are starving orphans and puppies, that our spending has not actually declined (see table 1.1).

I'm willing to address the revenue side if it helps get us in balance. But it is clear we spend too much and not that we tax too little.