Skip to comments.Please, Raise My Taxes?
Posted on 06/28/2019 7:19:59 AM PDT by Kaslin
With metronomic regularity, some well-motivated billionaire announces that he wishes the government would increase his taxes. The latest entrant is Eli Broad. Writing in The New York Times, Broad praises private philanthropy and the capitalist system "that's yielded some of the greatest gains in prosperity and innovation in human history." Still, he concludes, "I simply believe it's time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else."
Some pundits might mock Broad, pointing out that nothing is preventing him from sending bigger checks to Uncle Sam than current law requires. Or they might protest that the super-rich can well afford to say "raise my taxes" they'd never feel it whereas the comfortable but not quite rich might get caught in the net.
But Broad doesn't deserve disdain. In the first place, he's a great philanthropist who is a walking Horatio Alger story. The son of an immigrant house painter and seamstress, he attended public schools and worked his way through Michigan State by, among other things, selling garbage disposals door to door and operating a drill press at Packard Motor. He is the only former member of the United Auto Workers who went on to found two Fortune 500 companies in different industries because he is the only person ever to have achieved that feat.
He has committed to giving 75 percent of his wealth away and has already donated hundreds of millions of dollars to education (especially urban public schools), the arts, and scientific and medical research. He deserves the benefit of the doubt about his motives.
Broad writes: "Some of us have supported closing the gulf between rich and poor by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, reforming our education system, expanding access to medical care, building more affordable housing." But, he concedes, "even in cities like my adopted hometown, Los Angeles, where many of these policies have been enacted, they have not adequately addressed the crisis. Our country must do something bigger and more radical."
Whoa. If something hasn't worked, maybe the answer is not more of the same.
Broad is worried about things that top most progressive lists income inequality, the supposedly shrinking middle class, the climate crisis, and "skyrocketing" housing and health care costs (though not the $22 trillion national debt). There's plenty of doubt that the federal government is competent to address these problems with the proceeds of a wealth tax.
For one thing, housing costs tend to be local matters, and housing costs vary tremendously by region. The reason housing is so expensive in Broad's home state of California is the heavy burden of environmental regulations, rent control, and zoning. Housing in Los Angeles is 257 percent more expensive than in Dallas, Texas.
Reforming the education system is an excellent idea, and there's a strong case to be made that charters have begun to show results. But K-12 education is mostly a local, not a federal, matter.
How about a $15 minimum wage? It sounds good. People picture a hardworking dad or mom struggling to feed a family on $7.25 an hour and falling behind. But that's not reality. (Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have higher minimum wages than the federal level.) The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a detailed picture of minimum-wage workers. Half are under the age of 25. Three-fifths work in restaurants where their incomes may be supplemented by tips. By the way, what percentage of full-time workers would you imagine earns the minimum wage? According to 2017 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's just 1.1 percent.
Nor is it clear that the "shrinking middle class" is an urgent national concern. Yes, the percentage of adults in the middle-income tier has declined since 1971 from 61 percent of the total to 52 percent. But slightly more entered the upper class than fell to the lower.
Rather than calling for the federal government to do more income redistribution, it might be useful to have states and localities examine what works in other jurisdictions. California might learn a thing or two about keeping housing costs down from Texas, and everyone can learn useful lessons from Utah's social welfare programs.
Hats off to Mr. Broad for wanting to do the right thing. Perhaps he might reconsider what that really is.
I know I sure do. Mock, that is.
If you want to pay more in taxes, just do this, anybody can do it. The millionaires just want to look good by saying this.
Just do the following to pay more! No need to announce it!
How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
There are two ways for you to make a contribution to reduce the debt:
At Pay.gov, you can contribute online by credit card, debit card, PayPal, checking account, or savings account.
You can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and, in the memo section, notate that it’s a gift to reduce the debt held by the public. Mail your check to:
Attn Dept G
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188
I mock him.
Because there is nothing to stop him from writing a big annual extra check to his beloved government. In reality, what he is truly advocating is that he wants his beloved leftist government to confiscate more of everyone else’s money to waste on whatever, and, maybe spend some of it on his priorities - not mine.
Step 1: Billionaires ask to be taxed more.
Step 2: Congress raises taxes on billionaires.
Step 3: Billionaires set up tax shelters to avoid new taxes.
Gov Huckabee had the solution for this. While governor of Arkansas he created the TaxMeMore fund. There was a line on his state income tax specifically asking for more tax money and it would go into the TaxMeMore fund. This way it would be easy to track how much money was contributed to the fund. Guess what? It wasn’t much. As I recall only a few of the leftist legislatures that were pushing for this contributed to the fund and it wasn’t much.
We need a national TaxMeMore fund...
I’ve also heard Ken Langone (co-founder of HomeDepot) talk about this. He said why should he give more money to the government. He has huge endowments and charities, has built hospitals etc.. He said he is far better to allocate his charitable dollars than the government is. Does anyone (even a leftist) disagree?
(paraphrasing Henny Youngman): There are a lot of things in life that make no sense. Take my taxes... ...please.
He deserves mocking. He built his wealth through initiative and hard work yet he concludes the best way to ‘bridge the gap’ is to give money away. He’s actually disincentivizing the values that created his wealth. And his ‘raise taxes’ puts the money into government not private enterprise. When was the last time government raised the lot of the poor by encouraging self reliance, initiative and hard work?
You forgot step 4. Inflation moves large section of middle class into wealth tax bracket and middle class bears the brunt of the tax because they don't have the resources to set up tax shelters.
Certainly Bernie Sanders has no need for three homes or Elizabeth Warren for her millions. When are they going to spread their wealth around? As Orwell said so well... All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Yo billionaires. If you want to pay higher taxes, just write the damn check and STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, yet, again, the BIG questions remain to be unasked and unanswered:
- FOR what?
- by what AUTHORITY?
Any ‘debate’ beyond is moot until rectified.
Course, nobody on the (R)N(C) side of the Uniparty dare even THINK along those lines either...might start to expect more than platitudes.
At best, this is a feel-good measure to those potential voters who have lower incomes (and who might be inclined to vote for progressive Democrats.)
At worst, it's a cynical way for the federal government to attempt to increase its coffers--though there's no proof that such a "wealth tax" would necessarily accomplish the goal of move revenue. Even if the tax successfully raised government revenue, any trickle-down would be minuscule.
Mass prosperity requires economic progress, which requires a pro-capitalistic political program, which requires rationality, natural rights, including private property rights, capital accumulation, and technological progress and advances.
The total abolition of the personal and corporate income taxes and of the inheritance tax is an essential feature of a pro-capitalist political program. It is required by the individuals right to his own property. In addition, progress toward the abolition of these taxes helps to create the conditions required for economic progress, by increasing economic incentives, and the ability to save, both of which serve to promote capital accumulation, and thus a rising productivity of labor and rising average real wage rates.
Misunderstanding of Macro Economics. The more Capitol that is taken out of the private sector, the smaller it is; also everyone tends to hoard Capitol when ‘the rich’ have to pay more.
Less commerce; less job opportunity; less wealth for others who want to invest in the private sector; eventually less tax revenue collected because there are fewer wealthy individuals. But more Government power.
If one wants to pay taxes, go ahead, but forcing everyone else to pay a higher tax rate because you think “raise my taxes” is an economic boon for the government is an uneducated view of how private sector Macro Economics works.
He can pay more taxes, if he wants to, nobody is stopping him.
The problem is that they are all talk, and ultimately they want the rest of us to pay more taxes, while they find every loophole, because they are rich.
They dont disagree when it comes to their own wealth. The support causes THEY themselves like and dont trust the governments judgement. And they are happy to take their deductions for charitable contributions!
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