Yes (if it means serving the greater good)
No (no one has the right to decide how much wealth is too much)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/we...ax250copy.htmlHe was also following an analysis by Thomas Piketty, a widely followed economist at the Paris School of Economics, and Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley. Their study on economic equality showed that the rich have gotten richer — income for the top 1 percent rose by $261,930, or 30 percent, from 2002 to 2008 — while the bottom 90 percent saw their incomes drop by $1,170, or 4 percent, on an inflation adjusted basis.
The economists concluded: “We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable and, if not, what mix of institutional reforms should be developed to counter it.”
Whatever the policy debates, households at President Obama’s dividing line might be wealthy, but that doesn’t mean they feel wealthy.
On a Yahoo message board, a poster named Mason, who lives in Manhattan with two young children, said his household income was $262,000. “I understand the need to raise taxes,” he wrote, “but I don’t understand why people like us are lumped in with millionaires and billionaires.”
On one level, Mason is feeling the effects of inflation; $250,000 isn’t what it used to be. If Mr. Obama were really trying to return to Mr. Clinton’s 1993 levels, he would have to adjust the bracket for inflation, moving it up to about $386,075. In fact, in Mr. Clinton’s last year in office, the top bracket had risen to $288,350 from $250,000.
Then there is the problem of keeping up with the Joneses. In 1993, earning $250,000 was a more exclusive club, making it easier to feel like one of the wealthy. Back then, households making more than $200,000 represented about .08 percent of the country.
And today, $250,000 households tend to be clustered on the coasts, where there are often better-paying jobs.
The Fiscal Times, a publication financed by Peter G. Peterson, the very public deficit hawk and former commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon, commissioned BDO, an accounting firm, to look at how households that make $250,000 fared in different parts of the country, mostly in middle- to upper-class neighborhoods.
The takeaway, according to the study: “It’s not exactly Easy Street for our $250,000-a-year family, especially when they live in high-tax areas on either coast.”
Even when including in its estimates an additional $3,000 from investment income, the report said, families “end up in the red — after taxes, saving for retirement and their children’s education, and a middle-of-the-road cost of living — in seven out of the eight communities in the analysis.”
There is also an issue of fairness, say some economists and advocates of tax reform. The truly rich — the “millionaires and billionaires” — often pay much less in taxes. The wealthiest 400 Americans in the country paid, on average, a rate of only 16.6 percent, according to the latest report from the I.R.S. that examined returns from 2007. That is because much of the income of the country’s wealthiest people comes from investments, which is taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of just 15 percent.
In the USA, those earning $1 million or more derived 40 percent of their income from capital gains. The figure was similar in Australia, with those earning $1 million or more deriving 30 percent of their income from capital gains. Those on average incomes gain negligible income from capital gains.
“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon
So ... it appears that we disagree on 2 more and do not definitively disagree or agree on any of the others ... unless I have cleared things up ... ?
Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 07-24-11 at 07:01 PM.
and what is left out of the equation are the following
1) the rich pay the highest rates on every form of income.
2) the rich who pay an overall lower rate because they have mainly investment income still pay many of millions of dollars a year-far more actual money that 70 Million or more americans combined
ideally everyone should pay the same tax amount since everyone generally gets the same citizenship benefits
that of course is not possible so the same rate is what should happen. the rich will still pay much more than the average and the poor will pay less. but it will prevent the many from merely pawning off the duty of "shared sacrifice" on the top 5 percent