There is an old expression that one cannot see the forest for the trees. When I see the labored mental processes that some are putting themselves through to show problems with estate taxes - invoking the memories of relatives who could not manage a business and pay their tax - and other such examples, the expression is crystal clear.
The fact is this and it must be dealt with: Most people in this country make their money from working for it. Their income comes in the form of wages... salary ... a paycheck. And on that income they pay a tax which can be as high as 35%. That is the rule for the vast vast majority of people in America. These are the hard working people that keep America going and are the backbone of society.
Then we have a much smaller group who make their money from their investments -capital gains. For the most part, they are a different group of people who have lots of extra income that they do not need for food or shelter or housing or clothing or medical expenses or anything else associated with the daily struggle just to keep body and soul together. They take this extra money and invest in and then pay 15% on the income derived from those investments. For a variety of reasons, political, economic and social - the government extends them a discriminatory and preferential tax rate of 15%.
Then we have people who, through the good fortune of the lottery of birth, were born into a family of means and wealth and at some point they inherit a large amount of money. For a variety of reasons political, economic and social - they get healthy exemptions against paying any tax on it for the first 5 million dollars. In addition, one can use the assistance of professionals to lower the expected tax bill of 35% upon the remaining portion. Some even point out that more is spent fighting to lower the actual tax paid than is collected.
What we end up with is an American society where the vast majority of people are paying taxes on their source of money while others are earning far more and paying far less of a percentage on their source of money.
TAX FAIRNESS. That is the issue which angers so many Americans.
When we see the details of a Mitt Romney - to use the obvious example in the news - it angers people because they view it as a violation of basic justice.
And all the individual stories about hard working uncles do not speak to the dissatisfaction that Americans have about this lack of basic justice when it comes to discriminatory government laws favoring one source of money over others.