2/05/2007

The Rich Pay Taxes, The Poor Do Not

From Newsmax,
Congress’ Joint Economic Committee disclosed that the richer half of the American population pays nearly 97 percent of income taxes. Most of that, 54 percent, is paid by those in the top 5 percent, Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) disclosed.

I posted on this subject Friday and used the New York Times as my source. Nobody commented and argued the other side. I wish they would have. In fact, consider this an invitation. Read my post from Friday and tell me in the comment section of this post how those facts are wrong and that the rich "don't pay their fair share". Go ahead. Please.

16 comments:

Chance said...

Many liberals on your blog have mentioned that it is not the amount of money that's spent that's important, that is, spending more isn't necessarily better. However, it seems that liberals typically agree that with taxes, the more, the better.

Kevin Barbieux said...

Since the wealthy own everything - the poor give all of their money to the wealthy (for food, rent, transportation, etc), so the wealthy are paying the poor people's taxes by proxy.

romablog said...

We could argue for days about the economic results of a progressive tax code and what not, but I'll cut to the quick by side-stepping that and saying this: money is power- and a country where the power is concentrated in the hands of the few can not be a democracy.

Glen Dean said...

Thank God we are not a democracy.

romablog said...

It doesn't matter if you call it a democracy or a republic or a democratic republic or whatever- if we want to decrease political inequities and move towards any of those types of societies, we have to tax the rich, or reallocate ownership of capital, or whatever.

Glen Dean said...

"and a country where the power is concentrated in the hands of the few can not be a democracy."

Can not be democratic as what, Cuba?

romablog said...

I didn't say that Cuba was democratic. Democracy requires somewhat equal distribution of political power- but equality in wealth does not necessarily lead to democracy.

Glen Dean said...

"A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom."- Milton Friedman.

romablog said...

The problem with Friedman is that he never tested his theories outside of the realm of theoretical economics. Applying the rational of that specific quote to, say, the judiciary system would quickly lead to a lawless state where the powerful make and break the rules at will.

I've always had qualms with how Friedman defines 'freedom-' as if the ability to own assets worth $50 billion is among the rights guaranteed to us by those contracts Locke spoke of. Besides, there are surely ways to restructure the political system without imposing on anyone's (legitimate) freedom- take the example of the Anarcho-Syndicalist networks in Spain prior to and during the civil war. In those communities, freedom was maximized, yet no man hoarded political power.

Chance said...

I'm more afraid of the government than Bill Gates. How, exactly, does Bill Gates have power over me? He is the richest man, but because of him I have an easy to use operating system (although not the most stable or secure), and a bunch of minorities get scholarship money. If he did use monopolistic practices, that's another thing, but last I checked, I can still get a Mac or Linux box.

It is the combination of government power and corporate power that is truly frightening (i.e. new interpretations of imminent domain). Other than that, Bill Gates, and well, that's the only CEO I can name, don't really have that much power over me. In contrast, 535 people deciding where 50% of people's money should go, well, that's power.

romablog said...

Power is power- whether it's accumulated in the name of the country or in the name of the market.

Democratic government, however, is not '535 people-' theoretically, at least, it's all of us.

Chance said...

"Democratic government, however, is not '535 people-' theoretically, at least, it's all of us."

Great point. However, any power Microsoft has is not vested in just Bill Gates, or even a few people. For one, it is the stockholders, and not only that, it is the customers. As the government power is vested, theoretically, in all of us, so the power in Microsoft is vested among millions.

And even better, the interaction with Microsoft is voluntary. If I don't like what the majority of the stockholders decide or what the customers want, I can take my business elsewhere. However, I don't have that luxury with government. 51% of the people decide what the other 49% do. It's similar to corporations, but my interaction with them, for the most part, is voluntary. Monopolies are another story, but that is a whole other ball of wax.

The free market is, at least, theoretically based on mutual exchanges. Democracies can, if they wish, limit these mutual exchanges, but in my opinion, they are not in the best interest of democracy.

romablog said...

Although millions do influence corporations, they do not do so equally. Corporate structures are blind to man- they only recognize the vote of the dollar.

Furthermore, interaction with corporations in the modern world is hardly voluntary. You may have the options that anti-market advocates have provided in the realm of operating systems, but your choices aren't so wide elsewhere. Where we do find choices, as consumers or employees, they are often only between one corporation and another. And corporations are highly totalitarian, whether 'voluntary' or not.

Think power outside of official government doesn't control? Interview a coal miner or some other low-skilled worker. See what sort of options and freedoms they have.

Lee said...

"Interview a coal miner or some other low-skilled worker. See what sort of options and freedoms they have."

You mean like my grandfather, a migratory cow hand who moved from farm to farm while raising four kids, who went and got his real estate license and then bought his own farm... with cash. It wasn't easy, but he did it.

By the way, his four kids: a teacher, an insurance manager, a UPS man, and a nurse.

To say that the working class cannot help themselves is an insult against them.

romablog said...

I didn't say "the working class cannot help themselves-" I said that corporations have a large degree of control over their lives in many instances.

Chance said...

Hey Lee, It's great to hear from you, how you been? I think you bring up an excellent point in that our station in life is nowhere near static (not that romablog was saying the opposite). Many point to the increasing gap between rich and poor, but the poor of 20 years ago are not the poor of today.