Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:31 AM
I've always felt the rich should be taxed at a higher rate. No matter what, there will always be elderly people in need of medicare and social security, poor people in need of wellfare assistance, military budgets that need funding, public works programs, etc. I do feel like the wellfare system needs major reforms as it works backwards, rewarding people for not working with more benefits while taking them away from those who try to help themselves. Not to mention all the benefits given to illegals who come here just to have kids and take advantage of our social safety net.
But with taxes, I really think we took a wrong turn during the Reagan years, TBH. I realize to most conservatives Ronald Reagan is a bit of an icon, but I've never understood why. He cut taxes and - just like Bush - never cut spending. The results were the same in both cases (recession) and in both cases the two were near the end of their 2nd term before the effects really began to become apparent.
You simply can't cut taxes if you're not going to also cut spending. It just doesn't work that way. I agree 100% we need to take a serious look at where our money is going and cut spending, but right now we also have to raise taxes on the rich to help get this deficit paid down. It was cutting taxes while spending out of control that got us to this point; now it's going to take cutting spending and raising taxes to get us out. Had Bush done the responsible thing and cut spending at the same level he cut taxes we may very well not be in this mess; at least not at the level that we are.
I'm no huge Obama fan, but this idea that he's responsible for the deficit is laughable. It was at record levels when he took office. He's certainly added his share to it, but it was the irresponsible economic policy of the Bush years that really drove it so high. Now Bush is out on some ranch somewhere while the taxpayers foot the bill for 8 years worth of some of the most reckless and short-sighted economic policy I have ever seen.
I go back to the 60's when tax rates on the rich were MUCH higher. The minimum wage of $1.60 per hour had its highest purchasing power ever ($9.86 per hour in today's dollars) and the middle class was what America was all about. Over the decades, the tax rates on the rich have gone down, profits gone up, and middle class wages have stagnated. The minimum wage was stuck at $3.35 from 1981-1990 and at $5.15 from 1997-2007.
Think about that: it went from $1.60 per hour to $3.35 from '68 - '81. That means it more than doubled in 13 years and yet in the next 9 it didn't go up a single dime? Meanwhile, the rich have gotten tax break after tax break, richer & richer all while the middle class is under siege from corporate America, wall street, and their bought & paid for puppets in Washington.