Taxing the rich is smoke and mirrors

When it comes to debt reduction, one often cited method is to increase taxes on the richest Americans.  It’s a small wonder that this one gets trotted out so much, since it’s typically rather popular.  Even billionaire Warren Buffett has come out in support of this one, citing that he has a lower effective tax rate than his own secretary.  The problem is that it won’t actually solve a thing.

The whole “tax the rich” is smoke and mirrors, designed to look like those in power are addressing the issue of debt while really doing nothing more than taking more money that wasn’t theirs to start with.  We could take every penny from every billionaire in this country, as well was tax the profits of every Fortune 500 company in the U.S. and still have a problem with our debt.

There are plenty who will say that I’m arguing that if it won’t fix it all, then it shouldn’t be done at all.  I’m actually not.  What I’m saying is that the whole argument is predicated on it doing something that it really won’t.  People are free to support whatever policies they so choose, but they need to be aware of the fact that what they’re proposing won’t make a dent in the national debt.  It won’t really make a dent in the deficit either.

Taxation is essentially the government taking money from citizens to pay for whatever.  The key word in that is “taking”.  Making no mistake, it’s the correct verb.  They take it from Americans like you and me, and then spend it on things that we might not necessarily agree with.  They’ve used it to fund wars that were horrendously unpopular.  They’ve used it to arrest such nefarious criminals as guys who sell raw milk.  Ah yes, they use it oh so wisely </sarcasm>

Taxing the rich always sounds great.  They have so much more than you or I typically do, so why not?  They’re clearly not doing their fair share.  However, let’s put the class warfare aside and recognize why they need so much more money.  It’s not because there isn’t enough tax money being collected.  In fiscal year 2010, the United States government took in over $2 trillion.  That’s a lot of money.

Regardless, however, the federal budget for 2010 was something like $3.5 trillion.  That deficit is cited as the reason why we should increase taxes on the rich, but perhaps the problem isn’t what we’re taking in but what we’re putting out.  There was $46 billion for the Department of Education…in a nation where each state has its own department of education.  We can’t forget the $8.1 billion for the TSA to feel up grandmothers and small children.

The problem that first needs to be addressed is out of control spending.  Trillions are being spent on things that the government shouldn’t be involved in to begin with.  Reign that in, and then we can talk about raising taxes on the rich.  At that point, I’d be open to a discussion about raising my taxes.  Until then, it’s all just smoke and mirrors designed to keep people from looking at the real problem


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