22 March 2011

New Chart Shows How Taxing Millionaires Would Save Billions More Than Cutting Education and Other Programs


Thanks to Greg R. for this.

I admire Jan Schakowsky, who's introduced a plan to create 2 new tax brackets, starting at a 45 percent rate for people whose income is $1 million. Her bracket would impose the highest rate — 49 percent — on billionaires.

I think this is fine, as a starter, but it really doesn't go far enough. I would put in at least four or five new upper income brackets,* with 45% starting at $250,000; at least 55% at $1 million; 70% at $20 million, and a top bracket of at least 85% on incomes over $100 million. Anyone who takes in $100 million in a year should be giving back a helluva lot, and anyone who doesn't think so is someone I have no use for.

The whole concept of "flat tax," or "limited taxes," or whatever you want to call it, is just a rationalization for legalizing racketeering. Taxes are the price of civilization, and from those to whom so much has been given, more must be received in return. This is just common sense, and there's no way around it if you want to have a functional society that treats its people decently. Which many of these people don't care one whit about, in truth.

* In actuality, I've long advocated using a progressive curve to determine tax rates. With present day computer technology, it would be a simple matter to have tax on income determined by a formula that would graph as the left half of a bell curve, with incomes under $30,000 or so normalized to zero, and a cap of 85%.  This would be the most fair tax possible, if you accept the simple premise that the rich should pay more, because they have made their wealth from the mostly-unearned advantages bestowed upon them by the existence of the civilization into which they were born. Taxes could be set so that few deductions were necessary, and rates would, for most working people, actually be somewhat lower than they are now for the modestly higher revenues needed to address our legitimate needs and the need to address the long term debt to a reasonable degree.

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