Monday, January 3, 2011

American Public: Tax The Rich

So says a 60 Minutes / Vanity Fair poll. From a Reuters article:

Most Americans say tax rich to balance budget: poll

NEW YORK | Mon Jan 3, 2011 11:15am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday.

President Barack Obama last month signed into law a two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for millions of Americans, including the wealthiest, in a compromise with Republicans.

Republicans, who this week take control of the House of Representatives, want to extend all Bush-era tax cuts "permanently" for the middle class and wealthier Americans. ...

Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed.


Hear, hear! Over the past 50 to 75 years, taxes for the wealthiest Americans have gone (if memory serves me right) from about 90 percent in increments down to 30-35 percent today. And that's only in principle: many of the wealthy, and a surprising number of corporations, manage to pay no taxes at all. Tell me again: why is the government short of money?

The next most popular proposed cut? Twenty percent said we should cut "defense" spending. Again, count me in: spending is not for defense if it is used to fund discretionary wars of aggression, and there's hardly any other way to read Iraq and Afghanistan (and probably Pakistan and possibly Iran and... etc.) than as wars of aggression. They don't make us safer, and they cost a lot, both in dollars and in international reputation.

So how many people polled would cut Medicare and Social Security? That would be 4% and 3% respectively. Again, I find myself well into the 96%-97% who think cutting those is a bad idea.

So what do you think the 'publicans in the House will do with these issues in the next Congress? Yeah, that's what I think, too. Let's hope President O has the balls to veto a lot.

AFTERTHOUGHT: the Declaration of Independence says we each have a right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Neither the Declaration nor the Constitution speaks of a right to be wealthy beyond all reasonable need. If you think the Founders had obscene wealth in mind as a right, consider Benjamin Franklin's words: "Private property therefore is a creature of society, and is subject to the calls of that society, whenever its necessities shall require it, even to its last farthing." So be it.


  1. Hallelujah and Amen!!!!

    The really interesting part of this is that the majority of the people who read Vanity Fair are rich.

  2. True, Kay, but I don't know that the poll was a reader survey. It may have been random, or it may have been a cross-section selected to represent as much as possible the whole population of America. I just don't know.



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