Who Should Pay More Taxes?

Tina Haapala |

After last week’s message, a lot of folks may think I am the apologist for all the fat-cats, snobs, rich-jerks, and the like. A rereading of my article will show that I merely said that before we complain about how unfair it is that someone is richer than we are, we should look inward and judge ourselves first.

Today, there will be those among the rich who will think I’ve turned into a socialist who wants all their money redistributed. That’s also not the best interpretation of what I’m going to say. But here goes anyway.

The rich should pay more in taxes.

There, I said it. Go ahead and heat up the tar and tear open that feather pillow.

As regular readers of this column know, my recommendation for fixing the economic plight in America includes a combination of lowering overall government spending and raising taxes on its citizens. You also now know why I am not running for president.

If we need to bring in more tax revenue from somewhere, why should that somewhere not include the rich? (Obviously, if you feel that there should be no new taxes at all, then this point is moot to you.) So yes, the rich need to pay more taxes. How you go about that is open to debate. Do you whittle down their deductions (more, that is)? Do you raise their tax brackets? Do you change the rate they pay on capital gains and dividends? Do you do all of the above?

I deviate from the standard “tax the rich” chant because I don’t think we can stop there. If you think the rich should pay more taxes, do you also believe they should have to pay for every problem America has gotten itself into? Should they be the only ones to pay to repair our infrastructure (think roads, bridges, and such)? Should all the improvements to our schools, retraining of the unemployed, and help to those in poverty come exclusively from the wealthy? I think not.

No, taxes will need to be raised on the semi-wealthy, the upper middle-class, and the rest of the middle class. No doubt that the wealthy can afford more of the increase, but does “paying their fair share” mean that we take away everything they earn until they are in the middle class like the rest of us? That system has been tried in other parts of the world. It doesn’t work.

So what’s fair? I don’t know. That’s why we have debates about the issues. That’s why we have representatives to sort out a compromise between competing factions. That’s why your vote (and perhaps more importantly, your communication with your elected representatives) matters.

So yes, the rich need to pay more…and so do most of the rest of us.
 This article was published under the title "Who Should Pay More Taxes?" in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on (2/19/2012)