Tax em all Part 2 - Tax the rich

Every now and again there are comments made on articles that deserve to be broken down comment by comment and discussed in more detail.  A frequent commenter on this site going by the name "Troll" posted one such comment on another of my articles.

You can read the original article as well as all comments made to it HERE.

In Troll's comment he/she made 3 points I will address, the first is as follows.

In my original article I asked why we aren't seeing liberals in mass sending checks to the government offering up an additional 4% of their incomes since they claim so many people support such a tax increase.

Because that would be almost as stupid as this comment. We are all one big happy nation and thus we all need to chip in our fair share. Just because one is cheap and self centered does not absolve him from his responsibility.

For starters this statement assumes that anyone who feels government doesn't actually need more of our money and believes what they are taking already is mostly going to waste are in fact "cheap and self cenetered".  That's just silly.

But assuming you believe the government is 100% effective with what they take from us and truly needs more of our money this statement would be equal to having two people walking down the street and finding someone in true need of help who will die if they don't eat and turning to the person you are with and saying you refuse to give that person in need of help any money unless they also put some up as well.  Perhaps this explains why liberals give less over all to cherity.

If you are unwilling to give money toward something you believe in unless everyone else is also forced into giving at the point of a gun then it is you, not them, who are the truly selfish one.

But what I suspect of most liberals is even worse, they in fact don't want to give up any of their money which is why they always turn to chants of taxing the rich.  Rather then give of themselves for the things they believe in they would rather point a government gun at someone else's head and take their money by force.  They fool themselves into thinking its ok because that someone else is the "rich" so they wont miss the money.  Which brings us to the next point.

In response to my question of who determines who can "afford to pay" and what do they base it on our friend Troll posted this:

I think we can all agree that the guy who makes a million dollars a year can probably afford to kick in a little more. Those that don't think so are probably Republican.

This statement seems innocent at first glance but let's truly explore this.

For starters those earning more already pay more.  The higher your income the larger the percentage of it the government takes.

Let's assume that Troll took this into account and is arguing that those earning over $1 million should have their percent increased even more.  This raises the question of how much?

In the original article the amount of 4% was discussed.  For sake of argument let's use that and continue.

Based on 2009 tax returns there are only 253,413 people in this country earning over $1 million a year or 0.1 percent.

Of those earning over $1 million a year, they paid out a total of $726.9 billion in taxes.  Let's assume that a 4% tax increase would actually result in a direct 4% increase in what's collected.  We know this isn't the case because with every tax increase there are more people who seek shelters for their income thus hiding it from taxation resulting in less then expected increases it is for this reason we saw the amount collected increase under the Bush tax cuts instead of seeing it decrease, but we're in liberal fantasy land so we're ignoring that reality.

A 4% increase on millionaires would then result in the federal government collecting an additional $72.7 billion.  Hardly a drop in the bucket of the Trillion plus per year deficit we're currently running.

Since the average tax rate for the rich is 24.1% (taken from the article linked to above), let's assume any increase results in a directly proportional increase in tax revenue.  In order just to get our country out of deficit spending (2010 we hit $1.29 Trillion and 2011 looks to be even more) we would need to increase the tax rate on the "rich" (as defined be Troll as those earning $1 million a year or more) to at least 55% if not more.  More then half their income would be taken from them at the point of a gun and that assumes they would all sit back and allow it instead of shifting their incomes to less confiscatory systems.

As we take more and more money from the rich ask yourself what will happen to the companies they otherwise invested their money in?  What will become of the jobs they create? Remember, this isn't even to create new government jobs, this is what is required just to remain at the level of spending we have now.

Troll's last comment was in response to the following statement I made:

"[As] debt grows while the economy doesn't. Perhaps it's because too much of our money is already being wasted by the government. Perhaps because we as a society have grown to a point where we reward failure"

Maybe it's because corparate fatcats moved all of our jobs to other countries so they can make even more money. Maybe it's because all of the economic gains in this country have gone to one percent of the people while employee pay is down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data.

When I read this I ask two things.  First of which is whether or not this claim is even true.

The first part would depend on the industry but I will agree with Troll that jobs are moving over seas.  IT jobs being a perfect example of this.

Why?  Because the US has out priced itself from the market and companies find it cheaper to hire overseas instead of here in the US.  If you were a business owner and had the option of hiring one computer programmer in America or being able to hire a team of five or more in India?  Getting more work done for the same price so the business can be more profitable is the goal of business in the first place.

Ask yourself, if you owned a business would you pay a higher price for something you can get cheaper?  Most wouldn't.  That's why stores like Wal-Mart do so well.  They deliver the same products as other stores at lower costs and people buy them.

As our Government forces companies to pay out more in minimum wage increases we see additional unskilled labor leave.  And to make up for the increased salaries in jobs they can't move, such as the clerk in the stores companies are left having to increase costs on the rest of us.

The 2nd part of Troll's claim is the old Democrat mantra that the rich are getting richer while the poor and middle class get poorer.

He/ she is correct in part, currently under Obama the rich are growing their incomes faster then the poor and middle class at a higher rate then ever before in recent history.  Under Bush II however the poor and middle class incomes increased faster then that of the rich.

Ok, given that Troll is correct and now under Obama the Rich are growing their incomes faster then the poor, the next question is what if anything should the government do about it.  Clearly Obama's policies aren't working because they are helping the rich while a record number of people now collect food stamps.  This goes back to something I've stated before, we reward failure in this country.  By giving people all they need in life by providing "free" (read at taken by force from someone else) food, housing and health care what then do people have to work for?  If you want to see people succeed give them motivation to work.