Most Americans say tax rich to balance budget: poll

Comments (135)
RogerCfromSD wrote:

Appears the Liberal-Socialists in America have successfully indoctrinated 20% of Americans into thinking like Communists and fooling another 25% into believing in class warfare.

Jan 03, 2011 11:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
kbjj03 wrote:

Really….. the top 25% pay 86% of the federal income taxes. That has also increased since 1999 from about 83%. The bottom 50% pay 2.7%. Of course Liberal surveys like this are designed to show a particular outcome where cutting spending was not an option in the question. I started my business with money from my wife and I’s 401k accounts. Which was money we earned and saved responsibly. We paid the penalties and taxes on that also. We took risks that the people surveyed here would never take. 15 years later we have a good business. Why don’t all you whiners go out and take advantage of the gifts I give you. Like free food, education, housing, and try to use your brain to get ahead.

Jan 03, 2011 11:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
Asparro wrote:

If most Americans feel this way, why did they vote to put the Republicans in charge of congress?

Jan 03, 2011 11:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
imacracker wrote:

Translation: 61% of the people said “don’t tax me to pay for the government I like”

Jan 03, 2011 11:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
Convinced wrote:

Revenues doubled during the Reagan years when he lowered tax rates. Up the tax rates and revenues will decline. Learn the lessons of the past.

Jan 03, 2011 11:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
SingleStepper wrote:

We could also pay illiterate poor women to not have babies, instead of paying them to have babies.

Jan 03, 2011 11:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
leagleyes wrote:

Since when did it matter what the public thinks? If the polls say 60% the machine goes to work until the number is 49% or, a baby is down in a well and we focus on that instead.

Jan 03, 2011 11:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
cferrel wrote:

How about we do a flat 15% income tax. The bottom 50% does not pay taxes at all but I think we all should pay our part.

Jan 03, 2011 11:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
chris87654 wrote:

Tax cuts will be okay after the budget and debt are in better shape. Until then, remember that “rich” people got that way from taxpayers and consumers buying what they sell. Last year, upper earners got that way from high bonuses/salaries derived from TARP, stimulus, bailouts, and RECORD corporate profits. A lot of Republicans were whining about government spending until it came time to tax those who reaped the benefit. This is especially true for oil companies who continue to bleed money from all sectors – high gas prices result from speculators who’ve set oil prices as a leading indicator (tied to stock market, not to supply/demand).

Jan 03, 2011 11:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
MadAng wrote:

How can this be true. For the last year we are told that he “rich” must not be taxed so they can create jobs so we can get out of this financial mess. The president is forced to give the “rich” tax cuts so now we will have tons of jobs and we will pay off the deficit in no time.

Jan 03, 2011 11:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

Who is John Galt?

Jan 03, 2011 11:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
flibjibbet wrote:

“Most Americans say tax rich”. Given that no one wants to pay more in taxes, and that “most Americans” aren’t rich — this isn’t even a newsworthy article. Its a big “Duh”.

As long as we can keep wealth out of the hands of “most” Americans, the Democrats will continue to attract tons of people that buy into the tax the rich simple “solution”.

Here’s a crazy idea: Government should spend less and quit gorging on taxpayer’s income. Talk about killing the golden goose…

Jan 03, 2011 11:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
katz523 wrote:

How about closing all of the loopholes and tax shelters, so the super wealthy actually pay taxes instead of avoiding them.

Jan 03, 2011 11:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
djaymick wrote:

First, look at the two organizations that are behind this poll. Both are liberal organizations that would rather protect a Democratic President than provide a true picture. To reiterate this point, look at the second area they would cut – defense spending. Democrats think this is our largest “wasteful spending”.
Second, wWe also never see a breakdown by political affiliation. Of course, most liberal polls have an 8-9 point swing that favors the Democrats, even though our last election showed more people voting for Republican candidates.
Last, why do Democrats think they know the spending habits of every American. If you make $300K, you bring home about 53% (about $159K) of your check (35% for Fed, 7.65% for FICA, and 4% for State taxes). Now, if they invest in their own retirement through a 401(k), the amount lessens. They think people like this don’t have mortgages or other bills. It doesn’t matter how much you make to be rich – look at Michael Jackson, Randy Quaid and/or Gary Coleman to reiterate this point. All make over the $250K amount, but all bankrupt.

Jan 03, 2011 11:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
redmerlot wrote:

People always think they can fix everything by just “taxing the rich.”

The actual question aboute debt control gave respondents only
these choices:

Increase taxes on the wealthy
Cut defense spending
Cut Medicare
Cut Social Security

Of COURSE people respond “raise the taxes on the wealthy” because they always imagine that the “wealthy” will not include THEM. “Wealthy” is always subconsciously interpreted by people to mean, “Other people, who make more than I do.”

The recent furor over reinstating the Bush tax cuts is a prime example. Reinstating the cuts for the “wealthy” (defined in this case as people making over $250,000/yr) costs only about 20% of what it cost to give the cuts back to everybody else! So if you give the cut back to only the middle class, and you DON’T give it to the “wealthy” because you think that is going to be able to pay for it, forget it.

Despite their big fat bank accounts, there is not nearly enough “wealth” in the “wealthy” to pay down the deficit, or to even make a dent in it. Entitlements (Medicare + Social Security), Defense, and interest on the debt are by far the lion’s share of where our debt is, and you’re not going to fix any of those by “taxing the rich.”

Jan 03, 2011 11:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
stvb6411 wrote:

My poll says most Americans think the government should cut spending to balance the budget. That includes military, that includes TSA, that includes this huge security infrastructure that Bush created that now keeps track of everyone. It includes Fed subsidies for all the major metropolitan police departments. We can’t afford this police state we now live in. And we can’t afford the senior Rx program that encourages people to take a pill for every ache and ailment they feel or think they feel. We can’t afford the pork-barrel projects that self-entitled congressman think it is their job to obtain for their meme constituencies. All this self-entitled attitude that the government has encouraged is what is killing the country, financially, socially and culturally. Our roots are puritanical. Government regulation, yes, but over areas that protect real public exposure, such as the food supply, ingredients, air and water pollution, yes, even mileage ratings for cars. But don’t start neglecting these most basic of regulations and start putting all you eggs in the security apparatus! Err on the side of having freedom of expression. The U.S.A. going after Wikileaks rings of China going after internal dissent. We are becoming what we have always rallied against. Remember how our media and gov’t used to depict the old Soviet Union? Well, look at our behavior, our practices, even our collective acquiescence. We have become what Martin Luther King saw before his death, a nation of onlookers. We are too comfortable for our own good. As long as we’re o.k., let someone else fight the good fight. Let someone else stand up to big brother. Let someone else object to political, financial and police corruption, collusion and self-service at the expense of the public’s trust. I’ve got my pie-in-the-sky, that’s all I care about, let the good times roll…

Jan 03, 2011 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
Ying-Yang wrote:

I find it odd that the party that supposedly defends minorities against oppressive majorities is being bigoted. This is no less than a financial lynching by the majority for their gain. What law or even moral rule did all of “the rich” break to get this fine? The poor are not poor BECAUSE of the rich, and rich are not rich BECAUSE of the poor, so why the bigotry against success? Anger even? Necessity is the mother of invention, is taxation the cure? NO! Invention, innovation, entrepreneurialism is! Dell was started with $1,000 in a garage and an idea. THATS how you break poverty. DO SOMETHING. They did. What right do you have to it? ZERO. Lottery tickets don’t count. As a society we penalize success and reward laziness and sloth. So sad to see this legalized extortion.

Jan 03, 2011 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
jaguar6cy wrote:

Raising taxes on business and investment has a nice ring to it, until it happens. Taxes are just another cost of doing business, and when costs rise only two things can happen. Prices go up and/or hiring goes down. It is customers who pay all those new business taxes, either with higher prices or loss of jobs. There is no third choice. So if you want increased prices and reduced employment, you should support higher taxes. Liberals don’t want you to know this simple fact of economic life. Are you still a liberal? Why?

Jan 03, 2011 11:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
commenter1223 wrote:

Considering the source of the poll, 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair, the only conclusion that can be made is that 61% of Americans are complete idiots. We are in serious trouble.

Jan 03, 2011 11:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
chris87654 wrote:

djaymick”It doesn’t matter how much you make to be rich – look at Michael Jackson, Randy Quaid and/or Gary Coleman to reiterate this point. All make over the $250K amount, but all bankrupt.”

Also consider the group of (40?) patriotic millionaires who were against extending the cuts because they’re smart enough to see the long-term damage. Tax savings by upper earners DON’T get circulated in the economy (they go into bank accounts/investments) – that’s why “trickle down” economics never work. Jobs will come back after supply/demand for goods and services increase – that’s not going to happen when middle classers only have enough money for energy, food, rent/house payment expenses – and that’s not going to change now that gas prices are again pulling money from the broad economy.

Jan 03, 2011 12:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chris87654 wrote:

“Last, why do Democrats think they know the spending habits of every American. If you make $300K, you bring home about 53% (about $159K) of your check (35% for Fed, 7.65% for FICA, and 4% for State taxes). Now, if they invest in their own retirement through a 401(k), the amount lessens.”

Good point – so raise the cut off, but open up your numbers. If someone has $10M AGI, the extra 3% Bush cut will yield $300K – such high earners will not circulate that extra $300K in the broad economy, they already have enough discretionary income.

And it’s not just Dems that know this – Republicans and Independents know it too.

Jan 03, 2011 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rblivingston wrote:

Taxing the rich is a no-brainer.

But I won’t hold my breath– both political parties work for them: not for the upper 20%, the upper 10%, or even the wealthiest 1%.

They work at the behest of the the upper 1% of the wealthiest 1%.

All the rest of us are fools to tolerate this election after election.

Jan 03, 2011 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bucky82 wrote:

djaymick you’re either lazy with your figures or don’t know any better and due to length I’ll only address your federal tax figures, but for future reference it would be 33% and even then federal tax brackets don’t work the way you tried to apply them. If you fall in the 33% take bracket, not all of you taxable income will be taxed at that rate. you still go through the lower brackets getting taxed at each upper limit minus the previous brackets limit, so the EFFECTIVE tax rate (assuming married filing jointly and that all 300k is taxable income, which it won’t be but I’ll be generous) is actaully about 25.6% opposed to the 33% face value or the incorrect 35% you stated. That’s a different of over 28k right there. Glad you don’t do my taxes.

Jan 03, 2011 12:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
wintdkyo wrote:

While I do support taxing the rich to balance the budget, having “most Americans” saying it does not make it necessarily the right reason to do it. This is why we don’t live in a pure democracy, because the opinions of the majority does not amount to a good reason for policy decisions, imho.

Jan 03, 2011 12:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gurari wrote:

Get rid of the bush-era tax cuts altogether. We’re pretty damn spoiled in this country.

Jan 03, 2011 2:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ginchinchili wrote:

Republicans are constantly complaining that Obama pushes through his agenda despite the opposition of most Americans. Where there’s certainly spacious room to argue whether that’s true or not, it’s interesting how we see here a clear example of what a majority of people want and Republicans conveniently abandoning their complaint that the majority is being ignored in favor of now arguing that the majority should be ignored. Our demise is an interesting thing to witness. At least the Democrats were finally able to get around Republican obstruction of the 9/11 First Responders healthcare bill. I wonder if Republicans will have the audacity to still use 9/11 for their political benefit? Of course they will.

Jan 03, 2011 2:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Adam_S wrote:

Funny comments for this article.

Those who’d dismiss the poll due to it being run by 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair…would you also dismiss polls run by, with scare quotes “conservative” organizations? Or, rather, which polling shops DO you trust? Point is that if you’re partisan enough, nearly every source of “data” can be construed as biased. Come on, people.

Those who say the poll didn’t offer any ‘real’ options…really? I think it talked about taxing the wealthy (both parties have rich people in them, dur), and two options involving cutting entitlement programs (usually favored by the GOP), the other was cutting defense (usually favored by the Dems). You were saying?

Those who say that 50% of the population doesn’t pay taxes…just stop it…or perhaps do some inquiry, and realize that “Federal Income Tax” is only ONE of many taxes ALL Americans pay. Sales, excise, state income, corporate, etc. Argue about the idea, sure, but stop running around screaming that half our country doesn’t pay taxes. It’s simply untrue.

The person who claims everyone can do it via ingenuity and $1000 in their garage like Mike Dell did…his dad was an orthodontist and stockbroker…he had more advantages growing up than many in this country. It’s hard to have an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit when your childhood mentors don’t have much, and you can’t learn by example.

Chris87654 said it best above me…the wealthy invest where they make the most $ for their $, there is NO guarantee that is in anything that will create jobs in America. The middle class can’t begin to demand more consumables until they have money to spend. Even if the tax rates on the wealthy are raised, they will still have plenty of money to consume, and (gasp!) invest.

Jan 03, 2011 3:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
OhBoyHereWeGo wrote:

They should have given the wealthy these tax breaks 10 years ago. Then we would not be in this mess.

Jan 03, 2011 3:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
txgadfly wrote:

Was ending our involvement in the Middle Eastern and Southwest Asian wars an option? The total of that spending accounts for over 90% of the deficit. Get out now.

Jan 03, 2011 3:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
eric6161 wrote:

Tax those horrible rich people!! Average wage in the world is approximately $5000 US per year. Anyone who makes over $5000 should have their US taxes, their state taxes, their local taxes, and their NEW world taxes increased.

Jan 03, 2011 4:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
eric6161 wrote:

How about we do like we did before the progressives got into power… do away with the income tax totally and let our states have the power. The federal government has proven once and for all time that they can’t do a good job… matter of fact they run the country like a post office – high pay, poor work ethic, and lots of breaks/vacations… just like they do in Europe.

Jan 03, 2011 4:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chardwell wrote:

@Wintdkyo: congratulations. That was the most intelligent post I have read on Reuters in a long time.

Jan 03, 2011 4:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Wes20 wrote:

Everytime someone says the ‘Rich pay….and the bottom pay….” just goes to show you that the republicans have been able to use propaganda to make people feel sorry for the rich. Oh the poor rich people, in their multi-million dollar mansions, getting huge tax breaks and hidding their money over seas, oh the poor rich..I hate to break the news to those who think the republicans care about the middle class or the working poor, they don’t. The trickle down economics is them peeing on your heads and laughing while they do it.

Jan 03, 2011 4:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Vger wrote:

kbjj03: Yes, the top 25% pay 86% of taxes, but they also hold over 95% of the wealth in this country. See the problem? If they hold 95% of the wealth, then, logically, they should be paying 95% of the taxes. But they pay less.

The reason why the wealthy pay a higher total percentage of taxes now than in 1999 is because they have been getting richer while the poor have been getting poorer. The actual tax RATES on the rich have gone down, most recently thanks to Bush. The top income tax rate was at its highest – 92% – in 1951-52. After that, it fell to 91%, and stayed that way until 1963. Then it was gradually cut to 70%, and remained there throughout the 1970s. Under Reagan, it was 50%. Under Clinton it was 39.6%, and then Bush cut it to 35%.

And you wonder why we have such a big deficit! We’ve been cutting taxes on the rich for decades.

Jan 03, 2011 4:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Vger wrote:

Roger: The rich have been engaging in class warfare against the middle and working classes for decades. It’s about time we start to fight back.

Jan 03, 2011 4:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
STL156 wrote:

You can’t tax the rich, just cut the tax breaks that they receive, and everything should fix itself. George Steinbrenner is dead, the reason athletes get paid millions; all on the backs of the taxpayer. Thanks Republicans.

Jan 03, 2011 5:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gaius_Baltar wrote:

Yes, the rich pay most of the taxes. They also make most of the income. And when you consider the total federal tax burden, the rich pay a lower rate than do working Americans.

Now, if the rich and their shills want to rant about “Liberal-Socialists” and “class warfare,” and if they really want to equalize the tax burden, then they will of course want to tax investment income at the same rates as salaries and wages.

@Convinced: No, revenues did NOT double after Reagan cut taxes. From OMB (amounts are in billions):

Year Rev in Current $ Rev in Constant FY2000 $

1981 599.3 1077.4
1982 617.8 1036.9
1983 600.6 961.7
1984 666.5 1016.8
1985 734.1 1082.6
1986 769.2 1107.3
1987 854.4 1197.1
1988 909.3 1235.6

Where’s the doubling? Sorry, you can’t use Enron accounting to pretend you get the result you want. The tax cut fairy sprinkled her magic supply-side dust on the US economy in 1981, and we did NOT see the results you claim. Rush has been spouting this falsehood, but he’s on drugs. And has been for a long, long time.

Jan 03, 2011 5:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GuitarDaddio wrote:

Anyone ever heard the story of the golden goose? We can take all of the money from all of the rich forever and it wouldn’t be enough. The real big money has to come from the middle class or as like-minded people prefer — the bourgeoisie. I think this has been tried and it hasn’t resulted in paradise. Oh well, if we must attack the rich, I say lets start with Goldman Sachs!

Jan 03, 2011 5:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tpartier wrote:

Hey, I’m impressed!

A number of really intelligent posts here already – you guys are saving me some time – but I do want to affirm the absolute truth backs the figures cited by Chris86754, Vger, Gaius_Baltar and a couple of others.

Anyone connected to the Internet can access the actual figures as recorded by our agencies and even create their own custom graphs in several cases. Anyone who has looked at the critical numbers relevant to economic health can easily see that the trends all reflect much greater – in some cases staggeringly greater – success under Dem Administrations.

Just like the GOP may have you thinking they are somehow the party of ‘national defense’ – think about this – they started two wars – bragged about how well they would do the job – mangled both at great cost of life and treasure (a big part of the deficit – almost 50%) they brag about their Defense cred.s and then urinate on Veterans. That so many Americans are that damn lazy to not look at facts for themselves and are as incredibly stupid and piggish as they seem to be, is truly horrifying.

Jan 03, 2011 6:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mike_s1 wrote:

What a wonderful way to use statistics to validate the obvious…the rich pay less in taxes. From 1999 to today, the top 25% pay 3% more of the federal income tax burden. But from 1999 to today, the top 1% captured half of the overall economic growth, while the lower 75% gained less than 3%. Even if a ‘flat tax’ existed, the rich would be paying a greater percent of the tax burden, since they make more income. If truly progressive rates existed, the top 25% would be covering far more than 86% of the tax burden. Don’t forget that benefits like tax deferred 401k’s or business start up tax credits are paid for by all tax payers, since both remove money from the pot.

As for ‘most Americans feeling this way’, ‘most Americans’ don’t vote.

Don’t find the results surprising…most people aren’t rich (or don’t feel that they are), and most people want people other than themselves to pay more.

Jan 03, 2011 6:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
scotchfaster wrote:

“…the top 25% pay 86% of the federal income taxes. That has also increased since 1999 from about 83%.”

The funny thing is that it increased DESPITE the top 1% of earners receiving a 20% tax cut under George W. Bush. See this Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61178-2004Aug12.html

So with that tax cut, how can the top earners be paying more of the share of tax revenues than before? Here’s a hint: if unemployment goes to 99%, then the top 1% of earners will pay 100% of all tax revenue.

People get this. No one feels sorry for the ultra-wealthy, and no one should.

To better understand how wealth has been transferred to the top earners, please Watch the documentary “Inside Job”.

Jan 03, 2011 6:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
data010101 wrote:

The hard truth is that the Poor and the Middle Class are close to being “Tapped out”. The Deficit will have to be paid for by the Rich.
If not then we’ll all go down..

Jan 03, 2011 7:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
timt wrote:

Most Americans have been drinking too much of the kool aide.

Jan 03, 2011 7:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gl54449 wrote:

statistically 50% of people was below average. b 4 U poll,U ought to tell the average American how much the defense cost us.

Jan 03, 2011 8:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ghostnation wrote:

I’m a republican who always defended the rich in these arguments. But why should I continue to do that. Tax them MORE and take away their social security if they make over 250k in retirement. But use the money to balance the budget and not create more debt. If we just spend more, it’s pointless.

Jan 03, 2011 8:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
OwenBay wrote:

The US fiscal situation will continually erode until a not for profit health care system is implemented. Selfishness in not sustainable in health care and there are no historical success stories for non socialized medicine. US media needs to start publicizing alternative socialized medicine systems like Denmark, Finland and Canada. Why would a corporation create a new job in the US if it has to pay $ 600 per month in Health insurance only for the employee to still have to co-pay. Imagine if the Coast Guard, Disaster relief agencies or Libraries were for profit- what would capitalist “competition” provide to society as a benefit.

Jan 03, 2011 11:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
LEEDAP wrote:

This seems understandable to me. But I live in San Francisco. So I thought my views were far left field. Perhaps not?

Still, there does seem to be something really wrong with this poll when you consider the Republican sweep in November. “Fixing Washington” is certainly at the top of the Tea Party agenda, even though their only solution is to starve the beast. But taxing the rich? What Republican who voted in November was counted in this poll? And reducing the military before social programs? Where is the disconnect?

Jan 04, 2011 12:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
Pete_Murphy wrote:

I doubt that the poll even offered as an option raising tariffs on imports. Until passage of the 16th amendment in 1913 which implemented the first federal income tax, all federal revenue was dervied from tariffs on imports. A return to higher tariffs would simultaneously solve the deficit, restore the economy and bring millions of manufacturing jobs back home.

Jan 04, 2011 6:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
Turkw wrote:

We should tax the ultra rich, wealth inequality has gotten out of hand. CEO’s and top executives are often compensated far beyond any value they bring or create and share holders have no real power to rein them in. Regan both cut and raised taxes ( raised them 9 times) and we went into debt because he borrowed money. Clinton raised taxes, income went up and debt went down.

“The wealthiest 20% of households own 50% of U.S. wealth the Census Bureau showed in 2002 — that’s up from 44 percent in 1973.

For the bottom 20%, their share is now only 3.5%, down from 4.2% in 1973.

Now, 10% own 80% of the nation’s property — and 13,000 of its richest families have net worth equal to the 20 million poorest families.

By mid-2010, the pre-Bush budget surplus of $5.6 trillion had become a debt of $13 trillion, according to http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock (as of 3.25.10) — see the clock for the current debt total: National debt clock.

The richest 1% of Americans now own 37% of the wealth — more than the poorest 90%.

16 million Americans now live in deep poverty (annual income less than $9,903) — a grown of 26% from 2000 to 2005, according to a McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures.

The percent of American poor in extreme poverty has grown from 29.9% in 1975 to 43.1% in 2005.

Over the last 20 years, America has had the highest or nearly highest poverty rates for individual adults, families and children among 31 developed countries (Luxembourg Income Study).”

Jan 04, 2011 8:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
Giant1NPRfan wrote:

Everyone in the U.S. agrees, EXCEPT….
the republican congress members…

Warren Buffet even publicly admitted that he pays only 16% income tax!!!
16 Percent !!!
Even Warren admitted it wasn’t right!

This is an OUTRAGE!
But… those in Congress fighting tooth and nail to keep this outrageous imbalance should be thrown out of office!
(Yes,I AM a registered Republican.)

Jan 04, 2011 9:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
KD2010 wrote:

As Warren Buffett said himself re: taxing and the class warfare argument,(paraphrase) “There’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years and we’re (the rich) winning”.

Don’t try the class warfare argument re: a small increase in taxes for the wealthy… there has never been a time in history when they’ve been paying less taxes as a percentage of income.

I would be affected at the $250,000 mark proposed, but I don’t mind paying more in taxes if it comes with spending cuts too. If we can’t control the deficit, there’ll be large inflation, and that will wipe out 100% of my annual wage and investment gains, which is a 100% tax. I’d rather pay a little more now than a 100% tax (via high inflation) in a few years.

Jan 04, 2011 10:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
commenter1223 wrote:

Adam S:
To answer your question, I don’t trust polls in general. All have an agenda. It’s pretty obvious though the slant that 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair take. It’s also pretty obvious the slant that Rasmussen or Fox would take. They all lie.

Jan 04, 2011 10:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
DrJJJJ wrote:

CUT SPENDING!!! 25% of public employees need to be PT or Temp just like the private sector!! Yes, taxes will have to go up too, but you can’t tax us enough to make much of a difference!! Ask what your country can do for you?? How’s your state doing? Think 80 million boomers might spike medical, medicare, social security and save vs spend? That’s what I thought!! Now, go make the changes!

Jan 04, 2011 11:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
DrJJJJ wrote:

Note: 20% now work in government, about 10-20% are retired from government and another 20% live off government! Anyone think there just might be a conflict of interest when voting for more government/taxes?

Jan 04, 2011 11:08am EST  --  Report as abuse
hsvkitty wrote:

Turkw, Adam_S and Giant1NPRfan have said most that I wanted to add.

More people need to get out and vote so that the people’s voice will be heard.

By the time the people are ‘up in arms’, it is literally too late to make changes other then to exact revenge after the collapse. Your country is falling apart folks. There are few ways to fix your deficit, fraudulent banking system and poor economy other then to vote in the right people to do so.

Republicans had 8 years to put you in the toilet and you vote them more power? What kind of partisan foolhardiness is that?

I foresee a new and powerful party cropping up, but only if the intelligent and passionate band together. Strength in numbers was proven by the tea party, but they have no leadership and the passions are to take the country back to the time of your forefathers and the KKK. You need someone ethical and with foresight.

Surely there are a few good men left to lead? If not , all is lost as your roller coaster is going to crash.

Jan 04, 2011 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
mjimih wrote:

Repuglican’ts are not able to govern faithfully in DC because they don’t believe in it in the first place. “Like I don’t believe in church either, but I’m going to go there on Sunday anyway and tell the Pastor how to pass the hat.” How many people reading this would go to church if they didn’t believe in God? Only the selfish selfritious would. It makes no sense, it makes us into selfish hypocrites. I wish the the Green Party was our other party, one that will work WITH the “other” ideology who believes the Federal Gov can work as long as the politicians are in it for us and not the money. The Repuglican’t party should be outlawed because they constantly violate the constitution by caring only about Kings, which we abhor in the United States of America

Jan 04, 2011 12:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Larix wrote:

The current upper bracket tax rate, set at 35%, is almost a historical low. If rich people really want something to complain about, lets try jumping back to a 92% tax rate like in 1952. Let us be honest– if you make over, say, a million dollars a year by fraudulent accounting and outsourcing jobs to India, is it really going to hurt you to throw a little more into the group fund? The govt spent billions bailing out insolvent free market catastrophes, leading to a ‘jobless recovery’, while responsible people are loosing their homes and unable to find jobs. Rich people complain about the weather and taxes, while poor people complain about being hungry and cold. People are not communists if they think that tax rates on the rich should be higher, they are pragmatists in a world where the fabulously wealthy have become unshameful in their greed, opulence, and selfishness.

Jan 04, 2011 12:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
richrox1 wrote:

The unfortunate bad news is that most people in the US apparently don’t understand basic economics. For every dollar the government spends, a person or company has to pay one dollar in taxes. The vast majority of taxes(85%) is paid for by the top 25% of the population. The bottom 50% of the population pays less than 3% of the total taxes collected. I wonder what percentage of government spending goes to that bottom 50% group??
With the deterioration of the middle class during this current recession, we basically are moving from a 3 class system to a 2 class system(haves and have-nots).
The days of making $70K and a full pension after 30 years with a high school education and no real skills(eg auto workers) are over. We need to improve our educational system, increase the math and science content and improve our trade/technical schools if we are to compete in the world market.
There simply is no free lunch!

Jan 04, 2011 12:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stratrider wrote:

A little real class warfare would do a lot of good for America. There’s been a one-way class warfare in America for too long. In the 1970s, the rich paid 90% marginal tax rates, and it was just about where it should be. They still stayed rich but far fewer regular people went without. But, of course, it was all before Before the idiots elected their idiot-saint Ronald Reagan.

We should start by taxing corporations for every job created outside of the US, which could have been filled by an American. Example: customer service workers for Delll and JPMOrgan Chase are based…in Manila. Meanwhile, here in America, Chase raises account and ATM use fees, levies steep fines for overdraft, and charges usurious rates for credit cards. They still don’t have enough. This sick capitalist system appears to eat itself from the inside. We all believe in the myth of competiion and free markets but the main capitalist economic actors do not believe in that, in fact they hate competition and free markets and try to stifle and monopolize them. Just as Karl Marx pointed out nearly 150 years ago. Remember this, contrary to the Republican-peddled b.s., USSR collapsed of its own contradictions. America is next, if it chooses to continue with its deathly socio-economic paradigm.

Jan 04, 2011 12:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DaceWayne wrote:

Republicans certainly are a shrewd bunch, able to get themselves elected into office running on a platform with which the majority of people disagree! Not only that, but they get the very people who are struggling in this country to support their platform, which assuredly is created only to increase their own wealth. Sad times in this country. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.

Jan 04, 2011 12:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stratrider wrote:

“If most Americans feel this way, why did they vote to put the Republicans in charge of congress?”

Asparro:
The best explanation is that they’re morons. Pure, unadulterated non-thinkers who really know nothing about how things work in their own country. It’s really a marvelous sight to watch how brainwashed masses of white middle-earth America go to vote against their own economic interests. They think that by voting Republican they will be relieved of having to support all those minorities on welfare who do nothing all day but dance and have illegitimate children. Simple as that.

Jan 04, 2011 12:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stratrider wrote:

“The poor are not poor BECAUSE of the rich, and rich are not rich BECAUSE of the poor, so why the bigotry against success? Anger even? Necessity is the mother of invention, is taxation the cure? NO! Invention, innovation, entrepreneurialism is! Dell was started with $1,000 in a garage and an idea. THATS how you break poverty”

What mindless gibberish!!!
Dell, right now, employs thousands of customer service workers in the Philliipines and India. Thanks for your corporate tax breaks, America!
Yeah, reward success, my butt. Dell’s “success” is based on exploiting foreign labor resources and buying from Chinese suppliers, while they dump their american workers and sell their computers to Americans lucky enough to still have a job. Here’s an example as to why Americans just elected Republican House. They’re morons.

Jan 04, 2011 12:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RAH wrote:

If we continue to penalize those who are successful we will create “Idiocracy.” Our society needs to set up a flat tax so that the successful will not be penalized. After all, each of us is in charge of our own successes and failures in life based on the choices we make.

Jan 04, 2011 1:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stratrider wrote:

“they get the very people who are struggling in this country to support their platform, ”

DaceWayne
Dumbing down of America was a deliberate Republican strategy, which has brought huge political dividends to the GOP in the past 15 years. That’s really the golden goosed that keeps on giving. Hey, Democrats: if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, as uyou tend to do, you can always baffle them with b.s., as GOP does so brilliantly.

Jan 04, 2011 1:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
wrote:

You’d never know that listening to the mainsteam media. They make it sound like the election last fall was about repealing health care, taxes on the rich and turning Social Security into a privatized “voucher” program.

Who commissioned *that* poll? You’re never gonna work in this town again, Buster!

Jan 04, 2011 1:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jambrytay wrote:

It’s ironic, but many of the ‘problems’ we complain about are things we’re doing to ourselves.

We choose the rental car agency that offers us the lowest price, but then complain that the company has outsourced its call center to India. How do you think they were able to offer you that low price? We complain about illegal aliens, but happily buy the 2 pound tub of strawberries for $5 at the grocery store. Even in the depths of our Great Recession, no gringos showed up at the strawberry farms ready for work. As investors, we applaud management’s cost cutting measures and the 10% jump in the stock price. Oh, by the way, management outsourced most of the company’s AP function to Poland as a part of the cost cutting initiative. We like to blame others, but our actions as consumers and investors create the very ‘problems’ we complain about.

Our actions send a very clear message to business—we want it cheaper, faster, better, preferably all of the above. Companies will stop doing all these things as soon as the consumer stops demanding innovation, better products and services, and lower prices. One problem. The day that happens is the day our economy stops growing. In a mature economy like ours (one with little to no population growth) productivity gains are about the only way for the economy to grow. Economic growth gives us higher pay, a better standard of living, etc, etc.

Bottom line, consumers and investors are generally pushing business to do the right things.

Jan 04, 2011 1:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mjimih wrote:

stratrider wrote: They’re morons.

more accurately they are duped by lies and fear. Smart people can be gullible, if told lies over and over. What we need is for us to be afraid of Repuglican’ts, who lie, cheat, cajole for their own gain using proven “Rove-ian” deceptive tactics, and Faux Snooze. Why do you think T Roosevelt said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself”? He said that because he understood.
There also is arguably a huge section of Americans right now that are selfishly raised by parents who think all this fine living is owed to them from birth, when it was the “noble” war we fought for the free people of Europe 65 years ago that created it. It wasn’t low taxes and no regulations, or outsourcing, that made us strong, Because of the baby boom and advancing technology after the war, we churned out many engineers teachers and scientists, so we made lots of stuff to sell to the rest of the world. Now with the selfish “Me” generation, a product of the Greatest Generation, heading for retirement America is in for hard times. Because they will want everything handed to them on a silver platter by slaves (those who feel forced to work for peanuts because they can’t afford the 100,000 dollars it now takes to get an engineering or doctoral degree. Wake up young America to the reality that everyone older than 45 is in it for themselves at the detriment of the rest of us and who only care how big the lock is on thier gated community front gate. I could go on, but I have to go now, I am bringing some food to the local food shelves before they run dry. So sad…

Jan 04, 2011 1:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mjimih wrote:

“If we continue to penalize those who are successful we will create Idiocracy.Our society needs to set up a flat tax so that the successful will not be penalized.”

if your precious Hummer gets a flat from a pothole, don’t come crying to me. The more you make the higher percent you should pay, no loopholes either, bc loopholes don’t pay for potholes. they call that the “price of success”.

“After all, each of us is in charge of our own successes and failures in life based on the choices we make.

that is not true for most. Like for example if you get laid off because of out sourcing right after buying your house or getting cancer. Ronny Reagan was wrong when he said Gov is the problem.

So would you be willing, since you seem to care about us little folk, to give a bum a dime if he showed up at your driveway gate?

Jan 04, 2011 2:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Beobachter wrote:

Has not it got to do with the fact that government is not there for us, but it being the tool for big business to get their share of the (tax-)pie, handled through the lobby circus in Washington, who basically tell “our representatives” what to do if they want to receive that extra cash to finance there electoral expenditure.

The answers to the poll really show a big contradiction between what people want and what government does.

….Government should really be paid by the tax payer alone, both main parties the same amount, so that the vote can only be won on basis of merit and will power…lobbying should be illegal…

Of course the whole “democratic” process is not helped by the media, and their surrender, out of want for “news” to , in convenient (electoral) times, arising, “Palinitis”

In other words…..Just give me the rumor Sarah, don’t confuse me with the facts!… which basically draws attention away from the real problems.

Jan 04, 2011 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SeaTurt1e wrote:

Kbjj03 said: “Really….. the top 25% pay 86% of the federal income taxes. That has also increased since 1999 from about 83%.” Oh really? Just goes to show you that figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. First of all, the top 25% would not be seeing a tax increase; only the top 2%! Second, the percentage of the earners in the top two percent’s share of the federal budget rose 3%, but how much did their income rise during that time? 200 percent!!!

Seems to me, they could kick in a bit more and still feel like they’re living the American Dream. For them to cry poverty is galling to say the least.

Jan 04, 2011 4:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Verily wrote:

If the headline is correct, then most Americans are ignorant. If you raise tax rates on the rich, the government receives far less tax revenues.

History has proved this every time it has been tried.

Verily

Jan 04, 2011 5:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Atwas911 wrote:

Tax the rich?

Are you serious? LMAO!

We are slaves.. They are the Kings. When was the last time you heard of the tax collectors shaking down the kings?

Aint gonna happen.

Its nice to talk about, and give some hope.. But when it comes down to it.. You are expected to get poorer, and they get richer. END OF STORY.

Tax the rich.. please..

Jan 04, 2011 5:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Adam_S wrote:

RAH’s commentary is a perfect example of the wrong way to think about the situation.

There is NOTHING “fair” about a “flat” tax. Adam Smith himself, in The Wealth of Nations, argued that those with more income should pay more in taxes, as a percentage, not a flat amount. Flat tax rates are inherently regressive, IE they place a greater burden on those with less ability to pay. For a tax to be “fair” it must burden people to the same degree, not have the same rate for everyone. I simply do not understand why people continue to swallow this and regurgitate it.

Taxes are not a penalty of any sort, period. Those who have ’succeeded’ most arguably OWE more to the system we have that allows them to succeed. Not the other way around.

The final point that ‘each of us is responsible…’ would be accurate, if the playing field were truly level, which it is not. Those of us lucky enough to grow up in homes where parents are married, college educated, and wealthy to any degree, have a host of direct and indirect advantages conferred to them that others do not. I don’t think it’s the job of government to level such a playing field, I am just saying that a cursory examination of the data will clearly belie an unlevel playing field, making such statements completely null and without merit.

Jan 04, 2011 6:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
beofaction wrote:

This confirms the fact that most Americans are mathematically challenged!

Jan 05, 2011 12:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
ThirdSection wrote:

Just when I think my country has gone completely insane, I see something like this and feel a bit reassured.

Jan 05, 2011 2:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
SmokeyJoe wrote:

kbjj03 wrote: Really….. the top 25% pay 86% of the federal income taxes. That has also increased since 1999 from about 83%.

Really? The “Top 1 Percent of Americans Reaped Two-Thirds of Income Gains in Last Economic Expansion”

The top 1% control 23% of the money in the country, up from about 11% in the sixties, give or take a little.

You’re a fool if you think that this situation is good for america in the long run. A sad brainwashed fool.

Jan 05, 2011 10:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
SmokeyJoe wrote:

Convinced wrote:

“Revenues doubled during the Reagan years when he lowered tax rates. Up the tax rates and revenues will decline. Learn the lessons of the past.”

The tax rate has been cut since 2001, and the revenue has not doubled. Explain.

Jan 05, 2011 10:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
Gregory8 wrote:

Our present economic system was created in the early 1900’s by the Progressive Party. They were hard core sociallists, ok, but needed a different name.

The present private, F.R.B. and the Graduated Income Tax are derived from the Karx and banker friend Engels Goals.

Their Major Goal was to remove the Christian mindset from our societal thinking and decision making.

As Humanists, the socialists think that they are God and have replaced Him.

Jan 05, 2011 11:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
Gregory8 wrote:

The very best Economic system was given to the Israelites in the O.T. It depended upon their morality(s)…Doing and practising the 10 commandments, with a “good” and faithfull “heart”

Generally, the Book of Levitcus explained their system. It was later abused by King Solomon, and that started their Civil War and the Downfall of his kingdom. He wasn’t wise enough to keep his Kingdom.

Why is Leviticus 25:10 stamped our flawed Liberty Bell?

Jan 05, 2011 11:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
Gregory8 wrote:

Taxes are a tribute to your leader and their bands.

Jan 05, 2011 11:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
flamer wrote:

Taxing the rich doesn’t work. They can flee to another country or state to avoid….

Jan 05, 2011 11:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
jrj90620 wrote:

Why not just allow carjacking.Anyone driving a Lexus,Mercedes or BMW would be fair game for anyone with lower income to carjack,The carjacker could keep up to 80% of whatever they take to cover their expenses, from the victim and be required to give 20% to the poor.Now there’s a great way of satisfying the greed and envy of the ignorant masses.

Jan 05, 2011 12:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jrj90620 wrote:

New gov of California promises he won’t raise taxes unless the voters approve.Look for him to persuade all the Californians who pay little or no taxes,to approve more taxes on the minority who pay the freight.It’s called “tyranny of the majority” and it’s immoral.Using the vote to steal is the same as breaking into someone’s home and stealing from them.Give us a honest tax system,where everyone pays the same,exact % tax with no deductions.

Jan 05, 2011 12:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
wenzdae wrote:

whoever made the communist comment -too funny-go take your thorazine,wall street and the banks own the government they are all in cahootz democrat and republican are just two cheeks on the same ass ,as far as the liberal haters, i guess you hate all your mothers and wives and sisters and aunts because it was the liberals who got them the right to vote and i supppose you want you children to all die of cancer because it again was the liberals who faught for clean air and emmission laws just to begin with clearely you are too ignorant to be commenting on something you havent even taken 1 minute to look up, the rich have millions hidden in banks in europe, and the the flat tax ppl, 15 percent of 1M,is 150k,which is a drop in the bucket to the millionaire, 15 percent of 40k is 6,000, which is litterally taking food out of the mouth of their children, is that the one nation under god you all want? why not just chnge it to one nation under greed, and im an athiest- antithiest.

Jan 05, 2011 12:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sandi730 wrote:

Since when is the responsibility of those that have worked hard or have lots of money to bear the burden of the debt that the Administration put us in!!! I seem to recall the American people yelling NO OBAMACARE, no one listened…NO BANK BAILOUT, NO CAR BAILOUT….no one listened!! And now everyone is looking to the “Rich” to take pay more for those that are not rich, unemployed, illegal, living off our tax dollars…I say NO!!!!

Jan 05, 2011 2:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse

the comments here are heavily libertarian/objectivist.
are you guys paid by the Cato institute to troll the internet for any articles that challenge your selfish greedy ‘philosophy’?

within the first half hour after the article was posted, 10 of 13 comments were frothing-at-the-mouth rants about how the rich work hard for their money and shouldn’t have to give it away to “illiterate poor women having babies”. 15 years ago you guys would have included the “N” word with that. Wall Street destroyed the economy and poor people get the blame.

And what’s all this ‘work hard’ crap? everybody works hard (except you guys with nothing better to do than post objectivist crap). why is my labor worth 1/10,000th that of Paris Hilton? Oh, that’s right; THE MARKET says it is, and we MUST OBEY THE MARKET.

The love of money is the root of all evil – Jesus
The love of money is the root of all good – Ayn Rand

All of you wealth supremacists are all a bunch of satan worshipers

Jan 05, 2011 5:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Sinbad1 wrote:

The only thing Americans agree on is no one wants to pay tax.
Do it close the schools and hospitals fire all the cops let the roads turn back into dirt. Everyone will be much happier then.

Jan 05, 2011 5:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Really – Don’t you think the analysis, reporting and editing may be a little biased? What were the actual questions? Don’t believe the (liberal) hype. How many Americans would like us to cut spending? What is the actual percentage of Americans that actually pay taxes??

Jan 05, 2011 9:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bssmd78 wrote:

When will you conservative illiterates learn that entitlements do not add to the national debt? Social security is in the black for a couple decades at least, black meaning taking in more than it’s giving out (in case Rush didn’t explain it).

Jan 05, 2011 10:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gardentroll wrote:

Stop the bogus war on terror. Tax the rich. End the Fed. Stop corporate welfare.

Jan 05, 2011 11:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
breezinthru wrote:

According to Wikipedia:
In 2004, the wealthiest 25% of US households owned 87% ($43.6 trillion) of the country’s wealth, while the bottom quartile held no net wealth at all. More recently, the upper echelon of wealth has lost some money, but there are many more who had a small net worth that has now been wiped out by the plunging real estate prices.

Think about that. You could take everything the poorest 25% of Americans have right down to their underwear, sell the assets on Craigslist and have next to nothing to pay down our nation’s bills.

Of course, the money has to come from people who have money. But it should not be taken even from them until spending is cut.

Congress has to cut spending like they mean it, then increase taxes. I don’t like it but it’s necessary.

Jan 05, 2011 11:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hlpuhlpme wrote:

According to Citigroup’s 2005 Plutonomy memo top 1% has more wealth than bottom 95% COMBINED and their wealth has increased since placing the tax cuts. Why shouldn’t we let the tax cuts expire? Obviously we need a responsible budget. Somehow, need to closed down school/police station/hospital etc while super rich are getting a break does not make sense to me.

Jan 06, 2011 1:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
linus71 wrote:

If you file Form 1040 then you see that the Rich are ALREADY paying more taxes!

Jan 06, 2011 7:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
Annon123 wrote:

kbjj03, it is wonderful that you were able to start your business before everyone’s 401k lost value and the economy plummeted. That is the gift the previous generation left you so you could make something of it and you did. It is hypocritical of the older generation of today to turn around to the younger and spout they are the kiddies of entitlement when they have left the younger generation and the generation after that with less than what they themselves were given. The government will need to tax someone that has something in order to pay off the debt and right now the lower/middle class don’t really have something other than debt.

Jan 06, 2011 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
wenzdae wrote:

socialism works, capitalism does not, and if you dont like socialism i hope none of you or your kids go to public school because that is socialism, people without kids,like me, or those who send theirs to private school, still have to pay school tax to send yours there.

Jan 06, 2011 1:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sb0623 wrote:

I have known very wealthy individuals in the past, and they cheat like heck on their taxes. So don’t try to convince me they are paying as high of a percentage as everyone says.

Jan 06, 2011 3:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
vtyankee14 wrote:

The entire tax situation in this country is a fiasco and I don’t even know why I’m bothering to write a letter which won’t amount to a hill of beans in regards to beibg read and taken onto account? Jesus,tax those loophole living 1 per cent of the population who control 90 per cent of the wealth! What kind of push does it take to get this line of logic and make it understandable to the unfettered masses?

Jan 06, 2011 5:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
venturen wrote:

Most american are idiots!

Jan 06, 2011 5:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
YoungTurkArmy wrote:

I live in Canada where our tax rates are always higher than yours. As a lower middle class person, I have been satisfied with my quality of life for a long, long time, which ever party governs us. Sad to see all of the wealthy Americans feeling so sorry for themselves and so angry with anyone who has less than they do.

Stop trying to tell everyone else what to do, stop trying to rob all of the other peoples in the world, stop making war on anyone who doesn’t think you are exceptional.

Have a nice day, eh?

Jan 06, 2011 10:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
st68 wrote:

If you REALLY want to tax the rich, tax property, not income.

Jan 07, 2011 12:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
BeReel41ns wrote:

Finally, I can have faith in people again! What caused this mess other than the bailouts, the tax cuts–and we want to extend them? Let the truth be known–you won’t see that on Fox or hear it on this new Congress’ floor!

Jan 07, 2011 12:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
wolfboi1970 wrote:

Good article, and soooo true…. its an obvious track we should be taking, but the Republicans are lying so much and confusing people so much they are unsure of the obvious. I think there needs to be a “fact checker” non-partisan committie that checks all statements made by politians that gets printed…and when they are LIEING,99% OF THE TIME, they are fined $1000 dollars and a re-print with the truth put out. With JUST THE LYING FINE MONEY ALONE, we will balance the budget, healthcare for all, the best infrastructure in the world, and still have funds left. When politians lie, constantly, it creates a confused and useless country, of people who are ill informed and make toxic decisions….THATS WHATS BEEN GOING ON FOR THE PAST 12 YEARS…ITS GOTTS STOP….STOP THE LIES!!!!!!!!!
++

Jan 07, 2011 3:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
jrj90620 wrote:

Nice try but the rich are smarter that you and have more resources.They aren’t going to just sit by and do nothing,while envious Americans decide to rip them off.They will do all kinds of tax evasion,tax avoidance,etc.You will end up with less productive investment,fewer jobs and a poorer country.What we need is less envy and more honestly.A true flat tax with no deductions.The same rate for all with the option for anyone wanting to pay more to do so and the extra used to lower the rate for the lowest incomes.Honesty is the best policy.

Jan 07, 2011 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Beobachter wrote:

@Bereel141

I agree with you about the tax cuts, but if we would not have had the bailouts we would have been far worse off, the country would have been bank rupt I think.

It is a pitty that we have to foot the bill that the financial world has passed on to us (and the rest of the world) but it is the risk of free for all (except for the bottom) capitalism.

We need to be much more in control of the financial world.

Jan 07, 2011 12:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
endianx wrote:

Most Americans think we should take money from other people and give it to them? Shocking!

Jan 07, 2011 1:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
CPA1976 wrote:

The rich pay most of the taxes as they should. They do not deserve tax breaks since this country has afforded them the life of luxury. Everyone of the rich, (aside from lottery winners) have made money of the backs of people who do more for less. Tax the rich. Unfortunately however, the politicians in the U.S. listen only to the rich.

Jan 07, 2011 1:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
phxbob44 wrote:

How do you spell Socialism? I have an idea… quit giving money away to people who won’t go out and find a job…or people who are 3rd generation welfare… Just because you were not willing to study in school or work your ass off to get ahead… don’t penalize those who did….If you want to penalize somebody start with the pandering politicians who give money away everywhere just to get votes… unneccesary subsidies, Countries who hate us but take our money, entitlements to the undeserving, foreign aid, obsolete weapons or weapons we will never use, and of course…. bridges to nowhere, and medicare and welfare fraud…

Jan 07, 2011 2:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
phxbob44 wrote:

I don’t understand how everyone just assumes a person making $250k/yr pays no taxes!!! Such a person probably is paying over $70k in Fed and State tax already!!! I get sick of politicians who are worth millions (Pelosi, Kennedy, etc) telling me I should pay more tax. Why don’t they give their money to the Fed Gov’t or social programs? Some politicians want to cut medicare…. sure!!! They get medical coverage for life…. what do they care if we cut Medicare….

Jan 07, 2011 2:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jdl51 wrote:

Convinced wrote:
Revenues doubled during the Reagan years when he lowered tax rates. Up the tax rates and revenues will decline. Learn the lessons of the past.

Clinton raised taxes and it led to the biggest eocnomic boom in the past 100 years. A combination of tax increases and spending cuts are what’s needed. Anyone thinking wealthy individuals and corporations pay even a fraction of the max tax are delusional. Most wealthy people get the majority of their money as capital gains, 15% rate, close to the bottom of tax rates. As Leona Helmsley once said, “taxes are for the little people.” The repubs have gotten the poor ignoramuses to carry their water concerning taxes.

Jan 07, 2011 2:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jdl51 wrote:

Since 1983 SS has been running a $185 billion a year surplus, designed to pay for boomer retirement. Every year since then that money has been given to wealthy individuals in the form of tax cuts and to pay off farmers to the tune of $38 billion a year farm subsidies to not grow anything. Farm income is at an all time high. Defense contractors routinely overcharge by the billions. Corporate profits are at an all time high. Wealth disparity is at an all time high. The rich are getting mega rich and the poor are getting even poorer. What a country.

Jan 07, 2011 2:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dschwar wrote:

Did anyone point out to the people taking the poll that if we taxed the rich at 100% that we will still go bankrupt by 2030 with our current obligations? Or that the richest 10% pay over 90% of our taxes already? One of the problems in this country is the perception that we have such a large rich class that they canpay for everything, which is absolutely not true. My personal belief is that everyone needs to pay some tax because those who now just receive a credit each year, really don’t care how the government spends the money because to them, it’s somebody else’s money. When taxes get raised, they should be raised across the board…I like the flat tax (fair tax) concept with a monthly advance refund for necessities of food, clothing, housing, etc. based on family size. I would much rather get rid of income, property and payroll taxes and only pay the 23% sales tax. Can you imagine actually receiving your entire paycheck as net instead of all of the withholding?

Jan 07, 2011 3:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
LrgandinChrg wrote:

This survey is an indictment of America’s education system. We appear to be stupid.

1. There are not enough wealthy to tax to come close to closing the budget.
2. Cutting the one expense the Federal Government truly does have constitutional responsibility is preposterous on its face. And when the next major attack on our soil happens or the Chinese take down Taiwan or North Korea invades the South, these rocket scientists will all move en masse to the other side of the teeter totter.
3. Our tax system does NOT actually tax the “rich”. It taxes high wage earners and there is a big difference (Billionaire Warren Buffett is paid 100K by Berkshire).
4. Taxing the successful and the producers is a great way to ensure our unemployment increases from 10% to 20%.

Geezus…I’ve never been so depressed. The only thing I’m holding onto is that realization that anyone responding to a 60 minutes / Vanity Fair poll is a bonafide leftist extremist. Not exactly a mainstream poll (which is why Reuters ran with it).

Jan 07, 2011 3:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
LrgandinChrg wrote:

I favor closing the deficit by restricting the Federal Government’s spending to the handful of responsibilities it actually has.

And then we need to go after the 50% of Americans that do not pay any tax. If we all have skin in the game then polls like this stop.

Next up…consumption tax. I could care less about your wage. I will even throw the Left a bone and allow for a progressive consumption tax. A consumption tax will reach the 3 trillion cash economy, dramatically expanding the tax base.

Jan 07, 2011 3:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jkinne wrote:

Well, big surprise – right? First, the poll most likely takes a large segment of the population (retirees, unemployed, and the unmotivated) that have no control over getting additional monies via working/raises/training or significantly improving their standard of living. What would anyone with an ounce of common sense think they would say? And second, I wouldn’t put it past the oh so even-handed 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair to have canvassed their responses from those patronizing local Goodwill Stores. Maybe the first question should have been “Do you believe that Washington should stop spending more money than they take in?” How about “Should the US immediately begin depositing the majority (51+ percent) of Social Security tax intake and place it into an account that Congress can NOT allocate to anything other than Social Security recipient payments?” or “Should the US immediately stop sending foreign aid to countries that openly criticize and/or openly support the violation of our borders/laws?”. Maybe they should have asked “Should our elected representatives in government be held to a standard befitting the priviledges extended to them, their pay, and their perks?” or “Should Americans expect that Congress establish a budget and make intelligent decisions about expenditures based on the budget?”. I see no reason for any of the embarrassing clowns that currently masqarade as “progressives” or social engineers to be able to do, say, and act in any manner they so desire regardless of what the rest of “We the People” represent. And please, the big city inhabitors have been blinded to all of us in the rest of the fly-over population of the US. They tend to be as blind to the real American situation as most of those in Congress. It is truly a shame and I pray that the new members of Congress will get their act together and start making the hard choices – that also includes all of the “screw the rich” types out there!

Jan 07, 2011 4:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
CannonFire54 wrote:

What these 60% do not understand is that; when you earn enough money in a year to care about the government deficit then you earn enough money to be considered rich by the people who want to raise your taxes.

Jan 07, 2011 4:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Jeff_Henster wrote:

Some bad math here in the comments : first, if you earn $300K, you do not pay 35% fed tax, the 35% is the marginal rate, which means the last $ you make of the $300K would be taxed at 35%, but the effective rate is much lower than that.

The fact that the wealthy pay most of the tax is as it should be– this is essential to a free democracy. Remember, before the French revolution it was just the poor in France basically that paid taxes–the rich and clergy were exempt. We all know what that led to, and there are plenty of other similar examples. An inordinately rich percentage of the population ends up just dominating everything: property, best consumer goods, government….

We are getting to that state:
(Estimated distribution of Wealth by family unit for 2009, Working Paper No. 502, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2007; my extrapolation)
Quintile Households Wealth
Lowest 20 percent 24.12m 12.39b
Second 20 percent 24.14m 42.17b
Third 20 percent 24.17m 02.03t
Fourth 20 percent 24.16m 06.05t
Highest 20 percent 24.18m 45.27t
Evidently the bigger tax burden by the most wealthy hasn’t stopped them from amassing wealth!

Hint – to graph this on a sheet of 8.5 X 10 paper, you need to use a logarithmic axis. Forget about moral right to property, or on the other side, right to equality — this situation is just leading to an inherently unstable situation, which can only be held together by a total police state or explode in a bloody revolution, neither of which is desirable.

Lastly, someone asked why this polling distribution just voted in Republican congressmen: that is a complete mystery! The only answer I can come up with is the Democrats showed themselves so demonstrably bad and inept, that many felt Republicans were the lesser of two evils. Constant propaganda from the media didn’t help to clear thinking, either. Hopefully people will educate themselves, and stop thinking in the old terms of socialist, free market or whatever prejudicial terms come to mind, and think instead of maintaining a stable republic. Pre-revolutionary France is not a good model.

Jan 07, 2011 7:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Jeff_Henster wrote:

“dschwar wrote:

Did anyone point out to the people taking the poll that if we taxed the rich at 100% that we will still go bankrupt by 2030 with our current obligations? ….”

Actually, that is not true. If you took a surcharge of ~30% on the top quintile (top 20%)wealth, the entire debt would be paid, and the top quintile would still be way richer than the rest of us. Admittedly an oversimplification, since such a large enforced transfer of wealth would affect values, but just to make the point. See my other email but mostly, please research this for yourself and don’t take any wild statements from Beck, Limbaugh etc as true, unless you can verify them for yourself. This takes some work, not to be confused with listening to radio blather while driving the commute to home. Why are people so willing to listen and accept this stuff, is my question?

Jan 07, 2011 7:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BurnerJack wrote:

Why is anyone buying into this BS? This is just more “Herd Management”.
Why is it that those who have spent their lives building a business and maybe even to the point of hiring others deemed “evil” and don’t deserve what they’ve got? I am not rich, more like hovering over the poverty line. Even I can see through this crap.
It seems unamerican to me to punish the successful. Don’t hate them.
Strive to join them. It’s not lack of revenue. It’s lack of resposible government. Social Security and Medicaid are the result of the babyboomer demographic coupled with the piling on of those who draw on those revenues but didn’t contribute to them.
When the Global Economic Entropy helped along with the downward pressure of Illegal Immigrant wages leaves the Middle Class hovering above the poverty line, and The Rich flee the country, who will pay for it all? If I can’t even eat decently after a lifetime of work, I doubt I’ll be in any position to pay either.
Some Rich are born into it,sure. Is it unfair to give your children your fortune? For those that worked hard for it, is unfair that they enjoy the fruits of their labor?
Don’t punish success, strive for it. THAT’S the American way.

Jan 07, 2011 9:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Trooth wrote:

In another poll, Most Americans state that they want free healthcare, retirement, unemployment, education, roads, food, housing, defense, interstate commerce and communications, etc, and want someone else to foot the bill for it. They also state while we are at it lets give away these services to non-citizens and send the other people’s money overseas to help those people as well. Everyone agrees nothing spends better than other people’s money.

Jan 08, 2011 12:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
joev11 wrote:

Typical liberal poll. Polling ‘National Adults’ is of the three methods of polling the very least accurate. The most accurate is likely voters followed by registered voters. The story also says nothing about the internals of the polling such as how many Democrats, Republicans and Independents did they poll? There is also no mention of where they polled. Polling primarily in major cities which are heavily liberal and Democrat would give results like this because the inhabitants in the main are receiving “free” stuff from the government in the form of welfare, food stamps, etc and surely wouldn’t want to see that interrupted even if it did cost SOMEBODY ELSE more money.

Then of course they fail to define “rich”. To someone ob welfare another who earns $75,000 annually is “rich” and should therefore hand over more of his hard earned cash to another who simply “wants more”

Jan 08, 2011 4:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
iq160 wrote:

Hey, I’m all in favor of taxing the “rich”. Let’s just note that everybody in the US is rich on the world stage. Yup, if that half of all wage earners that get a free ride were taxed we could close the budget gap pretty quickly.

But that won’t happen because the ugly jealous people that envy anybody with more then they have are pandered to by the politicians.

Jan 08, 2011 7:08am EST  --  Report as abuse
Beobachter wrote:

I don’t think it has got anything to do with taking the money away from the rich and handing it over to the poor…..

Problem is, there is a financial economic crisis (lack of money), with as a consequence a social economic crisis (lack of jobs).

The better off have become far better off since the Reagan years, the income gap is ever increasing.

What is needed now is chances for the “masses” on a decently paid job….but look at the current job situation, a paragraph on this site said it all…

“(Reuters) – Employers hired fewer workers than expected in December and a surprisingly large number of people gave up searching for work, tempering the positive news of a big drop in the unemployment rate. “

Most people want to work, but what are their chances of getting a job? When everything that is being sold here can be obtained cheaper elsewhere? Investments in emerging markets are far more rewarding (in money) than looking after your own economy. There is too much freedom for our financial and managerial top, that, combined with a couple of well controlled systems on the other side of the world…

That is where we went wrong, we have let our business tycoons take advantage of a Marxist social system based on capitalist financial economic and commercial principles…,a very good basis for a strong society as a whole…but due to the too large differences in our starting points we cannot but loose out. That’s why the QE money is just sucked away into the trade gap.

The only answer is the creation of jobs nationally, that can be done in the infra structural sector, but better would be in the but then it has to be less interesting to outsource work abroad…then we hamper free trade….

We must make a choice!

Jan 08, 2011 7:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:

As long as democrats blame republicans and republicans blame democrats nothing will ever change in the US. The entire population is diametrically opposed into this two tier system. It’s really quite sad.

So while the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ in America blame each other, the bankers who have no fealty to anything but coin rob your country blind.

The US imports more than 65% of its’ daily energy consumption. This means that the country is not self sufficient. The US debt is not sustainable, and would already have collapsed if not for the debt purchasing by China (and a few other places). Without foreign oil and without foreign money the US cannot exist.

The American Empire is a fish flopping on the bank of the river.

Jan 08, 2011 10:08am EST  --  Report as abuse

We will never again have a true say in how our government handles things. People have the power when they don’t owe onm their mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, etc. People will have the power, when THEY stop spending their money on things they don’t need, or can’t hold tomorrow. People will have the power, when they secure their own lives and the future of their families, by remaining humble, and not wasting resources such as fuel, and electricity to power things that only make them lazy social flys in a world where they are led to believe that the amount of cyberfriends they have is a real world, while their nieghbors go without. People will not be so wise as to realize that they have the power to turn off their Ipods, phones, and radios, and truly enjoy the world around them without the ear-blinders on.

Jan 08, 2011 10:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
Beobachter wrote:

sorry put my previous posting in t hastily, last paragraph should be:

The only answer is the creation of jobs nationally, that can be done in the infra structural sector, but better would be in the goods and, as a consequence, service- producing sector, however then it has to be less interesting (financially rewarding) to outsource work abroad…then we hamper free trade….
We must make a choice!

Jan 08, 2011 10:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
Beobachter wrote:

@ endthefet
For your info, I quote…

…This also follows my knowledge of the political history..

`However, unlike the former British prime minister, neither Gramm nor President Reagan was able to bring about much change in the balance between government and the private sector. While his administration did funnel hundreds of billions of dollars in new Cold War military spending to corporate contractors –(also help ..Stingers… to the Taliban…) hugely expanding the national debt in the process — Reagan was not able to deliver to Wall Street a parallel windfall.

For Wall Street, the holy grail was not cash handouts but a deconstruction of the complex public-private partnership ushered in by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to restrain capitalism’s most self-destructive patterns. For these so-called FIRE firms — Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate — this half-century-old regulatory system, modest as it was, was an irritant that limited their ability to gamble and leverage their dominant positions.

The top target in their sights was the New Deal-enacted Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, signed into law by President Roosevelt, which regulated the financial services industry. Key to its effectiveness was the seemingly simple wall it erected between the commercial banks entrusted with depositors’ funds — and insured by the government’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the agency created by Glass-Steagall — and the wilder antics of basically unregulated Wall Street investment banks like Goldman Sachs.

In 1982, Reagan signed the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutional Act, easing regulation of savings and loans and, in the eyes of critics such as Paul Krugman, paving the way for the S&L collapse in the 1980s as well as the subprime housing crisis decades later. Nevertheless, Reagan made clear even then that this was not the biggest target on his list`

I agree that Nafta as well as all the other forms of unregulated trade between countries with too great differences in income are an experiment that has gone wrong…too much freedom for capital amidst too big technical achievements with regards to transport and communication.

Contrary to the war in Iraq, however, the war in Kosovo was legitimate.

Jan 08, 2011 11:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
trajan2448 wrote:

This was a very skewed and biased “poll”, by an ultra liberal organization. In reality most Americans supported keeping the Bush tax rates the SAME for all taxpayers. Who hires people? Those with money. Giving it to the government is very inefficient as we have seen the last two years, with trillions being spent to little effect, except to enrich Obama’s banker and union buddies.

Jan 08, 2011 1:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RMax304823 wrote:

It’s probably not a good idea to sling around broad general terms like communism, socialism, redistribution of income, liberals, class warfare and the rest of the terms. Name calling is a logical fallacy. It may be true that the rich pay more than the poor in taxes — and why shouldn’t they? In the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth and the top 1% owned 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation’s wealth. (That’s from Wikipedia.) The richest 400 of us don’t pay taxes like you and I do. Their income is mostly from dividcends, interest, and capital gains, not from compensation for services. The richest 400 Americans paid 16.6% in federal taxes in the last year for which we have data. (That’s from an IRS report.)

According to this 2006 study by the Federal Reserve System, from 1989 to 2004, the distribution in the United States had been changing with indications there was a greater concentration of wealth held by the top 10% and top 1% of the population

Jan 08, 2011 2:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mr.G wrote:

TAX THE RICH – totally agree… but then the decision to do so would be the rich votings… you really don’t think that would happen… heck the rich senators vote for their own pay raises… wouldn’t it be nice if we could do that also!!!

Jan 08, 2011 7:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
blondeagent99 wrote:

I think this is one of the only solutions. Why should the poor and middle class be the only Americans to have to cut back? Besides, most of the wealthy have their money in off shore accounts and their investments in other countries which does not help the American economy. If you don’t want to save your money here or invest your money here why don’t you just leave the country instead of being hypocritical???

Jan 08, 2011 8:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MachineGhost wrote:

Typical partianship poll. Nonetheless, even if current tax revenues were to double to $2.2 trillion, there would still at least a $1.4 trillion deficit. Raising taxes on the “rich” (which includes *all* members of Congress, BTW) won’t fix the deficit, the $14+ trillion in national debt or $112+ trillion in outstanding liabilities. The rich (or smart) will just shelter their income or leave the country, leaving the poor and middle class as the real suckers. It’s the unproductive government spending, stupid!

Jan 09, 2011 3:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
Beobachter wrote:

@Rmax304823

Of course you’re right in showing the symptoms (which is also what Smith, Marx and Keynes did in different ways), but are not all the other ism’s a way of trying to curb the inherent problems arising out of the other (in modern days practicaly unhampered) ism,…… capitalism…..

Modern days…I wish all those ism’s were not necessary,but, it’s basically communism (the cold war) that tempered capitalism in the years after WWII (remember they were armed to their teeth including nukes) of course, in it’s primitive form, it did not pose any real threat to economic welfare in the then factory of the world, which led to the constant growth in Western (and Western orientated) economies.

Things have changed since the mid eighties, we must face that and think of a just solution for everybody, otherwise I do not foresee a happy future…that makes me as far as social welfare and stability goes… pessimistic. Tea party?, now –probably- political murders in Tucson, riots in Paris, Athens, London?

Let’s get sensible……..

Jan 09, 2011 3:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
FBreughel1 wrote:

25 % of the Americans holding 95 % of the wealth sounds like the source of the problem. Naturally, that causes jealousy and instability. In Europe, we saw videos of New Orleans and thought it was a third-world country. What a shame and what a waste of talent !

Jan 09, 2011 5:08am EST  --  Report as abuse
CountryDoc wrote:

Oh I thought it would be that 98% of americans thought 2% should pay more taxes. Well majority rules right? Who needs the Constitution anyway?

Jan 09, 2011 8:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NameIsNothing wrote:

How about we cut spending? Start with the hundreds of overseas military bases, close them; then cut off foreign aid. We are not the world’s protector, we are not it’s shepard. Our own house is not in order, how are we supposed to help anyone else? Anyone with even a little common sense knows that you shouldn’t spend money you don’t have.

Jan 11, 2011 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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