Taking Sides: The Government SHOULD NOT Tax the Rich More

Henry Melcher, Columnist

  Taxes have been a focal point of the United States since the Revolution and even today the debate still rages on. The United States has a record number of billionaires. That begs the question, are they paying their fair share? To answer that, let’s break down the numbers.

 According to VOX there are 800 billionaires in the United States who own $3.4 trillion dollars collectively. The Gross Domestic Product (GPD) of the United States is $24.8 billion. If you divide those numbers to see how much of the GDP is made by billionaires, it comes out to 13.7 percent. In theory, it would be fair for them to pay 13.7 percent of taxes then, correct? Well, according to CNBC, the top one percent pays 45.7 percent of income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers contribute about four percent, which usually is returned, rightfully so. 

 The United States actually has one of the most progressive tax rates in the world. For example, the Nordic countries which are held to such a high regard have their highest tax bracket kick in a lot lower on the income scale. As an example, in the U.S. during the 70s and early 80s, couples were paying 70 percent in taxes on $200 thousand or more, which saw great stagflation until the rates were reduced and the United States saw great economic growth. 

  The argument is still that Americans need to pay their “fair share.” So what is fair? It would be like Ford charging richer customers more for the same car, which would be illegal. Maybe taxing at a percent of your contributions to the national GDP would be the best way to go. Regardless, at the very least, going above what we have now is extraordinarily unfair. Most of the richest people in the U.S. did not start out with copious amounts of capital. 

A flat tax rate would be the most “fair” because every American gets the same services no matter how much they pay

— H. Melcher

  So if the rich are paying fairly which results in the U.S. accruing $4 trillion annually, where is it going? The military? Yes, it is going to the military, though most of it goes to social services—29.6 percent total net percentage of the U.S. GDP goes to social services. Second highest in the entire world, just beaten out by France. Since the beginning of the “War on Poverty,” the U.S. has spent $20 trillion on social services, and $1 trillion just last year. So where the heck is that money going? If we can have the best military on the planet with $800 billion, surely we can have great social security. This is not a problem of the government not taxing enough, but where it is spent. The U.S. granted $5 million to Brown University to study fraternities and sororities. What they discovered was that they drink more alcohol per capita than the average American. Or subsidizing the purchase of $21 million worth of cheese to “stimulate the cheese market.” We, as Americans, need to pressure our leaders to stop spending all this money on ridiculous things.