Politics of Envy
|January 18, 2011||Posted by Roshawn Watson under Uncategorized|
If I can’t have it, no one will!
The poorest fifth of the population, with average annual income of $15,400, pays only 4.5 percent of its income in federal taxes. The middle fifth, with income of $56,200, pays 13.9 percent. And the top fifth, with income of $207,200, pays 25.1 percent. The richest 1 percent, with an average income of $1,259,700, forks over 31.1 percent of its income to the federal government.
“Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were ‘willing and able to pay their fair share.’ The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would ‘grin and bear it.’”
Rather than creating wealth, my concern is redistribution removes the incentives for creating wealth. Aside from whether or not you believe it is just for someone to have more wealth than most of society, there are other issues with redistributing wealth. As Maryland case study (and other states have repeatedly proven), the rich tend to control the velocity, the location, the source, and the volume of their income. The projected increased tax revenues often have a way of not materializing. Also, many people reading this are a lot richer than the rest of the world. An income of over $25,000 annually puts you in the top 10% of income earners in the world, so consider how much more of your income should be redistributed in light of that fact. I doubt merely knowing that fact sufficiently motivates you to give away over half of your income, and if someone had the audacity to force you to do so, you would be considerably upset and not motivated to work harder. The point is there has to be a balance between taxation and incentive. Also, to say that one group of people is more moral for wanting to take money via taxation than others for wanting to control how their money is spent, saved, invested, and given away seems like flawed logic.
Rather than trying to make the wealthy less wealthy to tackle our budget deficit, could creating more affluent and wealthy individuals do the job? For example, Maryland, California, and New Jersey and other states that have been hammered with the economy all highlight some of the challenges of depending on relatively few people to finance our government. If we have more people paying taxes (and exercise more fiscal constraint), the deficit will surely diminish. I acknowledge this is a daunting task that doesn’t always yield immediate results, but over the long term, at least this strategy has the possibility to eliminate our budgetary shortfalls. I think this would be a much better use of our energy.
What say you: do we actually need more affluent and wealthy individuals? Are you ready to take your rightful among the affluent and wealthy?
Do The Rich Pay Their Fair Share Of Taxes?
Copyright 2012, Roshawn Watson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.