“I was coming back from Africa on one of my trips,” she said. “I had taken one of my wealthy friends with me. She said, ‘Don’t you just feel guilty? Don’t you just feel terrible?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t. I do not know how me being destitute is going to help them.’ Then I said when we got home, ‘I’m going home to sleep on my Pratesi sheets right now and I’ll feel good about it.’ “
-Oprah Winfrey, 4/11/06 People Magazine
C’mon you Democrat fat cats….why not 90%? What’s keeping you from donating as much of what you care to spare to the federal government and for the greater good of the country? Where’s your patriotism? No one’s holding a gun to your head, saying, “keep your money.”
Rather than arbitrarily declare someone “rich” when they cross that $250,000 level, let’s raise the bar. Heck, let’s even let an individual keep the first $1 billion he or she earns. After that, let’s let them have a taste of what real taxes are all about.
How about a net worth tax? I know I’ve kidded about it before, but it’s even more fun thinking about it under the current circumstances, both political and economic.
Let’s tax the excess amount of anyone’s net worth that exceeds $1 billion at 90 percent. Of course we would have to undo those charitable foundations where the super-wealthy have the ability to demand, say, accountability and successful results for the use of their generously given dollars. They would instead have to let the old wheel of fate known as the federal government spend those dollars. There would be no huge parties honoring them, no honorary doctorates for their donations, not so much as a thank you letter.
But think how happy folks like Gates and Buffett would feel. Gates alone would be “donating” $45.6 billion to the United States Treasury. And hey, we wouldn’t need cash from Bill — the government would be happy to just take possession of his excess assets.
As for Warren, the $54.9 billion he would owe could help cover Fannie, Freddie and so many other worthwhile causes. Of course no one would be meandering over to Omaha to hear his wisdom on making money, because he would be “just another billionaire,” instead of the richest man in America.
Sound absurd? Of course. But it makes a strong point.
The two wealthiest individuals in America believe that if you strive to become wealthy, government should take more of your money and determine where and how it can be wasted. The problem is, there aren’t enough “rich” $250,000-plus living on the edge, scared to death, stretched-to-the-max people in America to cover for the billions of dollars being printed and distributed before the ink dries. All of it to prop up rotten lending institutions and Wall Street crooks.
From Power Line:
Stephen Moore previews the most recent data in today’s Wall Street Journal: “My contacts at the Treasury Department tell me that for the first time in decades, and perhaps ever, the richest 1% of tax filers will have paid more than 40% of the income tax burden. The top 50% will account for 97% of all federal income taxes, while the bottom 50% will have paid just 3%.” Moore’s preview does not include the companion income data.
Given that poorer citizens always outnumber the rich, political philosophers have worried that government based on majority rule could lead to organized theft from the wealthy by the democratic masses. “If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city,” warned Aristotle.
The founders of the United States were deep students of politics and history, and they shared Aristotle’s worry. Up through their time, history had shown all known democracies to be “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” James Madison and others therefore made it the “first object of government” to protect personal property from unjust confiscation. Numerous provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were included to protect the property rights of citizens. We’ve fallen off from the spirit of the founders on this issue, but it would be good to recall it in connection with the release of the income tax data previewed in Moore’s column.
Other articles of interest:
Presidents and the Economy by Randall Hoven at American Thinker
Who Pays What on Tax Day? by Scott A. Hodge and Brian Phillips
Ten Myths About the Bush Tax Cuts by Brian M. Riedl
Scapegoating Tax Cuts by David Limbaugh
Democrats Lie About Reagan Tax Rates by Michael Medved
Biden Believes Paying More Taxes Patriotic
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.