Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Rich Must Pay their Fair Share II

Don’t look only at entitlements, but take a look at fairly sharing the burden of reducing the nation’s debt!
by Charlie Leck

In an editorial on Tuesday morning, our local newspaper, The Star-Tribune, editorialized rather strongly about the failure of the President or Congress to look seriously at entitlements and defense costs in its effort to grapple with our huge national debt.

I concur in some respects with the sentiments expressed in that editorial and with the side bar comments by former Minnesota Congressman Bill Frenzel, who is now with the Brookings Institute.

"Both the Congress and the president are ... ignoring the entitlements and mostly ignoring the defense cuts that have to be part of a final compromise. What they're doing is dancing a little war dance, but they're doing it with toy weapons.'
[Bill Frenzel]

If you’re interested, you can read the full text of the editorial. That, however, is not the point of what I’m getting at here.

The question I would ask and which I think you should address to your Congressional Representatives and Senators is this: Why are we so hot to go after entitlements, which form the backbone of caring for those with less money and those who have put in a lifetime of work in this nation, and so cold to go after more money from the incredibly rich who are not now paying their fair share in Internal Revenue income taxes?

That is exactly the case that President Obama has to make to the nation. Why entitlements and not higher taxes on those who can easily afford them?

If ever there was an issue that can be clearly identified along political party lines, this is it! And, this is the essential issue that President Obama has to take into his next campaign for reelection.

It is quite easy to show that the wealthy pay far less a percentage of their gross income in taxes than do middle class working people.

The stinging hardship of taxes falls heavily upon those who can least afford it!


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  1. My concern is - what will stop some people from picking up and leaving Minnesota for a state that induces industry and business with lower taxes? They can afford to take a loss on their home sale, if in the long run they benefit. The new state also benefits with more industry or business and jobs. It then puts Minnesota in a worse place.

  2. I'm talking here, Lynn, about a federal tax; that is, increasing the federal income tax on those who are not paying the same percentage of their income in taxes as lower income people are. Charlie

  3. There is no question our Fed. tax laws are complicated and unfair. We had a client that was very wealthy that, because of losses on some of his companies that year, received low income credit and a refund. He was upset when he saw what happened and wanted to refuse the refund. Guess what. You can't under law. No way to give it back. I think he gave it to a charity of his choice. It needs to be simplified and more equitable - no doubt.