Friday, December 17, 2010

An idea whose time has come...again?

"Tax the rich, feed the poor/Till there are no poor no more"
-"I'd Love to Change The World"; Alvin Lee

I am not a political person, nor am I a fiscal expert. But sometimes someone suggests a course of action that just makes sense. Case in point: if you click on the football picture in the right-hand column of the blog, you will be taken to this site, a recent column by Dr. Michael I. Niman from the weekly newspaper Artvoice. Let it be noted that his "official" fields of expertise are in journalism and media studies. That said, it doesn't take a degree in economics to see that the present system of taxation in the US does not work.

Understand, I have no grievance with the rich, especially those who have worked to achieve their level of success. But the rich of previous generations understood that they needed to bear a much greater tax burden than those in the lower- and middle-classes. Indeed, their acceptance of the principle allowed a strong middle class to form in this country, as well as allowing vital protections for the lower classes.

Google "tax the rich", and you will find many articles, taking one side or the other on the issue. My finance-impaired brain has tried working through as many of them as I can, and I have yet to find an argument against taxing the rich compelling as those in favor of increasing tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. I am particularly in agreement with one of Niman's points: since many of the legal functions of the nation protect the assets of the wealthy, it is in their best interests to help support that system through increased taxation.

Taking one person's opinion as gospel is always a dangerous act. So go ahead and research the idea for yourself. I believe you will come to the same conclusion as I have; we need to tax the rich at a higher rate than currently assessed. The Tea Party came to its current level of influence through grassroots involvement from many people. If you believe that America needs to again "tax the rich", please get involved, if only to tell your friends to read this blog, or research the question for themselves. Sitting on the sidelines could prove fatal to the America most of us believe is our nation at its best.

-Mike Riley