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Rich Brits To Pay Their Share – Why Not Ours?

The big news over here in the United Kingdom this morning is that wealthy citizens are going to start paying their fair share in compensation for all that society has done for them. People who make more than 150,000 pounds in a year – the equivalent of over 195,000 U.S. dollars – will be taxed at a rate of 50 percent of income.

If the Brits can make this kind of tax increase for wealthy people, why can’t we do the same in the USA?

31 comments to Rich Brits To Pay Their Share – Why Not Ours?

  • Jacob

    Are you kidding me???? You think its ok to take 50% of someones income? I am about as poor as a flea on a stray dog but even I know thats not right…

  • I’m not saying what I think. I’m asking you a question. Can you give reasons, in addition to your expressions of exasperation, for your opinion that this tax increase is “not right”?

  • Jacob

    People work hard to make a living. Whether they are rich or poor they work hard to make money. If someone does all the right things to move up in the world and because of therer success they are taxed to the point where it would be best not to work that hard things dont make sense.

    Why work hard to make 150,000 when I can work have as hard make 75.000 and come out even.

    I cant believe this is even a real question. This is something Joseph Stalin and Lenin would come up with, not something from a democratic society.

    If you mow my yard and I pay you 50 dollars but you have to give 25 away why would you want to mow my yard? 25 barely covers gas

    • That’s not a good example, Jacob. If I earned just 25 dollars, there would be no tax on it at all. We’re also talking about a lower limit of 195,000 dollars, not 150,000 dollars.

      Okay, now I’ll say what I think, a little bit, but just to advance to discussion – I’m not firmly committed to the idea of a 50 percent tax on the super-wealthy.

      People who make over 195,000 dollars may work hard to make a living, but the difference between them and people who make something more like 40 or 50 thousand is that it isn’t just their work that enables their income. The wealthy have a special dependence upon societal systems, largely funded by the government. You don’t want them to be freeloaders with those benefits, do you?

  • Jacob

    Free loaders? Do they not work just as hard as you? Many of the ‘super wealthy’ also went to major schools such as Harvard and MIT to earn there income. They didnt get a free grade there. Show me the coralation between people who make that much and that they are government funded. If that is true cut the funding because that would be ridiculous

  • qs

    NO TAXES PERIOD. I support getting rid of the U.S. military, but can they please destroy the IRS building before we defund them?

  • qs

    This is why I support no restrictions on the 2nd amendment. People should get any weapon the U.S. government should get to have so that if the government IRS agents to CIA or something come to raid and steel form their property they have adequate defense.

  • Clydes_Pride

    There’s no need for an opinion on the tax. Why don’t you just ask if someone prefers a socialist or a capitalist society? That basically answers the question. If you believe in solid socialism, of course you’ll generally support taxing more wealthy people and distributing it to less wealthy people, or even a more drastic approach. I don’t really care how British people do their taxes. They are hardly a shining example of a healthy economy, assuming they’re still trying to be capitalistic at all. I remember the junk British Leyland churned out in the 1970s. A weak product of a government-run enterprise.

    Our example is Amtrak. Ridden it lately? Their service is terrible; they never leave nor arrive on time. They have no competition, so they just don’t care. That’s the root of the socialist dilemma. No one has shown a large-scale example of a totally socialist society that has done as well as ours in modern times. Everything the United States has done to grow from a non-existent country 200+ years ago to arguably the superpower and the place most other countries envy has been powered by human nature. That includes self-preservation instincts, and of course, greed.

    When you don’t need to work hard to succeed, just show up and you’ll get pretty much the same reward as anyone else, human nature allows you to get lazy. Any other belief in our “high potential” or “human integrity” is just B.S., and we all know it.

    So now you start earning over 150 or 200K, you’re considered “wealthy” and you start losing a larger and larger percentage of your income to go to less-hard-working and in some cases, lazy people. So you start not caring as well. My Dad ran a small business for many years as a sole-proprietorship, and he employed quite a few of my high-school buddies as their first job, and many other part time and full-time people over the years. If you were taxing him at 50%, 60%, etc. he’d just have to start cutting back on the number of workers he employed. So where is the gain there? My wife worked for a woman for years that ran a small health care management company. She employed many nurses part-time who didn’t want to work full-time at a hospital or wherever, or didn’t want a fixed schedule. She probably made well over 200K a year also. And yet she provided a great home for those employees who fit that niche and they absolutely loved her as both an employer and a caring person. Tax her higher, and she probably would have fired my wife, so where’s the gain there?

    But the bottom line is people who make money, spend money. And the places they spend it, whether vacation spots, restaurants, expensive universities, or car dealerships, employ people. The more they spend, the more the places they spend money need to employ people. The more people are employed, the higher the demand for workers, and wages go up. That’s your basic economics.

    I’d rather see that than our government pay people to stand around leaning on shovels like they so often do. Our government in all its forms is the largest employer. That is totally nonsense, unless our premise is that our country move towards a totally socialist state.

  • Mike

    If I knew I was going to be taxed 50% I wouldn’t bother advancing my career or being more productive. I am chaffing at having to pay 25%. I’m outraged at how all my money is being wasted on, against my will, on ridiculous bullshit. I’m outraged that the government insists that it owns 25% of me. I am outraged that I am treated like a serf. This is what the founding fathers fought to get away from. I am outraged that I look at other countries and see that some of them are more free than we are. I am outraged at what some greedy, scum sucking, adulterating old fuckers are doing to this country. I am outraged that I have to consider, possibly, immigrating to another country so I can be free.

  • Cant.

    “I look at other countries and see that some of them are more free than we are.”

    Would you care to give an example, Mike?

  • qs

    We need to decentralize the U.S.A. so people can’t vote as easily in a giant block to steal people’s earned income, house, property, etc.

    I think it would be easier to keep the government from going on its vikinges like raids if we had 50 countries or possibly more so that you could keep you money in multiple states and the states would be more vulnerable to competition.

    I think world government is the true danger though…a prison planet if you will. That is the goal of the left so that no one can escape government slavery.

  • Luke

    The “Viking like” government(I am mixing local, state and federal government here) that brings you: subsidized Higher Education, libraries, interstate highways, a huge fancy military to protect you from the terrorists you seem to fear, safe drinking water, internet regulation and maintenance, protection of property rights, cheaper and more efficient municipal electricity, regulation of state and international commerce that provides you with the bulk of your groceries, courts and police, public schools, hospitals, unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, etc, etc, etc!
    The Vikings never had it so good!
    I would be happy to make 150,000 and take home 75,000; that is a lot of money each year; I am doing quite well on my 25,000 a year however, and don’t mind at all the couple grand I pay for all the benefits I receive.

    • Jim

      Luke, under the 50% plan, you would not “be happy to make 150,000 and take home 75,000″… first because under a plan like the Brit plan the 50% rate doesn’t kick in until $195,000 per individual ($390,000 per couple). Second, income below that amount would be taxed at less than 50%. An important clarification.

  • Jacob

    Jim,

    Does that clarification mean that its ok because few people would be affected and they have less voice because there are fewer of them?

  • Jim

    Jacob,

    Does your question mean that you are the Easter Bunny?

    My statement is what it is, and it is not what it is not.

    • Klaaatu Nebulan

      “My statement is what it is, and it is not what it is not.”
      This is what the Easter Bunny would say. It is not a genuine answer to further the discussion. Another Klaaatu Nebulan has painted Jim into a corner, and he refuses to answer because he knows what his answer signifies – that it is OK to use government coercion to force more money from some people because there are fewer of them. It appears Jim is in favor of mob rule, not the rule of LAW as he claims. Besides, now that the “chosen one” has those spy satellites aimed here, what do you think they’re going to be used for? To ensure “rich” people can’t find ways to keep their money. It seems you win, Jim, though I would like a clarification of “The wealthy have a special dependence upon societal systems, largely funded by the government. You don’t want them to be freeloaders with those benefits, do you?” Can you provide more detail, especially since the indigent under the bridge and the most well-to-do receive the same amount of protection from the U.S.?

      • Jim

        You can’t keep who wrote what comment straight. Jacob asked a leading question working entirely out of his own gourd. Why should I dance with either of you until you get your moves down to a degree I can work with?

  • qs

    Small business taxes are so high in this country that now all the small businesses are finding it necessary to file as a corporation otherwise they will get raped.

    • Horatio

      As someone who’s run a couple small businesses myself, I found that incorporation actually wasn’t worth the trouble – and my accountant agreed.

  • Klaaatu Nebulan

    OK Jim;
    Is it acceptable in your opinion to tax some people’s income at a different rate than another group’s for any reason? If yes, what would those reasons be? What is your reasoning?

    Oh, and to be on topic, I think OUR rich Brits here in the U.S. should pay their “Fair Share” too… Whatever it is that is their “Fair Share” would consist of and be determined by…?

    • Jim

      In my opinion, yes, it is. One reason why in my opinion it is acceptable is because a great deal of government is dedicated to the protection and maintenance of wealth, commerce, intellectual property, securities markets, communication systems, transportation systems, energy, vocational education, and industrial research, to provide a non-exhaustive list. These functions of government are of disproportionate benefit to those with high income.

      • Klaaatu Nebulan

        “These functions of government are of disproportionate benefit to those with high income”

        How? Don’t you receive the same protection and benefits as anyone else? Doesn’t the transient under the bridge receive the same level of protection from the U.S. Marines as Bill Gates? Aren’t you able to equally benefit from your intellectual property being protected should you come up with a new or better idea? Isn’t your middle income wealth as well protected by police, fire, military, etc., as anyone’s?
        As an adjunct question, how did people with high income get to be people with high income? I don’t have statistics right in front of me, but most “wealthy” people made their own wealth; they started out middle class like most of America. They figured out the right ingredients of industriousness, cleverness, people skills, cooperation, and so on that built their income; all things available to any person here, if not more so here because of all the government giveaways like student loans, grants, food stamps, ad infiniteum. Without some concrete examples, I think your postulation is a bit too vague.

  • Klaaatu Nebulan

    Again, I would like a clarification of “The wealthy have a special dependence upon societal systems, largely funded by the government. You don’t want them to be freeloaders with those benefits, do you?” Can you provide more detail, especially since the indigent under the bridge and the most well-to-do receive the same amount of protection from the U.S.?

    Please provide a reasoned and tinfoil-hat free argument.

  • Luke

    Thanks for the clarification Jim.
    I think some stats and agreement on the definitions of levels of weath making up the “wealthy” would be helpful; because Klaaatu claims that people with high income are industrious lift themselves up types, and it is my belief that the most wealthy people in this country, in the top 5% range, have their wealth primarily due to inherited fortunes from earlier active members of their families.
    My concern with the taxation on those people is that with all of the cuts in capital gains taxes, inheritance taxes and estate taxes is that these privileged families have already gained an unhealthy concentration of power and influence. I have the same concern with the top business and investment elites, both individuals and groups. For me, progressive taxation aimed at curbing the concentration of their power over time is the issue.

    • Klaaatu Nebulan

      How can you tax them and them alone? The wealthiest people in this country run and own corporations, whose primary goal is PROFIT. They must maintain this PROFIT or risk going out of business. They will look for ways to cut costs (jobs, wages, health care, outsource overseas) and or raise prices; prices on the goods and services that all of us use. Raising their cost of business will only cause them to pass on this cost to us, the consumer. The most heavily taxed states and countries also are those with the highest cost of living, and whom does that hurt? The fat cat Corporatist in league with the government, or you and I and “the poor”?

  • Kevin

    qs
    April 23rd, 2009 at 10:31 am · Reply
    steal!

    so its come to that has it? you are not satisfied with all the tax breaks you get but now you want to steal from poor people and babies?

    figures….

  • Luke

    Klaatu, you are conflating taxes on individuals, in the form of estate, income and inheritance taxes with those of corporations. Some corporations, even while profitable, do pass on any increased costs directly to the consumer, but many do this even without increased costs to increase the profits they are already making. However, this is separate from what I am talking about, which is the concentration of wealth and power in individuals and families over time.
    Usually those individuals and families are associated with fortunes they made from owning and operating corporations, but the income and tax structures are separate by design. That is, of course, the goal of incorporating, to separate incomes and protect individuals.
    And beyond all of this, there are major loopholes corporations also employ to avoid taxes, and when they do this they shirk “their” responsibility to the public which created the laws allowing them to exist in the first place.

  • Klaaatu Nebulan

    The legislature will always be populated by well-to-do people, who will always leave legal loopholes for themselves and their buddies, corporate, individual, or otherwise. Any restrictions or taxation they authorize won’t therefore affect them, just the rest of us without the fortunes to hire specialized and expensive legal and accounting teams to keep our hard earned dough.

  • I wrote an opinion on the discusion posted above, it seems as though it’s the age old argument of Flat Tax vs. Progressive Tax, only not verbatim…Please follow this link and see if you agree.

    The Back Pulse

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