Opinion: Raise taxes on the rich

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Increasing the tax rates for the rich: a seemingly easy concept to understand and agree with. In times of economic struggle, it would be beneficial to the nation if more people were taxed, but perhaps those who make more could give more, or at least as much as everyone else relative to their respective incomes. But then why is it that many politicians are risking their entire political careers and the economic future by fighting tooth-and-nail about keeping the current income tax rates for the wealthy while we inch closer and closer to the fiscal cliff?

Most Americans, young and old, Democrat and Republican, from every creed and culture, agree that the American government should raise taxes on the rich, but many Republican politicians disagree. Why? Aren’t politicians supposed to answer to us? Shouldn’t politicians support issues carried by the majority of Americans? The short answer is yes, but not really. The reason for their actions, for fighting for lower taxes on the rich, is simple: The rich want them to do it.

The American government was founded to be for, of and by the people, for government officials to pay close attention to the masses because their voice decided on their political careers through voting for them. But over time, as businesses and capitalism grew and very wealthy people began to control entire industries that were the staple of America’s economy, the politicians’ constituents had shifted to not only the common people but the wealthy Americans.

Most of the politicians who are defending the wealthy and ignoring the American people are more than likely doing it because they know they owe their position of power to the wealthy, or are wealthy themselves. But either way, their actions were to prove to the millionaires and billionaires that they supported them more than lower-income Americans.

I’ve heard a lot of excuses, saying that if you raised taxes on all the wealthy Americans it would hurt the economy because they would have to cut employment opportunities. Why, because they’ll throw a temper tantrum and just cut their jobs to ruin America for the rest of us? With a good accountant and a bit of financial restraint, you can maintain a livable lifestyle with a lower six-figure salary.

America is known for a lot of things — some I can’t say on this article without being censored — but one important thing is that America has the most billionaires than any other country, and its not by a little: America has 422 billionaires, and the country with the second-most is China, with 66.

This is a gross imbalance of economic welfare in America, and the very least we can do is tax them as much as we tax everyone else. Most of Americans want to, but the rich don’t. I’m sure they have their reasons, but they aren’t very good ones.