Should taxes go up on the ‘super rich?’

We have a new poll question for you. Warren Buffett, a super-rich man himself, said people in his class should be taxed more. He points out that he pays a lower tax rate than people making, say, $200,000 a year. That claim is determined to be true by PolitiFact. If you really want to did into tax code issues, you should also read the PolitiFact’s treatment of John Cornyn’s statement that 51 percent of Americans paid no federal income taxes in 2009. That was also determined to be true. Cornyn is a Republican senator from Texas.

The PolitiFact pieces are great, because though each statement is true, there is context to each worth considering.

This is America. Please vote.

20 thoughts on “Should taxes go up on the ‘super rich?’

  1. Buffet is free to pay more taxes, but what he really needs to do is pay tax on his wealth as well as his income.

    What I think he should do is disband his tax-free foundation (aka tax shelter) so he can pay even more taxes than income taxes. Funny how he never suggests this…

  2. I voted that the super rich should pay more taxes. Gee, when I was very young, millionaires used to brag that they were in the 90% tax break. Those were show business people, who were kind of crass about their money. The old-money rich like the Rockefellers didn’t brag, but they gave millions to libraries and universities, built museums, parks, etc.

    Warren Buffet is doing the same as the old-time millionaires who paid more taxes than the new rich do now. I don’t mind doing my part even if I am far from being a millionaire. I always vote for the school levies and for more police and firemen.

    Taxes aren’t the problem. Rome was built that way. What we need is more and better regulation as to where our tax money goes, not to welfare and disability cheats, but to those really in need and for our security and infrastructure. Our country was better when we had a large middle class and the jobs in manufacturing were here.

    Now the new rich are so greedy as to not want to invest in the US unless there are no taxes, no regulation, and people working for 49 cents an hour. They won’t bring the jobs back until we are a third world country. They ought to be strung up for treason, them and Jane Fonda.

    Port Orchard, WA

  3. OOOPs. I meant “90 % tax bracket”. Ha. Some millionaires already give themselves a 90 % tax break, and it hasn’t resulted in more jobs.

    Emilie in P. O.

  4. The top 1% paid 36% of all taxes but they made over 97.5% of all the “earned income” last year. So they haven’t paid anything close to their earning power. After the first few million, who really needs that much money anyway? So, a graduated income tax makes sense. Everyone gets to keep every nickle of the first $15K they earn, then you pay more incrementally.

    Mortgage interest deductions should have a cap. If the median mortgage is $300,000, let that interest be deductable but on higher home prices, limit the deduction to the median. In no way should the average taxpayer be subsidizing the mega-mansions of the very wealthy.

    A flat tax would suit me, too. Let everyone pay 10% – no deductions. If that’s not enough or too much, adjust it. Meanwhile set budgets for all the programs that the government sets up and index them to inflation the same way retirees’ pensions are.

    Our most recent era of prosperity was just before the Bush tax cuts. Little good it did us as a country.

  5. No, taxes should not go up for the super-rich.

    Taxes always serve as a disincentive for a given behavior – taxes on businesses discourage investment, and taxing the wealthy will only discourage people from working hard and becoming rich.

    If we want to get rid of poverty, we should maintain our regressive tax structure.

    We need to keep capital gains taxes lower than income tax to encourage poor people to do something productive for our society like investing in the stock market instead of wasting it on non-productive things like rent, clothing and food.

  6. Buck,

    One reason is we get more spam on the blogs than on the story comments. I’m not sure why. Second, everyone gets moderated first time on the blog, but not after that, unless there is a persistent problem.

    Also, sometimes posts with too many links will be held, so if it happens in the future that might be why.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Caucus

  7. “By contrast, popular lower- and middle-income breaks such as child credits and mortgage interest deductions do get a big share of the population off the hook.” quote from
    so maybe 51% of taxpayers in the U.S. are now considered low and middle income. and that is why 51% don’t pay any tax. It’s not that they are making exorbitant amounts of money and finagle their way out of paying the tax. they are not making enough. and if they can take advantage of the tax credit for poor people, like the child credit, why not? billionaires get to take the second home mortgage credit, don’t they?

  8. Lynne,

    That’s some of the context I was referring to. More than half of those who pay no federal income tax do pay payroll taxes. It goes to Social Security and Medicare, so they might get it back.

    Also, Buffett is probably not correct that some people pay 41 percent.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Caucus

  9. I guess I should vote: I say yes they should pay more.

    Nospin are you being sarcastic? I hope so. How could “rent, clothing and food” be considered “non-productive” ?

  10. Of course they should. The continued tax breaks for the super wealthy over the past 30 years, coupled with the deregulation of mega corps has led to the predatory fraud and incresed enormous income gap. Terrible for our society and country. It did not stop them when they apid 90% and will not stop them now, if they have anhy interest in our country.

  11. I would be for an increase to the top 1% and fortune 500 businesses. I would also be in favor of them getting a tax break if they narrowed the gap between the top and bottom paid employees. As for those who pay none, we should impose a 1 cent transaction tax(kinda like a sales tax). 1 penny for every transaction in the country would add up really quick.

  12. Hey NoSpin. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe food, shelter, and clothing are the 3 basic needs of living. I don’t think I could survive off the stock market alone. 😉

  13. No, why should you have to pay higher taxes because I went to school and worked hard. While other people chose not to do the things I have done. I think we should have a flat tax, straight across the board, that is fair.

  14. I’d like to see a straight 20% across the board tax – no deductions – straight across the board and an accounting for the tax money. Run government like a for profit business.

    Pay government employees, including Medicare and Medicaid AND Social Security to give bonuses when they uncover fraud…make them care that their actions will make a difference.

  15. The whole system needs to be resturctured including the addition of a vat tax to pick up revenue from those not currently paying and from the underground economy. SS and Medicare are fundementally different and are not what people I know think of as income tax. You can’t have a successful tax system when half the people pay nothing.

  16. Larry, you and I disagree on many things, but the VAT tax would be a very good idea.

    A flat tax, no matter what the amount is, is a very bad idea. Sharon, you and many others seem to think that everyone has the ability to pay 5, 10 or 20% on income. Many do not thru no fault of their own.

  17. @Mary. Do you teach your children to share? Be kind to others? Help other people? Do you think that the opportunity to go to school stretches to everyone? There are way too many people in this country for the economy to continue down the road it has been traveling on. What do you think happens when people can’t make ends meet? I work very hard. No I don’tmake much, but I have always made enough to support my family. I do not ask for handouts. On top of that I have volunteered countless hours to my community. If you took 20% away from me, I would no longer be able to do any of these things. What do you think the rich are doing with the money from their tax breaks? Do you think they are saying “Oh thank god we can now afford to eat”? We are all a product of our environment. When Paris Hilton inherits her fortune, ask her how hard she “worked” for it

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