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Let the rich pay their fair share
Over and over again, Mitt Romney by promising to balance the budget by 2020. buries the lie in his assumptions. The fact is that taxes on the wealthy are at a 50 year low. Though Conservatives like to say they pay a 35% rate of taxation, very few of the affluent pay that high a rate. That trope conveniently ignores the fact that people like Romney - who paid a 13.6% rate of income tax on his $21.6 million in income in 2010 - pay much less.
So, when Romney declares that we as a nation need to kill off programs such as food stamps for the poor to "live within our means", he is neatly ignoring the assumptions that drive his logic: he wants to continue allowing the rich to get away without paying their fare share. Now, Conservatives squawk at the idea that they should have to pay a higher percentage of their income as income tax. They decry the progressive tax system that has been accepted as logical and just going back to the time of the Ancient Greeks. So, why do I say that the affluent must pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes? Quite simply because - unless they inherited their wealth - they did not get rich on their own. They benefited from the common infrastructure and civil society that all Americans pool our money to pay for.
Let's explore that idea in depth: Say you have a factory and you need to move your goods on public roads. Could you afford to build your own roads? Nope, you cannot. If everyone stopped paying for the roads then the poor could get along walking in the mud. The rich, however, would be devastated. They could not move their goods on mud roads. End of their business. In our country the ladder of opportunity is available here for all. But if you have worked hard enough to climb that ladder then you owe it to the society that built that ladder to give back handsomely. That is the social contract that has made America great. The affluent who want to stop giving back wish to live in as the permanent oligarchy. But they cannot afford to build their own roads, their own electric and water plants and so they will quickly lose their wealth. They benefited from the common funding of all these services much more than do the poor. That in itself is why the rich must pay a higher percentage of their income in income taxes.
The wealthy like to say the poor get a free ride. Oh? So go ahead and build your own roads, fund your own army, construct a power station. In reality the rich who use those services the most are the freeloaders - and thus they deserve to pay their fare share.
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