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April 1st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Raising taxes on rich best way for states to fix deficits?

As states try to deal with their own massive deficits, many are turning to higher taxes on the rich as the answer. A proposal here in New York would follow in the steps of California and Maryland in pushing the wealthiest into higher tax brackets - several percentage points above most workers.

New Jersey is considering raising its highest bracket to more that 10 percent from the current five-plus percent. And Wisconsin and Delaware are also considering higher tax brackets.

The head of one political group that supports the higher taxes tells the Wall Street Journal, "Most people are treading water. Others are drowning. That gave politicians the courage to say the rich have to pay their fair share."

But critics say the higher taxes wouldn't only affect those in the financial industry. They say small-business owners are concerned, since a lot of them report their business earnings on their personal income-tax returns.

And the libertarian Cato Institute found that higher taxes hurt economic growth, and the places that imposed an income tax to generate revenue ended up with poorer growth rates than places that used other kinds of taxes.

Meanwhile - where is the talk in these states of cutting spending, firing government workers, consolidating services, etc.? It's practically nowhere to be seen. The plans seem to be mostly tax wealthy people more and more and leave the government bureaucracy as it is. Morons.

Here’s my question to you: Is raising taxes on the highest earners the best way for states to deal with their deficits?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Paul from Phoenix writes:
Jack, Raising taxes on the upper class is a way for the states (and Congress on the federal level) to use class warfare, which leads to public outrage, to cover their own inability to create a budget and manage that budget. In short, no, raising taxes is a cop-out for the government.

Ryan writes:
Redistributing the wealth of the rich will not create the kind of new economy that Obama envisions for America. Having successful individuals give more money to the states will only limit discretionary spending and stifle small business expansion - two things that the economy desperately needs.

Ruth from Indianapolis writes:
Yes, raise taxes on the rich. Conservatives call this socialism. It's not. It's merely a correction for a little of the skewed distribution of wealth in this country.

Mitchell from Arkansas writes:
No. We can just keep taxing poor people who happen to smoke or drink. In the meantime, drug cartels operate tax-free, because of prohibition.

Ryan writes:
It's called Hauser's Law – raising tax rates never has produced higher government revenues. It only inhibits economic growth, as the wealthy are the primary investors and job creators in this country. Just don't tell the crazy Keynesians running the Obama administration.

Pat from New York writes:
Heck, yes, raise the highest earners’ taxes! They can contribute like the little people have been doing. The working class in this country has been taxed to death making us eat bologna and cheese while the rich eat caviar and get bailouts. I say tax them and tax them again and them tax them some more.


Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Absolutley not.... government needs to control its own spending to help erase deficits. Tax increases will only further damage the economy and thereby lead to further reductions in state revenues....

    April 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Horn Lake, MS

    I believe if you check, you will find the states under the greatest economic stress are the ones with the highest taxes. Another interesting correlation is that you will find they also have the heaviest load in terms of unions controlling the state work forces, and are governed by liberal democrats.

    April 1, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  3. joe

    Well, eight years of tax cuts landed us here. Seems like common sense to me. We dug ourselves into this....mess, do we keep digging deeper? I think what it comes down to is this; do the American people trust their elected government leaders more than free market corporate leaders? At this point, with Democrats in control of everything, I think they do. So why do we care what republicans have to say? The whole ideology has tanked us, our economy, our enviroment. We have one opportunity to fix this, so by all means, disregard anyone suggesting we lower taxes on the wealthy so that they can create jobs for the middle class. Anyone ever hear of Dell, IBM? Yeah, BILLIONS of dollars in US government contracts, where are all the employees???

    April 1, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  4. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Higher taxes on the rich is the easy way out of lost revenue for government's unwilling to make sacrifices in services during tough economic times. Instead of being created and brainstorming with there peers to develope better policies to save money...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    April 1, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Barney

    No, the best way is for government budgets to take the same cuts that businesses and the economy has taken. The entire economy is in crisis, so state and local governments, rather than taking more from people than has already been taken, shoud start sharing some of the burden by cutting their budgets aswell.

    April 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Marj, Columbia, SC

    Yes, Jack. I have been waiting for years for the money to trickle down from the tax breaks we have given them for so long. Instead they have just gotten richer and we have gotten so much poorer; the gap between rich and poor has continued to widen. No sign of that trickle yet and it's been years since Reagan died; so we might as well just grab it from them while we can. I doubt that this will in any way adversely affect their livelihood and welfare, but it will definitely make our society a little bit better.

    April 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  7. Bob Horning

    I agree with the idea of the flat percentage tax for everybody. Give 10% to the federal government and 5% to the states. No exceptions and no deductions. And any changes to this rule needs to be approved by a 2/3 vote of the legal citizens, not the cronies in congress.

    April 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  8. Roland - St George, UT

    I’m not in favor of taxing one group unfairly more than another. Everyone should pay the same percentage and not be allowed to get out of their obligation. In other words, let’s say (for the sake of example only), whether you make 10 Thousand or 10 Million a year, you just pay 30% tax. Period. To me this seems like a level playing field.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  9. carol swindell

    I am not sure of the best way, but the worst way is to raise the sales tax as Swartzenegger is doing in Califorlnia. That assures the poor pay the most.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  10. littlefishbigpond

    If you dont vote , then you dont have anything to gripe about .
    If you dont pay taxes , then you should`nt expect to have representation .
    I vote , and it seems that when I gripe , seems lately someones listining .
    I pay my taxes , I`m deffinintly not wealthy , and dont have a small business , but I feel in my small way that this country is well worth it to pay my fair share of taxes . The wealthy should expect to pay more , because they are the ones who`ve reaped the benefits , and continue to do so ......

    April 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  11. REEF

    It is the worst way to deal with deficits. Cutting out waste and making government smaller, and more efficient is the way to go. DUMB!

    April 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  12. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Of course not. If they are anything like NY, they have the money spent before they even get it no matter who they tax.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  13. Nancy, Tennessee

    Government spending should be cut on all levels to help alleviate the deficits. Federal, state, and local governments have always found a way to spend more each year with less results. It is time we found some economists, accountants, and leaders to go over these budgets and remove the wasteful spending. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know when services, products, or goods are too high priced and are just gouging the government. Projects that build bridges and roads to nowhere should be axed. And speaking of rocket scientists, do we really need to continue spending millions on space exploration?

    April 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  14. Lisa M. Bloom

    Although it seems unfair, doesn't chipping away from the bottom up seem not only unfair, but unstable too? Cutting spending, firing workers, consolidating services, all of these solutions would affect the working class, not the rich. The rich have received so many tax cuts over the past several decades, it's time to pay the fair share. As far as hurting economic growth, I don't even think we're economically growing as it is.

    Lisa M. Bloom
    San Diego, CA.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  15. Debbie in Warrenton, OR

    I think it is part of a comprehensive approach. The first question is why is there a deficit? Too many unemployed people? Or recless spending? If too many uneployed people, that are all needing more social services then a slightly higher tax on upper net incomes may help along with a close look at cutting some pet projects that don't create or maintain jobs. Also, that tired arguement that small businesses will be hurt is bunk. As a small business owner, I would love to be able to make enough that I have to worry about having to pay more taxes. There seems to be confusion between gross and net earnings. They are vastly different.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  16. Mike in Glenmoore, PA

    It is the best way Jack at both the state and federal levels. We ought to define highest earners as the top 3 percent. The cost of living relative to net income for folks in that bracket is so miniscule that a slight tax increase could not hinder the lavishness of their lifestyles. It behooves them to contribute a bit more to keep the overall economic system up and running. Otherwise, if in contrast the middle class cannot sustain the basic necessities of life even with two hard-working members per household, our system of economy built on a working class crumbles and massive amounts of wealth will vanish.

    Mike

    April 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  17. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    The gap between the haves and have nots is increasing rapidly. They better do something if they want to survive the next election. We the people are starting to lean to the left.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  18. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No. That's what helped get us into this mess in the first place. The Republicans never learn.

    April 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  19. Minnesota

    For sure it is!!! Over the past 3 decades we have slowly funneled greater and greater portions of our country's wealth to the richest. Well, now its hard times so its time they give some of it back!!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  20. Cojo

    More taxes for us and a debt our kid's children will never be able to repay. It sickens me to know I will pay more of my paycheck to a govt who could care less about me or my family. Instead they bow down to special interest, wall street and failed auto companies. The founding fathers are turning over in their graves.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  21. Jesse

    Taxing the wealthy is the only alternative. Firing more people in a recession is NOT a solution- and the author should be ashamed for being willing to put people out into poverty before cutting into someone's vacation funds. Cutting social programs only leads to more poverty as infastructure is necessary to keep people afloat at certain times- something this recession has taught us. Finally, the Cato Report (the sole piece of evidence here) hardly has shocking results. The states that have desperate enough financially to risk angering wealthy donors and have thus raised taxes on the wealthy had the lowest growth rates. So really it amounts to: the states that were in the biggest financial trouble had the lowest growth rates. To blame the low growth rate on taxing the wealthy is to engage in an irresponsible causation claim when the evidence indicates a correlation relationship at best.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  22. Corey

    Jack ,
    hmmm...tax those that can afford to be taxed...an interesting concept...

    As far as small business owners are concerned, they should not be claiming business stuff on there personal returns. They should incorporate so they can file business taxes separately, and if they are not doing so because of financial reasons then the Government should give them further incentives to do so. The main reason you incorporate is to remove accountability and taxes from the business owner and to place them where the belong on the business as a separate entity.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  23. pat from NY

    heck yes raise highest earner's tax ! they can contribute like the little people have been doing. the working class in this country have been taxed to death making us eat Bologna and cheese while the rich eat caviar and get bailouts. i say tax them and tax them again and them tax them some more

    April 1, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  24. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    The time has come for them to finally pay thier fair share, for years have have been getting far to many tax breaks from all of the loopholes in our tax laws. Most of us pay 39% income tax rate, the rich pay 35%. Now we have the Republicans with thier fake budget trying to cut taxes for the rich down from a 35% rate to a 25% tax rate, while we continue to pay 39%. That sound awefuly like welfare for the rich!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  25. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Increasing state tax revenue by soaking the wealthy might work for a short time, but would end when those with money change their primary residence to states like Alaska where there is no income tax. In other words, unless every state in the union chumps the rich it isn't going to work very well. On the other hand Jack, higher taxes might be a whole lot better deal than living in Wasilla and hanging out with your new neighbors.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  26. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It makes sense that those who have the most financially should be able to contribute the most financially to support their government. I pay my share of taxes according to my income, and I don't particularly like it, but I think that it's fair. Taxing the rich makes more sense to me than many of the so-called "sin" taxes that went into effect today. Those taxes are taking money from many Americans who are the least able to afford it.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  27. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes, becasue poor people and the middle class do not have any spare money on hand, they are trying to pay thier bills!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  28. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Yes, they basically got a free ride during the past eight years, while the lower and middle classes got to pay the bills. The middle class is almost extinct in this country. Anyway, the wealthy seemed to do very well under the Clinton years, so under Obama I am sure they will find ways to live on their paltry millions.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  29. Cory Cape Coral Florida

    Down here in the sunshine state we have the government by the government, for the government!!! Keep raising fees to support all the extra fire stations and police officers we dont need!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  30. Steven in Fostoria, OH

    Jack,

    Congrats to everyone there for their Peabody Award. The PEW research group proved that CNN was fair and balanced not the F-word station.
    Ok, raising taxes on the highest earners isn't working, won't work in the future, and hasn't worked in the past. Many Corporations get tax breaks to lessen their tax burdens, many CEOs have figured out how to keep their taxable income at a minimum(with stock options), and others just relocate to offshore Islands in order to avoid taxation....so who's left paying the tab? Yep, me and you.

    It'll be smarter for states and cities to cut certain services whereas increasing others to give us as much bang for the buck as possible.

    Steven Lehmann
    fostoria, OH.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  31. Rae from Indiana

    Yes. They have been getting away with not paying their fair share for far too long.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  32. Ken in NC

    No it is not the best way to deal with deficits but it is part of the solution. The other part of the solution is to replace the revenue lost when companies went over seas or out of business with new business. States and the Federal Government should eliminate all tax breaks for any companies that move part or all of their operations off shore.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  33. Liz Ottaway Ontario Canada

    Needs a varied approach. Many rich have done well in the last few years and going back to Clinton tax rates does not seem onerous. I have also just bought both your books and looking forward to reading your strong opinions some I agree with and some I don't. Isn't that democracy between neighbours.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  34. ANDRES SAENZ(Albuquerque, NM)

    When Barack Obama was running for the Presidency, he said that he would raise taxes only on those individuals making an annual salary of $250K or more. Anyone below that number would not see any tax increases. The GOP complains that raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is a socialist agenda, since redistribution of wealth is one of the characteristics of socialism. And it seems like small business owners would suffer if their taxes would be increased. So I don't think it's a good idea to raise taxes on wealthy people to compensate for states to deal with their deficits. During this severe economic crisis, everyone needs a little tax break. All 50 states need to eliminate wasteful spending and get their budgets under control.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  35. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    May not be the best way, or the only way, but it certainly is ONE way. This recovery is going to take a multi-faceted approach and everyone is going to share in the burden. Let's do the math. Say we have two families with two children each. One family earns $40,000/year taxed at, say, a rate of 25%. That is $30,000 remaining for that family. If a family making $150,000 is taxed at, say 40%, the family is left with $90,000 to live on. Who's going to go hungry first?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  36. David

    We should have a flat tax system, like other countries!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  37. Guddy

    Yes I think we paid enough. They will not sit on the street when they pay the same like under Clinton. We all have to suffer. The rich people can not live without the working class. From where they will get there money. Wall street is broken and the capitalism is eating themselves. It doesn't work because some people are to greedy. Cars don't by cars and nobody can eat money. The last pens has no pockets. Stop the greed.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  38. Michael

    Considering that the SEC, FTC, FCC, and various other alphabet soup agencies exist because of abuses by the rich, it is only right that they pay more to the tax coffer.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  39. Steve - Mich

    If you are an athelete, an executive, a high level officer, an astrophysicist, POTUS, or a small business owner, and you report Personal income of over $250,000/ yr, a TINY Tax increase going BACK UP to where it was when the economy was booming and you had FAR MORE SALES revenue, will not hurt you.
    And, if you DO make that much, I dont care about your financial strength, and NO one Should.

    If this country continues to make excuses for Coddling the rich, overpaid, lucky, owners of businesses, geniuses, –> the people who are Best at making more money....
    we will continue to be exactly the diametric opposite of the Christian teachings about prosperity, wealth, greed, and avarice.

    The "critics" want to hand over more money and make people feel sorry for the most fortunate people in this country, and who are most capable of making more money. While trying to demonize the lower income classes as evil for wanting legislation that helps them instead of hurting them for the benefit of the elite.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  40. Fritz Hohenheim

    Firing government employees instead? Let me think...Those people you want to cut cost with are the little people that you're supposedly so concerned about and you want to put them out of a job? So keeping them in their job and rising taxes on the wealthiest, yes I think it is the way to go.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  41. Matt

    Of course. If we raised only federal taxes on the richest 5% of America 1%, we could pay off our national deficit, assuming we withdraw from iraq

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  42. Gilbert Felan

    ABSOLUTELY! it is!
    Rich generally are helpless without the worker? and if they can't take care of the worker, kinda like not worrying about the health care of your slave!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  43. Julie

    Since I am from Texas and we do not have a state income tax, I say yes. Then, maybe all of the wealthy people from other states with any sense will move to Texas and make the economy here even better.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  44. Wade in OC Califonria

    Raising taxes is just plain brainless. Make sense now?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  45. judy

    I am one of those sole proprietors that claim their net income on Schedule C of my personal income tax. After 14 years of running a successful business and paying $1.4 million in staff payroll, I've never come close to earning $250,000, and I suspect that the majority of small business owners are just like me. So, its time that the rich don't get richer off the likes of me.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  46. Julie

    Since I am from Texas and we do not have a state income tax, I say yes. Then, maybe all of the wealthy people from other states with any sense will move to Texas and make the economy here even better.

    Julie
    Austin, TX

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  47. Michael

    The highest earners are the federal, state and local governments....TAX THEM!!!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  48. Seth

    I think the bank bailouts prove that the extremely wealthy will do whatever it takes to attain more money. If their taxes are raised, they will simply fire workers to cut costs.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  49. Mahesh Kansara

    Raise the tax and also cut the salary of everyone in the government especially the ones in the congress and senate (Both the State and US)

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  50. Brian

    It's part of the solution, but not the answer. There is no 1 answer at all here.

    EVERYONE needs to compromise to save whats left here. We did fairly well during the .COM boom before Bush's tax relief for the rich. Seems they did very well too even in a higher bracket.

    I do agree that States need to thin the herd and perhaps engage some Six-Sigma benchmarks to streamline operations. As I said, EVERYONE needs to compromise.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  51. Douglas E. Erlanger, Kentucky

    To me, it would make more sense to raise revenues by taxing people on their carbon footprints. The more you disrespect the environment as a whole, the more you pay to do it. I guarantee we would solve more problems economically, environmentally and financially if everyone were put in check, not just people with undesirable habits like smoking.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  52. Tom from Philly

    Of course we need budgetary constraints, but flat state taxes are stupid, they hit the working class the hardest. So long as its the people who make over 200 that 'supply' jobs with low pay and no benefits, then i have no problem with that group paying more. Here is a tip for the 'small' business owner worried about paying more tax on his income above 250K, pay your employees more and lower your income to get away from that tax rate if you dont want to pay it. In fact pay your employees so much more that they actually HAVE to pay federal tax because they make so much money. Then you can have employee meetings and cry about your tax bills. But so long as i work for low pay with no benefits I am more entitled to cry than you.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  53. Tommy

    I believe the rich should pay more because they can afford it. It's not fair that they get a break when it comes to Social Security, the real rich still only have to pay 10% of their money. That's not fair to the little people like me who make less than $50,000 a year. It's just not fair.

    By the way, hi Jack and hi Wolf.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  54. Sierra Morgan

    If we are going to have any public services we will have to have some form of a tax. Iceland, Ireland, and Eastern Europe have proven that low business taxes and low personal income taxes bring about national bankruptcy. The focus needs to be on what government does with our tax dollars. Something it is not happening now.

    Everyone needs to pay their fair share of living in a 1st world nation.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  55. Patrick Jean Baptiste North Miami Beach, Florida

    Taxing the rich is not really helpful. Instead, everybody should be taxed the same amount of money

    April 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  56. Michael

    The tax code were originally written to tax the rich. If you are complaining about paying taxes you must have a good paying job. The poor and unemployed don't pay taxes. Taxes have to come from somewhere, may as well be the ones that have it to tax.
    Michael from IL

    April 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  57. Wayne Slotsve

    We have had 8 years of a tax cut for the wealthy – 39% to 35% and the result was a smaller middle class. Democracy is based on the existance of a middle class. A large lower class and a powerful upper class leads to a dictatorship and even revolution.. It seems that we have no choice but to demand that the rich pay their share.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  58. Archie Wright

    If states want to raise taxes on the rich they need to do it fairly. Raising taxes on the rich should not mean turning around and giving "rebates" to those who don't pay taxes at all. Cut government spending, growth, and waste along with raising taxes at a reasonable rate that is fair to those who work hard to support their families.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  59. Joe Ruby

    I am reminded of the answer given by Will Rogers when asked who will pay all of these taxes. He answered "them whats got it". Actually, I much prefer eliminating all income taxes and collect money from sales type taxes. If you spend, you pay your equal share.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  60. Thad Malley

    I live in New York State, perhaps one of the highest taxed states in the country, a state that ranks 48 out of 50 states in business "friendliness" (i.e. property, income, sales tax totals) and I cannot tell you the devastation these tax policies have done to job creation in this state. I am most certainly not wealth by any means, but if government wishes to create job and true wealth creation it cannot due so with tax increases. This is NOT the early 2000's; we will NOT have a tech bubble to increase job or GDP growth and justify higher taxes; any democrat that uses the example of that time to show that higher taxes can create GDP growth is simply a moron.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  61. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    All those business crying about paying a little more in taxes should file to become corporations anyway, only a fool would run a business on thier personal income in a single proprietorship. That would mean that everything you have is open to be taken in a law suit, coporations have many protections that is why so many file for bankruptcies, becasue that are only liable for the money they used to startup the business! Single proprietorship is a path for fools who like losing money!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  62. John Wilson

    The democrat mentality at the federal level has filtered down to the States, it would seem. Cutting costs is what most of us have to do, because we don't have the choice of making our employers pay us more. Raising taxes on anyone in times like these is idiotic. Businesses are as mobile as people now and will relocate to different states with more favorable tax laws. Cut costs, not incomes.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  63. Fiddlerdave

    The rich have received tax cut after tax cut, along with the lion's share of any income gains in the last decade, and have enormous tax loopholes to exploit as well. Obama's tax increase for "small business owners" ONLY starts once that business owner takes home $250,000 in income, not counting his company cars, company trips, company houses, etc. etc.

    This whining is ridiculous. The wealthy beter start appreciating how good they have it, and start shouldering some of the burden THEY created!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  64. Carl

    “Most people are treading water. Others are drowning. That gave politicians the courage to say the rich have to pay their fair share.”

    What a joke! The top 1% of wage earners already pay 33% of all income taxes – how is that even remotely fair? Increasing that burden will have one effect that we can be sure of – it will cause more of the higher income earners to leave those states (or leave the country alltogether).

    Carl D, Folsom, California (not a part of that top 1% – or even close to it).

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  65. Patrick from Cherry Hill, NJ

    Jack- Well I guess it varies state to state. In the case of NJ, between, property tax (the highest in the nation), sales tax, and income tax, I pay about 20% of my income in various state and local taxes. Enough is enough! I stayed in NJ over the years because of friends and family. I love access to NYC, Philadelphia, the ocean. However, I will just have to throw the towel in and move on. In NJ they seriously rethink mass transit projects that no one uses (Camden-Trenton waterfront line), bloated government, and crazy state employee retirement funds. I could FLY and get a hotel in NYC 10x a year and live in Florida and still save money!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  66. Brad Roberson

    Is raising taxes on the highest earners the best way for states to deal with their deficits? It is the only way for states and the US to deal with the deficits that are amassed by providing for citizens. Providing means many things, and includes the care and maintenance of the military, diplomacy, adequate public transportation, and the conditions required to get rich. The wealthy need to pony up. I'd settle for a flat 10% tax on all earning over 35,000, for everybody, no exemptions. Bet the rich, and the media they contril, would complain about that, too. If 10% is too much, then how much are they really paying today? The poor pay too much, the rich far too little.
    I am a retired soldier living in Falls Church, VA and working for the government.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  67. Jay Morris

    Jack

    Who else other than the "wealthy" is there to tax. They're the only ones with any money. Taxing businesses is likely to limit if not eliminate job growth (and the smokers can't pay for everything). With the amount of debt we're taking on, at some point a redistribution of weath may be inevitable.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  68. Karen

    It is, if you don't fall into that category, just like it's great to see auto industry workers lose everything they've worked for, as long as you aren't one. In any case, reality is that anything is okay, as long as it doesn't affect you. When it comes to the all-mighty dollar, we have become a country with no empathy for others.

    Karen
    Clinton Township, MI

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  69. spiagia

    Yes absolutely, think about all the tax cuts they had, all the so call deductions and paid vacations, they should pay by hook or by crook.
    i make over 200, 000 a year and i am fortunate enough to be able to give back to my country. when the country hurts we all do, and you would not sell your family short, we are famiy in the USA.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  70. John Koning

    Yes! Tax the rich! They can afford it! The Bible says "rich men weep and howl! It's about time. Class warfare? Ha! There's always been one and the rich have been winning it. It's about time the poor get a break!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  71. Thomas

    Well jack i don't know if that's the best idea however If you are wealthy and you have to pay more income tax i say so what!! Is it unfair no!! I mean your not struggling so whats the problem!! My grandfather used to say if your not paying high taxes then your not making much money!! The more you have to pay means the more money you make!! It would be like winning the lottery and then complain about paying the taxes!! If it helps i say hit em up!!!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  72. C. Pittman

    No! It certainly isn't. The government is asking auto companies and finance companies to change the way they do business, but government entities, both state, local and federal NEVER change the way they do business. There is so much wasteful spending and ineffective programs at the state and federal level and many need to be eliminated. Every business is looking at layoffs and cutbacks, but there are never any for government services. Besides the fact that this income redistribution is basically unfair, eventually you will run out of wealthy people to tax. Many will move to lower tax states or move their businesses to lower tax nations.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  73. Joe G. (Illinois)

    As far as I’m concerned.. It’s ok for the New Jersey people to pay higher taxes.. But not just the rich New Jersians! Everyone of them.. My point is this: Why tax the rich of an entire nation and risk an economic devastation far all.. When we could unequivocally tax just one entire tiny small domicile state (New Jersey) to shoulder the weight of the nation.. Obama says it’s ok to tax anyway..

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  74. Amarissa

    No, it is not the way to a healthier economy. Enough with punishing Americans who worked hard to earn their money. There is a growing hate towards rich people and that scares me. I am not rich, not even high middle class but I condemn this hate towards those who have more than me. I think we all have a chance to make it in our country and those who strived and became successful have my support, not my hate nor envy. These are the people who move our economy and provide jobs, don't send them away!
    Amarissa, Florida

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  75. chris NEW JERSEY

    i know it sounds simple but why not just have everyone pay a 15-20 %payroll tax.that gives the average person more money in the paycheck and more money to spend to stimulate the economy.the people making more than 250k would be sure to pay their fair share without having all the loopholes.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  76. P in California

    In California yes we need to tax the wealthy more. If the idea that taxing the rich hurts the economy then what happened here in California? We are on the brink of being bankrupt and the rich have not and still do not pay their fair share. They have the ability to use lobbyists and loopholes, something the poor do not have.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  77. Lisa Sendewicz

    Isn't interesting that the rich should have to continue to pay higher taxes when they are the people who employ many thousands of workers all over the world. The rich are in large part what gives us our working base in this country and if you make them pay even more to Uncle Sam they will continue to take there business outside this country. I am not saying they shouldn't pay there far share but to make them pay the ultimate price, well that is not fair play. Maybe they should not include all the pork spending in the stimulas package/the Presidents budget then we won't have to pay back so much in the future. Where is this going to end?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  78. Anonymous

    Taxing the wealthy is not an effective solution. My family contributes a large sum of money to hospitals, a university and many other worthy charities. When the government confiscates this money the opportunity to support worthy causes disappears. It only hurts in the long run.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  79. Richard, Rockville Centre, NY

    The only way to effectively and fairly generate sufficient revenues is through the implementation of a flat tax program. Taxing high-earning individuals at a higher rate is nothing more than an inequitable success penalty on those who took the risks of investing in themselves, either through education costs or business expenses.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Gary Dee

    Blue states overspent while red states undertaxed. Better that they fix their own situation than go for a federal bailout. (And if a federal bailout, fund that from a $1 a gallon tax and blame it on the states!) Small biz owners should be allowed generous exemptions if rates in higher brackets are to be raised.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Florence McFarlane

    Taxing the wealthiest with common sense (which they have none of) helps but the main thing they could do is make politicians wait until age 65 to receive any pensions. (a biggy as they collect as soon as out of office until they die) and also, make politicians in the Capitols buy their own transportation. These greedy hogs made it so they could have the car of choice to drive, plus insurance, plus gas etc etc. They should use public transportation if they don't want to buy their own BMW or Mercedes Benz!!!. Florence McFarlane Fullerton, Calif

    April 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  82. Jack, Fairfield, CT

    Jack, morons indeed. It is no coincidence that states that produce economic growth are the ones with lower taxes on business and individuals while ones that tax the crap out of everyone lag behind. As evidenced by what our government continues to do in the spending department this charade will continue because the ones that benefit from the spending are the ones keeping the elected officials in office.
    They just don't get it.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Gino

    Lets remember that it is how much you earn after taxes that says what tax bracket you will be in. If a small business makes more than 300k after expenses, after wages, after salary to the owner/manager, and after tax deductible cars and other benefits, I say taxing the business more will help the economy.

    Cutting the bureaucracy is a good goal, but often we need the bureaucracy that is need to catch things that are important to us . Lead toys from China, financial scandals like Maddoff pyrmaid scheme, we need government workers to catch this stuff

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Richard

    Higher taxes for the rich is a terrible idea. People don't always realize that it's the "rich" people who provide the jobs in this country. Small businesses are classified as "rich" if their gross revenues top $200,000. That doesn't mean they take home a ton of money. Business expenses eat up a lot of that income. By imposing higher taxes on these "rich" people, you run the possibility they will find other ways to save money, often by cutting workers. I know this for a fact because that's what I had to do in my small business when I faced increased taxes in the past.

    Cut government spending and leave the rich alone.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Joe

    Jack, there is no best method to deal with deficits, but don't you think you can spare an extra $50,000 to pay these bills, more so, than someone who cannot pay their rent or mortgage? The rich and wealthy already have tons of tax deductions, I am sure you will find a way for your accountant to adjust your taxes in favor of so called business expenses. Oh yes, by the way, when the Bush administration helped to reduce taxes for the wealthy what positive results did this practice provide for our economy. Oh yes, I must remember the corporations and wealthy choose to outsource our labor, which results in more unemployment for the remaining 98 percent of Americans.
    Example: IBM lays off 5,000 for work to be done in India.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Since the rich and powerful don't pay ANY taxes, it might be a step in the right direction. But who are we fooling here, Jack? The filthy rich make the laws (via bribes to their whores in Congress) so you're question is null and void.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  87. Noah

    Are you kidding me the rich barely pay anything at all in relation to the money they really make. the top 5 of Americans control 71% of all the wealth in America. They only pay 15% on dividends income while I pay 30% or more on my wage income. I am sick of the wealthy shifting the taxes on the middle class.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  88. ted hoffman

    One of the few times I agree with you. We need to shrink our incredibly excessive bureaucracies and allow commerce to thrive. We,particularly here in California, are shooting ourselves in the foot with these poisonous taxes. What ever happened to common sense?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  89. arvel witte

    No! What gov't should do is to create incentives to encourage the wealthy to invest in small business inovation and thereby create more jobs

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  90. David

    Raising taxes on the wealthy is not the ONLY action to be taken. Spending our taxes WISELY and EFFICIENTLY is also part of it. But consider this – isn't it fair for those who get more out of the "American Dream" to put more back in. I think so. I work hard for my piece of the pie and I pay my share. I am not wealthy (yet...knock on wood), but if I ever do get wealthy, I'll gladly put more back in because I'll be getting more out. It is the good-old-fashioned right thing.

    David
    Houston, Texas

    April 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  91. Brian Blashfield Delray Beach, FL

    Yes Jack, the very rich got a lot richer with the Republicans in power and now it is time to pay the bill. Under Reagan it was "trickle down", under Bush it was "gush up" with no trickle down. When folks are routinely enjoying multi-million dollar bonus packages whether they do anything right or not it is time to collect and put regulations in place to prevent this nonsense in the future.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Debra from Grass Valley, CA

    As one of those small business owners that claims profits as income on our taxes, raising taxes on people who make over $250,000 a year won't even phase us. After 28 years in the manufacturing industry who is competing with China, we haven't seen that kind of profit in over 10 years. But if I did make that kind of profit, I'd gladly give a bigger cut to support social programs, etc. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Are you forgetting what a small percentage of the population is hoarding all the money? Pony up!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  93. spiagia, from los angeles

    Yes absolutely, think about all the tax cuts they had, all the so called deductions and paid vacations, they should pay by hook or by crook.
    i make over 200, 000 a year and i am fortunate enough to be able to give back to my country. when the country hurts we all do, and you would not sell your family short, we are famiy in the USA.
    think about it jack if the rich don't put ou to save our countryt who will the poor?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Dan, Guam

    Hello this is Dan in Guam.

    No raising taxes on the rich is not the best way, that's why I supported John McCain last year. However, the 69 million voters who voted for Obama wanted bigger government and higher taxes on the wealthy to spread the wealth so they got what they asked for. They should have seen this coming.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  95. laurent

    What is not considered in this context is the high income economy which provides jobs for tennis professors, private tutors, luxury stores, luxury cars dealerships, etc..... With more taxes on high income recipients, more jobs will disappear.
    High income recipients are also high spenders and contribute to the consumption economy, which is the american model.
    As a result, I will now leave like a Europpean.....will sell the big house, the nice cars and will start accumulating a nice savings account to spend overseas.
    Useless Counties governments should be taken off the map.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  96. Penny Wickes

    No, raising taxes on what is supposed to be the "wealthiest" is not the answer. I own a small manufacturing company so our personal taxes are filed with the company income. We employ about 90 people. Due to the current market situation, we are down to about 60 employees, the State of Indiana has a bankrupt unemployment program so the state is raising our taxes, the federal government wants to raise our taxes, our health insurance just had an ANNUAL increase, we continue to have to pay fuel surcharges on all of our freight and everyday our customers are DEMANDING cost reductions to make their bottom line look better. I need someone to tell me how we can make less money, pay more taxes and still stay in business!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Mary Ann

    Asheville, NC

    Hi Jack: State administrators don't have a clue as to how to cut staff, eliminate programs or merge agencies. Civil service laws hamper even their ability to move staff from one job to another when necessary. Until we put strong, intelligent and courageous leaders in power, legislators and unions will remain hamstrung...and we, the taxpayers, will continue to foot the bill. Politicians need a bit of "tough love" to encourage them to do the job they were elected to do.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  98. James Conn

    Jack, It's a catch 22. If the rich have to pay more taxes they better fire their tax consultant. Regardless of how they come up with the money,it will end up our children's problem. We are broke! What part of broke do we not understand. Jim Logansport, In.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Miki

    Stop your whining Jack. So you and your friend's taxes will go up. About time. Don't worry your expensive accountants will find tax loop holes so you and your friends can avoid paying much in taxes.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Dale in Alabama

    Of course it is the best idea to tax the highest salaried and waged people by the state governments – and by the Federal government, too. It's clear, and its obvious. People with the highest incomes are receiving the greatest government benefits.
    Don't believe it? Well, they have more possessions and money to lose, and they benefit the most from police protection, fire protection, disaster protection, and national defense. Let them pay for what they get.
    Also, where else is the money supposed to come from? It is the principle of taxing the people with the "deep pockets".

    It is so obvious that I wonder why anyone even needs to ask the question.
    DAW

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  101. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    It is one of the ways. I agree that government workers need to be cut,so do some services. The wealthiest have enjoyed tax breaks and loopholes for the past eight years. Inheritance tax should go back up to where it was in the early '90s. When my father-in-law passed away we paid extremely heavy taxes. Then Bush lowered the inheritance tax. Give us a rebate on the money we paid. It was in the millions and we sure could use that money now. Let the rich guys pay. They can afford it and the little guy is always getting screwed.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  102. Alex

    How much money can the rich carry to their graves? Historically the rich did not get rich by being on the same playing field as the rest of us, so let us create a level playing field and try again. Would you agree to tax Madoff? why not the rest of them? Jack!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  103. MAC, FROM OS ANGELES

    Yes absolutely, think about all the tax cuts they had, all the so called deductions and paid vacations, they should pay by hook or by crook.
    i make over 200, 000 a year and i am fortunate enough to be able to give back to my country. when the country hurts we all do, and you would not sell your family short, we are famiy in the USA.
    think about it jack, if the rich don’t put ou to save our country who will the poor?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  104. walt Utah

    Jack,

    Definitely not....The tax and Spend incompetents in Congress will only START by TAXING the RICH (whatever RICH means) Very soon, if you have a job and make minimum wage.....you'll be consider RICH and get taxed to the hilt.
    The average family cannot just raise their income through taxation, they cut back on their expenditures......Congress needs to do the same. As evidenced by the 8000+ Earmarks in the last budget...there is still plenty of waste that needs to be cut....

    Walt –Sandy,Ut

    April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Jim Coleman

    This is always about the fight between the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS. Money= power to set the laws to keep that power. The HAVES don't understand is that HAVE NOTS must have enough to buy what the Haves are making to keep the economy going. Wait till all this credit card debt comes due, we aint seen nothing yet.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  106. Allan Cameron

    Before passing additional Tax Laws, perhaps our Washington Law Makers should reflect upon their own 'mistakes' and 'forgetfullness'.
    Since last November numerous Law Makers have been nominated for Cabinet Posts etc., only to find that they themselves have failed to pay their own Taxes. I strongly suggest, that in their best interests of gaining credability, all our Law Makers undergo an IRS Audit before they go any further.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  107. HeadMC

    YES! Until Corporate America is truly reformed, higher taxes on wealthier Americans is the only way to curb CEO's immense wealth.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  108. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Patrick Jean Baptiste North Miami Beach, Florida

    Are you dreaming or what, how is that fair to the poor everyone should pay the same rate not the same amount of money!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  109. SPIAGIA, FROM LOS ANGELES

    Yes absolutely, think about all the tax cuts they had, all the so called deductions and paid vacations, they should pay by hook or by crook.
    i make over 200, 000 a year and i am fortunate enough to be able to give back to my country. when the country hurts we all do, and you would not sell your family short, we are famiy in the USA.
    think about it jack, if the rich don’t put ou to save our country who will the poor?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  110. Catherine McMillan

    Taxing the rich is a populist approach that has broad appeal but the rich are also the ones who invest in the stock market and we need them to stay rich! Plus whether you are rich or not depends on where you live. We moved from NYC to a small California town in the San Francisco Bay Area, bought a modest, untouched 1950s ranch home in the best neighborhood we could so that our kids could attend good public schools, that they could bike to, bike to town etc. Like everyone else here, we had to get a 2nd line of credit just to modernize the home. Before the collapse, homes in this school district were around two million dollars for 2,800 sf homes. Our home is all we have (mostly bank-owned, alas) and we can barely even think of college for our high school daughter, our empty 401K, the healthcare costs our insurance doesn't cover, etc. The cost of living where you live should factor in your taxes.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  111. Jan

    Come on Jack! We've tried the trickle down economics and it does not work. How many billions do the truly wealthy need to have anyway. If the wealthy paid the same ratio as the common man then it would be fair but with all the tax loop holes made for them they get out scott free. The big executive don't pay as much taxes as their lowly secretary does. Let's even the odds, shall we.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  112. Nick Quinn From Dr. Phillips orlando Fl

    Look during this economic crisis, we all need to work together, rich, poor, middle class whatever. Personally, the rich cant stay rich with out people like me and my family, the middle class, the people who work in your company's, and pay for your goods. So sure lets not raise taxes on you guys, and sure you guys will still be rich and not lose that extra 50 grand, out of the million, but five ten years from now, where are you going to be when this country officially becomes a two group economic state, of just rich, and just poor. Maybe we should call up Peru and ask how that sorta of economic status is going, stop your complaining, we need to work together,sometimes its not fair, but thats the only way we will pull through this crisis.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  113. William Tasz

    When rich people have too much wealth, the economic state just collapses because peoples means of living are reduced to no jobs and no purchasing power. We should the tax the rich 90%, all the money goes towards creating new jobs , better infrastructure, and a more healthier work force to create more communal wealth.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  114. jaxon

    Obama thinks 200,000 a year is rich; our new Governor in Illinois, thinks 60,000 a year is rich, and both plan to raise taxes on anyone over those limits. Pretty soon, those on food stamps are going to be considered rich. Only those who work for the government can afford to retire, anymore, with their fat pensions funded on our dime. They are killing the golden goose. We are going part-time soon - fewer taxes, and more freedom as we near full retirement age. We refuse to continue to break our neck for the tax man. Our employer will just load up the overflow on the young guys.

    Sterling, Illinois

    April 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  115. steve from illinois

    yes it is time for the rich to pay their fair share.believe me the people with money look down on those who don't have any like we are second class citizens.this is a great country where anyone has the oppurtunity to succeed.but once people make it they should not look on the poor as if they are getting a free ride.one thing about this country is we take care of our own and every other country.no one takes care of us but us.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  116. okko lady

    I think that it is only a common sense to ask higher income to
    pay more tax. I think it's only decency.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  117. Scott ,Atlanta Georgia

    Do that & soon you will have those people seeking housing & relocation of their businesses in States without such tax laws. Then where will they get their revenue? Who should determine what their "fair share" of taxes is anyway? Is it a dollar amount, A percentage of income, & if it is a percentage of income, how is it fair for one group to pay a higher percentage than another anyway? Different standards don't make it fair by a long shot. What's needed is a better way of raising taxes, say like a "consumption" tax. The more you spend, the more taxes you pay...That would be a more "fair" way of raising revenue...

    April 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  118. Jeff C

    Minnesota's Governor Tim Pawlenty is asking our state to reduce spending and is planning to cut state jobs at all levels. It appears that he is alone in his willingness to take responsibility for the budget of his state.
    I grew up hearing about the Tax and Spend Democrats; it's unfortunate and we will ALL soon find out the consequences for this unbridled spending.
    In time they will just run out of people to tax when our entitlement minded society bleeds every penney out of our system!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  119. John

    Regardless of what the Bush administration thought we need to pay for things as we go. Less would be better but that is another topic. We need to tax something to provide the planned expenditures. I agree with higher income taxes for the wealthy, even higher than what has been proposed. However, at the same time reducing corporate/business taxes and capital gains will encourage investment in America and create opportunities for all. On the other hand, raising corporate/ business taxes and capital gains only serves to discourage investment and the tax cost is ultimately payed by the consumer with a nice over head & profit attached. That is what we call a double whammy, NO GOOD.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  120. Robert of Louisiana

    You do not have to raise taxes on the rich. All you have to do is plug all of the loop holes they are using to evade paying there fair share of taxes.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  121. Patrick Cummins

    No it's not. The best place for states to start saving money is to reform drug laws and stop wasting so much money on ineffective and unfair enforcement, prosecution and imprisonments.

    Patrick
    Bayfield, Colorado

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  122. Steve Hofkin

    Jack, No! If a "Flat Tax" was law, everyone would pay their share. No deductions, just a "Bottom Line" Flat Tax. Your Taxes would be slightly higher if you didn't have a Battery Operated Automobile or an Electricity Producing Wind Generator. In other words if take steps "To Be", less of a burden, then your "Burden" (Taxes), would be less. But everyone pays the "Bottom Line Tax". Everyone!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  123. Andre Burger

    While taxing the wealthy may not solve everything, it will give the states more money. Yes, not all rich people caused the financial meltdown, but as Americans, everyone is suffering, and everyone must sacrifice. Frankly, a millionaire losing one of ten cars will have a much easier time getting along then a poor family who just lost their house. So as we, the Non- super rich see the well-off complaining about having to get by on one mansion instead of two, we let out a resounding cry of DEAL WITH IT.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  124. Tim in Texas

    Two classes are emerging in this country, the investor class and all the rest of us. The investor class has been getting richer and richer since the 1980's when regulations began to be shredded and capital gains taxes lowered. Both subvert capitalism, they allow a very few wealthy individuals to control supply. The answer is simple. Regulate hedge funds and investment firms, and make capital gains taxes progressive - following the same brackets as income taxes. Once we start collecting the appropriate amounts for investment gains, all taxes will go down.
    Tim in Texas

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  125. spiaggia, from los angeles

    Yes absolutely, think about all the tax cuts they had, all the so called deductions and paid vacations, they should pay by hook or by crook.
    i make over 200, 000 a year and i am fortunate enough to be able to give back to my country. when the country hurts we all do, and you would not sell your family short, we are family in the USA.
    think about it jack, if the rich don’t put out to save our country who will the poor?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  126. Joe

    Jack, there is no best method to deal with deficits, but don't you think you can spare an extra $50,000 to pay these bills, more so, than someone who cannot pay their rent or mortgage? The rich and wealthy already have tons of tax deductions, I am sure you will find a way for your accountant to adjust your taxes.

    By the way, when the Bush administration helped to reduce taxes for the wealthy ... what positive results did this practice provide for our economy?
    I must remember that when corporations and the wealthy choose to outsource our labor, what are the results? Answer: more unemployment for the remaining 98 percent of Americans.
    Example: IBM lays off 5,000 for work to be outsourced in India.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  127. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Why is everyone afraid to lower the standard of living for the wealthy? Everyone else is having to do it? What makes them so dang special that they have to be protected.

    We know that trickle down theory is completely wrong, so why not force them to give up one of their luxory cars so the rest of us can eat this month!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  128. frank

    as a large company you dont raise taxes you cut spending so you should cut the senators from 100 to 50 and cut the congressman from 400 to 200
    one senator for each state and fore congressman and staff
    the money you would save on there pay would add up

    April 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  129. maristi

    Jack, it is absolutely the right way!

    Most government programs are necessary and useful. If the top 1% don't want to pay more then cut Medicare and Defense down. That's where our money's being wasted (and the largest part of the budget). Forget about earmarks (they are a tiny portion), and forget about cutting education or regulatory agencies, we actually need to strengthen them.

    Incomes at the top 1% have grown thousands percent in the last decade while middle class incomes have remained stagnant. If that's not proof positive that our society has become dangerously unequal I don't know what is.

    Top tier tax rates are actually quite low at the moment. Historically we've had 60% and even 80% for the very wealthy.

    If we don't have the will to cut back on overbudget weapons and overcharging doctors, I say tax those making over 10 million a year at 60%

    April 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  130. Ken in Breezewood,Pa.

    No taxes are never the answer less spending is. With unemployment nearing 10% we need to lay off 10% of government paid employees.We need to give incentives to the rich to create jobs so people like me can get a decent paying job instead of the $7.15 an hour I am exspected to live on now. People on welfare have it better !

    April 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  131. Susana

    Jack,

    I believe that states should raise taxes on the wealthy in combination with government spending limitations. The wealthy have enjoyed the bush tax cuts for 8 long years and have benefited from the greed on wall street. it's pay back time. The only thing the rich trickled down to me was a pink slip.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  132. Mike from Little Rock

    I don't know if raising taxes on the wealthiest is the best way but it has to be one of the pieces to the puzzle. What exactly do they do that makes them so much more valuable then the average American? The disparity of wealth in this country is a major contributer to our economic problems. It's time for them to pay up.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  133. Gino

    Jack, can you resolve this on air. Do small businesses pay tax on their GROSS earnings, or NET earnings? This is the big lie that republicans keep spouting.
    If they are NETTING 200-300K, then they can afford a 1% tax increase.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  134. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    The wealthy keep complaining how they keep getting taxed so much more than everyone else, but they are getting wealthier than everyone else too! Maybe we need some legitimate Robin Hoods out there so they know we're serious...

    April 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  135. triumphantcommunications

    Chris from New Jersey.

    In NJ, a small business owner typically working 80 hour-weeks already pays over $10,000 a year in state property taxes, 7% in sales tax, thousands more in state "fees" and now, if the liberals get theiy way, another 10% of every dollar we earn. I am not remotely a millionaire and was hoping to hire two new employees locally this Spring – but if this ridiculous plan passes, I will move my business off-shore until fiscal sanity returns to our lawmakers.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  136. John in the Northeast

    Tax the rich as hard and as fast as you can!

    The have prospered disproportionately for decades while exploiting the rest us Americans who have stagnated and suffered through republican driven agendas.

    While we are at it, let's start heavily taxing every single American business that sends jobs overseas, and let us tax the businesses that bring in cheap foreign labor on worker visas to displace American workers as well.

    When they start looking out for the American worker's prosperity, we can ease taxes. To hell with the greedy, rotten, rich in America!!!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  137. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    If we follow the Repubilcan model our country will blow up, all they want is a tax cut for the rich again, isn't that part of the reason that got us into this mess, will they never learn!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  138. Sam

    Jack: The working class like myself have been paying our taxes for years. We have our taxes taken out of our check before we see a dime. When we file our tax return we get the standard deductions. If you run a business you are depended on to be honest with your reporting. You talk about the higher rates for the more wealthy. The rate they owe is seldom paid because of creative deductions. What rate do they actually average. The working class will always pay more under the present system. The wealthy need to be audited more. Th recent trouble filling Obama'a appointments should tell us something. Thanks, Sam

    April 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  139. Stephen Posivak

    Jack,

    I am not in the upper tax brackets, so I likely won't be asked to pay higher taxes (this time), but I don't buy it. Raising tax rates on upper income earners and trying to justify it as "the rich" paying their "fair share" ignores the facts of our tax system. If one taxpayer makes $500,000/yr and another makes $50,000/yr, even if they pay at the same tax rate (which they would not), the first taxpayer pays ten times the taxes of the second (while likely using fewer government services).

    If we buy into this class warfare, beleive me, the middle class income earners will be the next asked to pony up.

    Stephen Posivak
    Arlington, Virginia

    April 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  140. Jennifer

    The tax payer is sitting in a city that in itself has managed money unwisely. In return, the city doesn't clean, doesn't do the job right to begin with; so to tax the blessed is to subsidize their insecurity of having a good employee. Therefore, until we can learn how to transfer the free market into trade (ex. what the father would do to his daughter in order for her to be a profit to the family) WORK....
    We should fine the engineers, architects and the doctors that have slacked on the job they signed as oath to the state and their degrees.. No wonder a degree means nothing to our youth. Why should they go to college? Fathers/Mothers need to be the teacher, yet, the generational gap of fear and sensitivity has made the people in our country as useless as a baby. Just a turn around of what the Spartans thought.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  141. Marasu

    Raising taxes on the highest earners is the best way for states to deal with their deficits has its pro's and con's. Expensive and excessive government workforces are putting great pressure on state budgets. The rapid rise in government hiring, and the $13.41 per hour higher average cost for each public-sector worker, are forcing some states to enact hiring and pay freezes. They add up the expense of ongoing mandatory programs and discretionary spending wish lists, and only then consider how to get the money to pay for it all. They have it backwards: Just as individuals and families must do, lawmakers should first estimate revenues, without even thinking about the spending side. Only after they’ve figured out how much money they can realistically expect to have, should they think of spending. They should start by totaling up their required spending and matching that to revenue. What’s left over should go not to new projects outside the core functions of government, but to a rainy day fund or tax relief. That’s the way to set spending priorities, join agencies, get rid of unnecessary programs, eliminate programs, etc.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  142. Greg

    If taxes have to be raised at all, then yes, its best to raise them on those that reap the most benefit from our society's structure. Cutting services (I.E. a tax on the middle and lower class) will only make the economy slower and reduce the wealth of everyone, especially the wealthy.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  143. JIM SHAUGHNESSY

    Yes it is! In Minnesota some of the wealthy taxpayers offered to pay more in taxes, because they knew they weren't paying enough in troubled times. Unfortunately, our Republican Governor Pawlenty, made a joke of it, an told them to write him a check. The only increases in taxes in this state, have been more in the form of regressive taxes, such as the sales tax and property taxes. I wish we could go back to the tax rates before Ronald Reagan was elected. I am old enough to remember why Reagan got involved in politics, and he believed that because you were a highly successful individual, (in his case a movie star), that you should not have to pay such a high tax rate. Well, he accomplished his purpose buy shifting the tax burden to the middle and lower classes, where we are now.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  144. Glenn Haymarket, VA

    Please don't tell me you trust anything that CATO says about large wage earners. The corporations and board members that fund and run that monstrosity are worth billions. What do you expect them to say about increased taxes on the rich.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  145. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes because all tax levels should be the same, and we need to get rid of all the loopholes so that they can't get over on the rest of us! They take more and more and they give back less and less!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  146. Phyllis

    The tax system is antiquated, government is to big and costly. How long do we tolerate our politicians getting full pay and benefits for life for serving one term in office?? Does anyone realize these blood suckers voted to exempt themselves from paying into the social security system. Anyone out here get benefits like this but the scam artist investors and bankers and CEO"s??
    Some people have aquired wealth the old fashioned way. Like me, they earned it honestly and with integrity. Should we be punished for our success with higher taxes? We employ people, pay health insurance and plenty of taxes. I would happily forgo paying the accountants thousands to figure out my taxes for one fair across the board sales tax. It would be bliss compared to this yearly insanity of filing to an agency that costs us a fortune to maintain. Not to mention it is unconstitutional.
    Fair tax is the way to go for this wealthy Libertarian.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  147. james sloan

    Dear Jack, money does not dissapear. It goes from one pocket to another. When the poor get poorer the rich get richer. Right now the rich have all the money. they [ the rich] can help out by paying thier fair share, or thy can let us [the poor] starve to death and then say where'erd everybody go? Jiom Sloan / Phoenixville Pa

    April 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  148. DannyH

    The Bush administration caused this economic crisis because of the huge tax cuts of 2001 and I beleive these to be a fraud.

    Balance is needed. Going the other extreme with taxes to the wealthy is also bad for the economy but I don't think that cutting services to the poor who are also hit hard by this economic crisis to be the solution either.

    The stock market that has now risen over 1000 since hitting bottom at 6547 would indicate that many investors believe that the Obama administration has put the US back on track and is on the road to recovery. Recovery does not happen over night but the ship has turned around and heading up.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  149. Pete in New Jersey

    Why aren't we talking about eliminating an insane system that punishes hard work. The fair tax (consumption tax) would solve the economic woes from many fronts. It would allow people to keep 100% of the money they make. You want more money, work harder and longer. Then put a 23% consumption tax on all new purchases (cars, tv's, etc). This has researched to produce more revenue to the gov't than the taxes brought in from the IRS. This also legitimizes the under the table economy because now the money from drugs, prostitution, stripping, gambling etc) will now be forced into being taxed!!! A massive infusion of cash that will now be forced into taxation.

    This also would be environmentally sound (for those that care) because it would tax people who consume more than others.

    Pete from NJ

    April 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  150. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    If you are rich and a American the time has come for you to pay your fair share finally! No more loopholes, all levels should be the same!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  151. Victor

    Let's face it Jack the rich has never realy paid their fare share. Over the past 8 years the rich (top 5%) has earned over a trillion dollars in bonus and earnings. While the earnings for the middle and lower class has shrunk. If the GOP thinks the rich will tricle down and little change for us little people, who are they kidding. Have you notice they only ask the little people to make sacrafices but never themselve or the wealthy. When will they learn its the middle/lower class that spends the most. What does the rich do with their money? Oh yea! they invest in Wall Street then screw it up and then have the nerve to ask us to help with hundreds of billions of dollars. Just as my vote went for change for our highest office so will it for my next Senator, and Governor (see you letter Gov. Perry) My unemployment just ran out.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  152. Shi

    I believe that we would be much better to completely get rid of income tax as we know it now. How about taxing what is sold, products made here and from other countries. I think if you are rich and you can buy airplanes, high dollar cars etc. then you will pay more taxes to the government. If you are poor and you buy cheaper items then you won't pay as much. Right now the poor don't really pay taxes, they actually get paid to be poor at tax time. I DON'T beleive the answer is to punish someone who apparently knows how to handle their money. My idea seems like a better option to me, you buy something–you pay taxes on that item. Simple!!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  153. Al, IA

    Historically, the best years this country ever had were when tax rates for the wealthy were as much as 90 percent. And wealthy back then was pulling down a couple hundred thousand a year.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  154. Bob

    The states are in need of tax money. Where else are they going to get It? As Willie Sutton responded when asked why he robbed banks ""that is where the money is".

    If they increase taxes on middle income and lower income people during the current state of the economy they will create a larger group of people in need of governmental assistance in order to survive.

    The disparaging difference between the spendable income of the middle class and the income of the upper class, brought on by Republican fiscal policies, was a significant cause of the economic disaster the Bush Administration created.

    In order to realize the same purchasing power of the dollar the average citizen needed a 25 % increase in income between the years 2000 and 2008. That never happened. Those earning over $250,000 and above realized much greater increases in income.

    The states have to tax the more wealthy, it's the only place (outside of China and the states can't go there) " that's where the money is".

    Bob
    Louisville, Ky

    April 1, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  155. Jerry

    Higher taxes on the wealthy are fine. The reality is that most wealthy people aren't going to create significantly more jobs with their surplus income– more often they'll throw it into savings or investments, which could support economic growth hypothetically, but again, won't in our reality. Banks aren't going to become more efficient lenders because their few wealthy contributors put a little more cash in their coffers.

    As long as the money is going to social services that have substantial returns on wellbeing, like education, law enforcement, etc., then it's definitely going to be money better allocated than what the wealthy will do with it (save). Whether or not that turns out to be the case depends on the people telling their government where the money needs to go.\

    -Jerry, MO

    April 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  156. Charles Illinois

    Class WARFARE! The rich get richer as they have for 8 yrs with the Bush tax cuts AND middle-America keeps getting the boot up the anus. The Rich folks complain if you try a take away their presure life which is US Currency and a perfect example is WallStreet and the elitist crying the blues were the markets tumbled. The bible says rich people will have a hard time entering heaven and its clear to see why. I think HIGHER TAXES on the wealthy would be absolutely fair and balanced, also the President should remove those George Bush tax cuts too. America is a divided country between the haves and the havenots!!!.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  157. michael skabialka

    Mr. Cafferty: You ask if higher taxes on the rich is a good idea. I want to say that you need to look at the whole story. Everyone claims that the rich in America pay more than in most other countries. This is a lie because most people overlook the fact that most of the income of the wealthy isn't taxed because of deductions that the common man can't afford to take, like solar panels for your home. When a man is barely making ends meet how can he afford to install something like this. Another is wanting to repeal the capital gains tax. This is a benifit to the wealthy which lets them take profits from one company and buy another company increasing their net worth but not paying taxes on the profits invested. If you want fairness, go with a flat rate tax so everyone pays 15% on every dollar spent. It would get rid of the deficit and be totally fair but the rich don't support it. Why??? Of course they would then be paying much more than they now pay.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  158. Gigi, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Years ago in a college accounting class, I learned that governments use a form of accounting called "expenditure" accounting. 'Nuff said.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  159. Sherry, N. Calif.

    YES-Raise the wealthy's taxes. Make sure the wealthy are paying Uncle Sam his fair share too. They will have no one left to shine their shoes, wait their tables or clean their homes if they do not start helping those at the bottom of the food chain. Freeze spending in Education, Healthcare? Yeah, right. What planet are these Republicans from? They need to quit thinking that they are so much better than their fellow humans, that have not done as well as them. . How much can one have? Obviously some (1 to 2%) at the top have to have it all! They won't get it from me, that is for sure. I am glad to see the Euorpeans mad as hell like most of us here in the States. I am not as crazy as I thought or alone.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  160. T.E. from OK

    Jack, the poor have given all they can and they are barely scraping by trying to figure out weather to pay their bills or for the medicine. SS and Medicare is bankrupt and we still have two wars. We are in a real mess and I hope Obama will help get this solved and people will chill.
    The Republicans left us with a real mess.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  161. Bob in Baltimore

    To me, the wealthy have attained a position of power unpresidented of any other time in history. They have the legal power to fight any proposed tax increase by holding us hostage with threats of massive layoffs, business closures, reduced production, more outsourcing, threats of no political funding and any number of other manuvers to put political pressure on anyone who would dare decrease their padded fortunes. The most blatent being the oil industry who simply cuts production to perpetuate massive profits.

    It would be an act of suicide to raise taxes on the wealthy but you know, I say damn the defiant and stick it to them, massively.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  162. Tommy

    America grew to be the Greatest Country in the world with a Progressive TAX and a Death TAX . There is no one individual worth millions without some value being contributed to the social system – other than Greed, TAX those greedy ba#2@!!!! that destroyed the values America has stood for!!!!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  163. no need to know

    No one i know cares about what the rich or any of it's supporters say, the rich need to pay more tax amounts than what is being proposed. The rich have raped this country over time and must be made to compensate for it. This country was made up of a bunch of cowards, now this country is being led by leaders with strength and courage and decency!! It's about time. We elected the right people. "DEMOCRATS"

    April 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  164. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    States have deficits for many reasons and solving that problem will require a variety of ways to get budgets under control. You cannot just keep raising taxes on higher income individuals endlessley. My personal favorite idea currently is to raise income taxes specifically on registered republicans who always want to reduce taxes as the means to solve all of lifes problems without any basis for doing so.Maybe if they were singled out as the bill payers for all the wasteful spending they do when in power they may actually decide to change their methods of running government at all levels and at least trying to live within a reasonable budget. If republicans had to pay the cost of the Bush administration I feel certain their outlook on things would change real quickly.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  165. George in Pittsford NY

    Jack,

    Taxing the rich to fix the state's budget problems is akin to demanding more drug arrest of the users to stem the flow of drugs into this country.
    No matter how much you Tax the wealthy, the problem of government and politicians will just keep spending on broken programs and its never ending gluttony.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  166. james sloan

    Dear Jack , The cigarette tax is not aimed at the poor. I'm poor and i quit smoking years ago for heath reasons. Price increases did help. But the poor do not have to smoke, or play lotteries or gamble, etc. you get the point . Jim Sloan / Phoenixville Pa

    April 1, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  167. Sherry, N. Calif.

    @John in Ft Collins-Hello, I think you may have wanted to say State taxes in Alaska not Income. We all pay income taxes. Alaska has no State tax and is some areas no sales tax. Oregon has no sales tax too. It is closer and not as cold. :-)

    April 1, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  168. Gigi, Indianapolis, Indiana

    If a tax-exempt state university can afford to pay $35 million dollars to a coach, lets just start collecting taxes from all the so-called "not-for-profit" entities!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  169. William Tasz

    At the end of the day if you care about social and fiscal equity, your going to tax the same people that take good american jobs over to mexico and then send the product back to us. It makes no equitable sense to not tax them, the ones with all the money want this neo-con scheme to work, but taxing them at least 60% or more is going to generate more jobs and a stronger middle class, who make these individuals rich to begin with.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  170. Scott ,Atlanta Georgia

    What a question to stir up class warfare. In reading over the responses,of course the people who don't have the money will be up in arms against those that do. Many but not all of the people who do have money have continued their education & made something out of their lives. Those who don't lived for today & the Hell with tomorrow...So in essence it's like saying wealthy people should be punished for being successful & smart with their money. Yes there are some of the wealthy folks out there who inherited their money & don't have good financial skills, but they are fewer than those who worked for their money. Then again, what about Doctors, especially younger ones who still have student loans to pay off on top of Medical Malpractice insurance? Is it fair to up their taxes? People need to approach the revenue shortfall in a better, more insightful manner rather than going for every successful person's jugular...

    April 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  171. James

    Ontario, Canada

    No, its not. States should raise taxes across the board, a bit more on the "rich". States should have this as a temporary measure. And Cato is missing the point. Think back further to the 50s, 60s, and 70s when we were paying off the debt from WW2, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War. Top marginal rates were over 70%, 80% and even 90% on high income earners. That's the point. We can pay it now, or pay more later (through the generations).

    April 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  172. Pete in New Jersey

    I am happy to call myseof a successful small business owner. I studied hard and worked my way through college and received my Doctorate. I spent long hours in the library, gave up certain things such as going out, partying, wasting money etc. Now I work 60-70 hours a week. How is it 'fair' for me to be asked now to pay not only a higher % in income, but a higher total in taxes. The frustrating thing is seeing my hard earned tax dollars being wasted on gov't programs that are wasteful. I would more than willing to pay if I knew the money was not being eaten up in the system and not getting to the middle and lower classes who need the money.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  173. howard

    Where is the evidence that raising taxes on the wealthy will create revenue for anyone but the accointing corporations?

    April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  174. Kati

    It angers me to see other posters writing about affluent people finally being called upon to pay "their fair share." The "rich" already pay the vast majority of taxes, which fund government programs for people who don't pay any! I am part of the true middle class, by the way. Most people with big bank accounts have worked very hard to get where they are, and deserve their money just the same as a working-class person with a smaller bank account. Taxing affluent people may be the easiest way to deal with state deficits, but it is not the right way. Tax everyone equally, or according to their individual consumption of goods and services.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  175. Bgail

    Jack the problem with questions like this is that they ignore the bigger more complex issue. It only paints the "poor picked on rich" as victims in this conversation. They are far from that.

    The rich have enjoyed considerable tax cuts over the years. I believe when I was a child, the highest tax rate was 52%. How in the world can they cry now when it's 35%? Obviously, they've enjoyed years and years of tax cuts.

    When my husband and I were DINCs, we always paid additional taxes at the end of the year. Even though we made considerable charitable donations and owned our home, we still paid through the nose. I believe the highest AGI we every had in those days was 125k. We were only working stiffs. So for rich people to cry about not having to pay perhaps 3% more than they do now, I'm not feeling sorry for them. They probably don't spend their excess in this country anyway as those of us do who are giving american choices.

    I'm so tired of this conversation. The rich got rich getting us into this problem. 3% won't kill them.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  176. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    No all Americans pay to much in taxes Were does the money go? How much did the Vietnam war cost and I still do not know why we went in the first place? How much will this war in Iraq going to cost ? How can we give aid to other countries were the money coming from? Who pay ? One aircraft carrier cost as much as 400 schools and yet we have more of them then all the nations in the world, but are children can not read or wright. I would like to see my tax dollars spent wisely

    April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  177. Chris S from Royal Oaks

    This is an aboslutly stupid thing to do. First, why should rich people clean up mistakes largely made by uneducated people that some how conviced themselves that their bad decisions will somehow wash away with no consequenses. Second, rich folks are paying their share. Now the gov. wants them to pay the share that others can't or won't pay; I thought this is America, not some socialist/communist hybrid country. Third, if the rich are taxed any higher them we might as well say goodbye to what little jobs that haven't been outsoursed. Forth, I an totally fed up with the way state and federal govs. grow and spend at the rate they do, This reminds me of the first point I made. And no one (or at least not enough people) out there is asking even the basic of questions like: How are we going to aford this multi-million dollar project when tax revenue is decreasing? or How much money does our state (CA in my case) or country take in annually? or Is creating a new branch of gov. that is escentally doing that same as an exsisting branch a good idea or a big waste?

    Why is it when some voters see their gov. spend like no tomorrow they view it as some big christmas wishlist to add to? These type of voters need better logic and critical thinking skills.

    I guarentee that raising taxes on the weathiest people will NOT fix our economy in any way, shape, or form.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  178. Dan Nelson

    Yes we should tax the rich with at least a tenth of their income! They should not be able to live a life of great prosperity while most people are trying to dig themselves out of a hole! And if they are truly Americans they should be proud that they can help the country get out of this mess that the money mongers have got us in!

    April 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  179. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    Progressive tax structure is a cornerstone of justice in an unjust world, and costs some job creation, but what jobs?. Investments brokers and hedge fund managers? Money moves better when you give it to middle class people, this is a 2/3's consumer based economy. A national sales tax is a fair alternative, taxing self indulgences is just another “sin tax” and shouldn’t upset decent people.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  180. Dan

    If you look at most of these budgets, the states ARE cutting spending. In New York, the increased taxes change a terrible system where the lowest tax bracket started at $20,000. The increased taxes also help prevent outrageous spending cuts; not government consolidation and cut backs, shutting down schools and hospitals and fire departments. Everybody is hurting in these economic times, but it is not fair to ask the average American to sacrifice their most basic government services before we ask the Donald Trumps of the world to pay more in taxes than their taxi drivers.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  181. Victor from Texas

    Let's face it Jack the rich has never really paid their fare share. Over the pas 8 years the rich (top 5%) has earned over a trillion dollars in bonus and earnings. While the earnings of the middle and lower class has shrunk. If the GOP thinks the rich will trickle down a little change for us little people, who are they kidding. Have you notice they only ask the little people to make sacrifices but never themselves or the wealth. When will they learn its the middle/lower class that pends the most What does the rich do with their money? Oh yea! They invest in Wall Street then screw it up and then have the nerve to ask us to help with hundreds of billions of dollars. Just as my vote went for change for our highest office so will it for my next Senator, and Governor (see you later Gov. Perry) My unemployment just ran out.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  182. Cody (NJ)

    Well...distributing the wealth from the rich has a trickle-down effect. Raising taxes on the rich also has a trickle-down effect...a negative one too because the average Joe would get effected big time and right now is NOT the time to be doing that.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  183. D N

    Jack,
    I thought we have been cutting taxes for the rich hoping they will create work and spend some. Obviuosly they did not, then why not make them pay them their fair share. it is not a rocket science to figure out that they only wanted to get what ever they can get and let the small guy carry most of the load while promising trickle down economy which did not materialize at all.
    D N
    Orlando

    April 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  184. DownTheShore

    I support the increase in the taxes on the wealthier portions of our population. They have benefited disproportionally over the past 8 years and it is time that they start paying their fair share. I am tired of people saying that government employees should be laid off. You're talking about once again sticking it to lower-and-middle class people, because who do you think hold the majority of those government jobs? They are the ones who will suffer, in order to allow the wealthy to continue to live in the style to which they have become accustomed.

    Being a "small business owner" is not the same as being poor or low-income. Just because some self-employed people file their tax returns as Subchapter S corporations and report their income on their personal returns does not me that their income levels are low. Often it's quite the contrary, and is used as a means to write off a lot of personal expenses. So I don't weep for them.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  185. Rena

    Jack –

    My question why not tax the rich? They don’t keep the jobs here in America, they send them overseas for cheaper pay. While they get the tax break, the average middle class is paying for the unemployed, illegal immigrants, lazy folks, and anyone else who can ride free. I say tax the HELL out of them.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  186. lynnej

    It is time that the rich and super-rich pay their fair share. Each time this mess comes around, we folk on the bottom are the ones that get screwed.

    What folk don't understand, is that if the states are getting less money from the federal government, they are going to get reamed on the local end to make up the difference.

    It has to be done whether the rich and super rich like it or not. They need to ask themselves do they really want to spend $25,000 on a dress or a pair of cuff links which will only be worn one time or take that money and help someone who really needs it? Not a tough choice for me.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  187. Karl from SF, CA

    The rich have been skating for near free for decades. They make it over the bodies of the middle class and expect the middle class to support the system that let them do it. It’s time to pay up. I don’t make enough money to afford all those loopholes they have. We need a total overhaul of the tax laws and make the playing field even for all. The notion that they made and they should keep it is ridiculous. I made it and I should be able to keep it, too, then, but I can’t.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  188. Stan Ross, CA

    Our economy is still in a hole , so I say no to the tax increase. What we need as a country right now, is for people to spend money. And the people with the most money to spend right now are the rich. The government should give them incentives to spend their money in the hardest hit areas. I'm sure the struggling small business owners would welcome the business and will be able to keep their employees, which in turn can ease the rising unemployment rate.

    Lastly, If you unemployed like myself it's a great time to go back to school, start a business or fulfill a life long dream. There's always an upside to any situation, you just have to look for it.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  189. Phyllis

    Anyone remember why we left England? Taxes, taxes. taxes.
    Is there anything government does that could not be done better and cheaper by private business companies?
    I think not.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  190. William Tasz

    Well Jack define rich, people running small business vary in wealth in comparison to someone running a cooporation, henced they should both be taxed differently to insure healthy economic growth.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  191. Michele

    Well, I'm confused. When I was working I was in the 28% tax bracket. Have I misunderstood something? I think the best plan would be for everyone, YES everyone, pay a flat rate. But with all the loop holes etc built in for years, is it too late for that? Yes, too much offshore holds, all the baloney the rich spread to keep the middle class below them. We may be below, but we are not beneath. I'm sick to death of all the Limo's and extremely high figure cars speeding along the toll roads around Dallas and surrounding area.
    So how about a flat rate. Keep persnal income from employemnt separate from business dealings. How low could that percentage be? 10%, 5%. 1%? I'd be happy now at 10%, except we just were spat on by the economy. But if I made $50 I'd gladly pay $5k, or if I made $500 I'd gladly pay $50k in taxes, so that those who make $15k could pay a low $150.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  192. Maura

    I'm tired of listening to the rich cry about their tax rates. 20 million for GM CEO while 50 thousand a year workers get nothing but a pink slip
    They do little to nothing with all that personal wealth to help our economy or the well being of our nation. They have 90% of the money in America why shouldn't they pay 90% of the taxes. Most people will not earn million dollars in their entire work life, why do these rich people think their job is worth millions each year. Is fair a word only millioniers can define? Some of us poor have our own definition.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  193. pat in michigan

    yes it is a good idea . what is a better idea is to stop giving contracts to the highest priced minority firms andnot picking the lowest bidders. preferential treatment in no bid contracts is wrong and racist.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  194. Allen, Hartwell GA

    Jack, as you hinted, the best way for states to fix deficits would be to control their spending on none essential programs. If that wasn't enough I see no problem with asking the rich to pitch in through higher taxes. If I was rich I would gladly pay a 15-percent state and 50-percent federal tax as long as I could clear a couple hundred thousand a year.
    As for small business owners, surely there are tax breaks they can use to deduct overhead, expenses, etc., and not pay taxes on their entire gross as taxable income. If they can't figure that out they need to get an accountant.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  195. Erik in Vancouver

    Well, we have to ask ourselves whether its wrong that governments tax the wealthy elite more and more, or whether its wrong that the government taxes the wealthy elite more and more WHILE it continues to cut social services to the general public? Now, will it help to bring the US out of its deficit? Yes. Is it effective at generating wealth within the government? Yes. Is it right to tax an unequal society unequally? As long as the percentage increases with income. NOW the important question. Should we be allowing the government to spend our money on a deficit that has in large part been created by terrible political decision-making between 2000 and 2008 (you know what I mean), irresponsible closed-door corporate contract signing, and predatory lending by supposedly "trusted" banks? NO. We should be holding those parties accountable and penalizing them financially.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm |