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July 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform?

As the debate over paying for health care reform takes center stage, it seems like the rich could wind up with the heaviest burden. Democrats want to hit the rich with even higher income taxes to pay for the proposed overhaul; along with limiting deductions that wealthy families take for mortgage interest and charity contributions.

Taxing the rich to pay for health insurance would mark a significant difference from how this country has paid for safety net programs. For example, both Social Security and Medicare are funded by payroll taxes that affect all Americans.

It’s estimated a single taxpayer making $450,000 a year would pay $7,100 a year more in taxes, while a family making that much would pay an additional $1,000. Meanwhile - a single taxpayer making $5 million a year would pay $452,000 more in taxes; while a family at that income level would pay $443,000 more.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants to soften the proposal by making it apply only to families that make $1 million; and individuals that make more than $500,000.

Republicans are pushing back big time. They say some taxpayers would wind up facing tax rates above 50-percent when you combine federal and state taxes.

The White House has problems on this issue. A new poll shows approval of the president's handling of health care has fallen below 50 percent for the first time.

Here’s my question to you: Is it fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bertha from South Carolina writes:
I wish you hadn't phrased this question as "is it fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform". In 2007, Warren Buffet slammed a system that allows the very rich to pay taxes at a lower rate than the middle class. Buffet revealed that he paid 17.7% in taxes while his receptionist was taxed at 30%, as am I. Let's find out what percentage the "rich people" are paying in taxes.

Mark from Arkansas writes:
In a word, no. The Democrats' plan is to attack the rich to make them pay the tab for everything. That won't work. If you know that the more you make, the higher percentage you'll pay in taxes, what will be the incentive to earn more? California is learning the hard way what spend-then-tax government is all about.

Craig from Arizona writes:
The conversation needs to be: what are we willing to do to rein in costs? Are we willing to have tort reform and turn away care to our ever expanding illegal population? The government will manage this just like they have managed Social Security and Medicare. Fraud and waste.

B. from Mississippi writes:
Oh those poor, poor, millionaires. If we tax them so much, how will they ever pay for psychoanalysis for their little inbred doggies? How will they be able to afford their thousand dollar tote bags and ten thousand dollar Rolexes? I have a 19-year-old student who will never be able to use her right hand again because she cut it at work and didn't have insurance to get surgery to fix the nerve damage. How is that 'fair'?

B. from North Carolina writes:
You're wrong, Jack. People that make that much pay very little. Deductions, loopholes, write-offs, etc., protect most of the money. You obviously don't make that much.

Tom writes:
Suppose the "rich" move out of the U.S.? Then who will all of you liberals get to pay for everything?

Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas writes:
Welcome back, Jack. How was Argentina?


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (296 Responses)
  1. Peg from NY

    Until every legal US Citizen has Health Care equal to any Senator it matters not who we "soak". Health care should be a #1 priority.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  2. Phil, georgia

    To cut back a couple of cars you don't really need, a few less rooms in the mansion, less screen t.v.s, 1 or 2 butlers less, won't hurt none of us. We should all be willing to sacrifice for the well being of all Americans and mankind. We have to combat GREED,, so all can have a shot at a descent life.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  3. jim Toronto

    How about 'soaking the rich' to pay their fair share!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  4. Dan, Chantilly VA

    How about instead of raising taxes we get the bailout money back from the banks and use that to fix the health care system.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  5. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    What's wrong with these new taxes? The rich got off easy over the last 8 years, so its time to pay. Besides, its not as if someone making 5 million and paying $452,000 would be forced to starve. Call me crazy, but after hearing about the money floating around Goldman Sachs lately I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who cares.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  6. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    You call it soaking the rich? Give me a break! These rich elites have been feeding off of the system without paying their share for decades. the tax break for the wealthy during the Bush administration took enough out of our economy to more than pay for healthcare. Repeal that tax break at the very least.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  7. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    the rich will never pay their shares. They pay politicians to look the other way,The poor will pay for the rich like always.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  8. Nancy in Illinois

    Absolutely, Jack! It's far more fair than the middle class and poor bailing out Wall St. millionaires! And, we've already done that.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    Maybe a better question would be how many of you can believe the main stream media buys into GOP talking points on health care reform. The same GOP who, by the way, are covered by the soaking of us taxpayers. Please. Should we wait until we’re dying in the streets? For those screaming the loudest against health care reform, when is the last time unpaid medical bills caused them to lose their homes? They're clueless, hate empathy, and hold the power over who lives and who dies. We're screwed.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  10. Bertha in SC

    I wish you hadn't phrased this question as "is it fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform". In the Washington Post on June 26,2007, Warren Buffet "slammed a system that allows the very rich to pay taxes at a lower rate than the middle class". Buffet revealed that he paid
    17.7 % in taxes while his receptionist was taxed at 30%, as am I. Let's find out what percentage the "rich people" are paying in taxes. I suspect that those of us who are not wealthy will agree that the "rich people" should pay more for taxation in order for the system to really be fair and equal.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  11. Donna Wisconsin

    Absolutely!! The rich gave had their 8 years, now it is our time. And would someone tell me why all Americans can't have the Healthcare Plan that Congress has?? It already exists so easy to implement!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  12. Michael from Ft Hood Texas

    The question should be is it fair for the rich to soak the rest of the country through tax loopholes and credits? Healthcare reform HAS TO BE DONE, and the rich who skate on a lot of taxes should pay their fair share. Our country caters way too much too the wealthy, and one day if it doesn't stop there is going to be a class revolution in this country!!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Ed from Southwest Colorado

    Yes.... it is about time they pay their fair share. They got rich because of the opportunities afforded them in this country and they can now share some of their fortune for the betterment of the nation.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  14. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Is it fair to tax the wealthy to pay health insurance on those who cannot afford health insurance? Is it fair for a millionaires to enjoy their money on beaches and yachts and European vacations and off shore accounts while 1,000s and 1,000s of children are suffering from illnesses that could be treated if they had access to health care?
    I'd prefer to see healthy kids than happy rich people.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  15. Roslyn

    I have a better question, was it fair for the rich to soak the poor? They got even richer under bush, so I say drowned them.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  16. B in NC

    You're wrong, Jack.

    People that make that much pay very little. Deductions, loopholes, write-offs, etc., protect most of the money.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  17. Craig

    what's this about the rich getting drained of their money..............did everyone just fall off the turnip truck! business supply job's and if business takes a hit who loses!

    wake up people..............the country is burning and they just adding fuel to the flame!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  18. Mark in Arkansas

    In a word, no. The democrat plan is to attack the rich to make them pay the tab for everything. That won't work. If you know that the more you make, the higher percentage you'll pay in taxes, what will be the incentive to earn more? California is learning the hard way what spend-then-tax government is all about.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  19. Birddog in Mississippi

    Oh those poor, poor, millionares. If we tax them so much, how will they ever pay for psychoanalysis for their little inbred doggies? How will they be able to afford their thousand dollar tote bags and 10K rolodexes? I have a 19 year-old student who will never be able to use her right hand again because she cut it at work and didn't have insurance to get surgery to fix the nerve damage. How is that 'fair'?

    July 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Craig in Arizona

    Of course not. It is never fair to take from one Citizen and give it to another. The government is telling us that health care costs are out of control and someone is going to have to pay for it. The conversation needs to be what are we willing to do to rein in costs. Are we willing to have tort reform and turn away care to our ever expanding illegal population? The government will manage this just like they have managed Social Security and Medicare. Fraud and Waste. If you don't believe me google this..."social security party at biltmore

    July 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  21. Tillie

    Believe me Jack the rich wont be soaked, that is why they are rich.
    Their tax buddies will take care of them, they won't even need
    an umbrella come tax time.
    Tillie
    Peoria, Il.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  22. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Absolutely fair. How do you think the rich got that way, by being nice guys? This may sound like class warfare talk but if you got a bigger piece of the American dream then you should be willing to pay more for it.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  23. Bill Glover Baltimore MD

    The tremendous disparity of wealth in this country started with the Reagan Administration and then was given a boost by the Bush tax Cuts. If we want to balance the budget, fix health care and take on the other challenges of the day, we need to roll back the tax rates to what existed prior to the Reagan Administration...health care should not take up to 20% of a workers pay. The GOP is about greed. The GOP has fought for the rich and powerful for the last one hundred years. The typical Republican's answer to a sick person without health insurance is "Screw You...Die!! But don't spend my money!!"

    July 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  24. tommie & linda

    sure, soak the rich, end the wars, help the poor..weall need health care...hospitals chg. $100 to cut hand & toe nails when patients are in the hospital,,our spouses did it for us to save money,.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  25. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    Why don't we just make it illegal to make money? We should cap income at $100,000 and tax away whatever is left and give it to those who haven't worked as hard their whole lives. Let's tell people they don't need to worry about working hard to get ahead because as long as you are breathing, you deserve as much as the next guy. Let's penalize people who get higher education and those that acquire unique skills that are worth a premium. We can all live the utopian dream and live in the same cookie cutter home built by the government and go work every day in our government designated jobs. It will be a dream. Personally I cannot wait until the government starts outlawing "junkfood" in the name of preventative care because it may lead to more health problems it has to pay for.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  26. Ed, California

    What was fair that Congress allowed American owned companies to close down their factories and companies here and move to a foreign lands.
    What was fair that Congress still gives these "now" foreign companies Tax breaks.
    What was fair that Congress and these Companies put millions of Americans out of work.
    What was fair that these hard working unemployed Americans, are starting to loose everything.
    Is it fair to call it health care reform? or better yet, Welfare Reform.
    So ,YES it's fair to charge these "Rich" for health care, they started it!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  27. Susan Frost

    The figures you gave are hardly a "soaking". Considering the small percentage of income involved from a few taxpayers, compared to the benefit for the common good of all Americans, it's more like a "raindrop" and it's more than fair.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa, AL

    July 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  28. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Who better than the rich? The middle class is rapidly disappearing along with their jobs, and the poor are barely making it as it is. One huge medical bill could put any of them into bankruptcy. The increased taxes that the wealthiest would pay is at least ten times more that the rest make in a year, and they still have a lot to live on. The Republicans are screaming because their constituents are the rich. They already get enough breaks!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  29. K

    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That is the way our country has become. Special interests rule. The middle class is destroyed. I see no problem with the rich paying more taxes.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  30. Scott

    Why is it ok to take money from people who work and give it to those who don't? We were all born with brains, maybe we should use them and accept responsibility for the choices we make in life.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  31. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    Someone has got to pay for it. But, I think the main problem is that many, way too many, physicians, surgeons, hospitals, etc have completely forgotten the "oath" they take when they become health care "providers." Somehow the so-called "socialists" style countries seem to get it done, and is probably because their citizens get primary care to begin with. The US has a "wait and see" type of attitude when it comes taking care of "us" first....Health care reform should be what "Country First" should mean, not McCain's slogan.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  32. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    Is it fair to “soak” the poor so that a relatively small number of Americans can live in luxury? Over the last 8 years the incomes of working class American lost ground against the cost of living, encouraged as a method of increasing the bottom line of large corporations and resulting in mege-compensation for executives and growing dividends for stock investors.

    I don’t think that raising taxes on a single person earning $450,000 a year by $7,000 a year would be seen as “soaking” by the one in eight of us who statistics say do not have enough money for the food, shelter, and clothing we need.

    And is it fair to ask a question about taxes by referring to it as soaking the rich?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  33. penny

    "Why is the health reform bill attracting the poorer class of people who do not want the change. At this point they are probably the ones who may need it the most, because not as rich as they think they are definitely not with money and not with the things you can't buy like class, respect for others dignity, etc."

    July 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  34. Chandler T.

    Soak, heck! Most of them became wealthy by not caring whose lives they ruined or what laws they broke. Soaked? Most of them should be prosecuted!

    Ted51, Rockaway, NJ

    July 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  35. jc smoots

    yes!!!! With all the breaks that the well off have had for the last 8 years they can afford to pay back the society that got them their disgustingly good standard of living. Everyone else struggles to make ends meet while once you have money it's easy to make more. Most of us simply don't get the chance or like me found that feeding off other peoples weaknesses or needs was too pathetic and degrading to consider as a life's work.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  36. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    Fair is such a subjective word. The health care system we have now is not "fair" or more accurately equitable. The way the system works, and how it is funded needs to change to include all Americans in its scope. All American children need access to quality medical care–regardless of the economic status of their parents. All Americans deserve the same quality health care as their elected representatives currently enjoy. Our elected representatives need to make that happen–as soon as possible. If the wealthy have to pay–so be it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  37. RJ

    The real question is is it fair for the poor and the rich to bleed the middle class dry? Obama said he was for middle class families, problem is the poor and rich are benefitting from our labor! I say yes, its time we stop bailing out the rich and do something for the middle class! if you make 5 million I cant see where $500,000 in taxes is hurting anyone, because they sure arent creating jobs, they are stuffing their pockets at the middle class workers expense!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  38. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The graduated income tax has been unfairly soaking the rich since its inception. This proposal just uses a larger screw with a few more turns on it. In my humble opinion, the only way to provide universal health care in the U.S. is to soak everyone involved, be they rich, poor, medical providers, or drug companies.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  39. Cheryl

    My heart breaks when I think of that poor person, making a mere million or 5 million, has to pay more taxes. It is much better that people who have worked hard of their lives die due to a lack of medical care in the richest country in the world.
    Cheryl
    Houston, TX

    July 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  40. STAN - ILLINOIS

    YES, soak them double time. They have road the gravy train for eight years. Who do you think makes up for the big tax cuts and the welfare for the rich, the farmers, the company's etc.? There is no way for a wage worker to get out of paying taxes.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  41. Roger

    "Taxing the rich to pay for health insurance would mark a significant difference from how this country has paid for safety net programs. "

    Yes, "how this country has paid for safety net programs" is the difference!

    Much of Western Europe has a much more humane view, they level the playing field! They enjoy Universal Coverage. We should too!
    The average worker is not the "wage slave" we now have here.

    They also don't have CEO geting ridiculous compensation compared to the average worker!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  42. Bob DeGroot

    No it is not fair at all. I don't make anywhere near these amounts so I am not speaking out of self-interest. This marks a drastic departure for our tax code and our country. We are essentially proposing a penalty tax on the very wealthiest. That is drastically different than a progressive tax that taxes everyone but increases in percentages as people make more. I voted for Obama but I did not sign up for this- this really is socialism.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  43. eliot from Chicago

    At least they are finally using numbers that outside of Manhattan and Beverly Hills would be considered rich.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  44. Tom in CA

    It's better to soak those that can afford it, than it is to soak those out of work.

    I remember in 1982 that the highest tax rate on individuals was 70%, but was reduced to 50% for the part that was personal service income.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  45. Eric, Flemington, NJ

    No – spread the expense across the US population via a national sales tax.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  46. Patrick

    It is shameful that the successful get punished for success.

    Patrick in Oregon

    July 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  47. mike

    I see nothing wrong with making all of those who received the greatest benefit from Bush's gift to the wealthy, paying some of it back.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  48. John S.

    the poor and middle class pay more dollar for dollar in taxes than the super-rich.

    tax the rich more, as they have been dodging taxes and shifting the burden to the poor and middle class for half a century.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  49. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack:

    I don't see this as "soaking" the rich to provide for the poor. The Obama plans call for greater contribution from those in a higher brackett. There is nothing unusual about this. What's the big deal? Isn't this how many initiatives are funded? We need to get real as a nation and begin to accept that we are our brother's keeper. Where's the religiious right on this issue?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  50. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    It’s time for the rich to pay back all those tax cut dollars they got thanks to Bush and the Republican controlled Congress. ….. So Yes!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  51. Tom

    The Democrats' tax policies are destroying the incentive to work hard. Whether you like to admit it or not, the rich already pay a disproportionate share of the taxes in this country. Don't penalize successful people.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  52. Ken

    This is insane given that the top 25% of the wealthiest taxpayers already pay over 85% of the US tax revenues. At the same time, there are over 40% of American's who pay $0 federal taxes.
    I am all for social programs, universal health care and even vote for Obama but this is not the right way to do it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  53. lee

    I still find it hard to believe so many Americans are so consumed by class envy. You poor dears won't have to worry for too much longer because America's enemy is in the whitehouse and the American empire is being wiped out.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  54. Robbie

    Wow...alot of people in here angry at their station in life. The flat tax is the only fair tax....and industry moved off shore when the self-righteous decided to regulate and tax everything to death.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  55. Jenifer

    Indeed!!!! Reform is needed!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  56. John

    It's not soaking the rich....they are paying for it anyway with their existing healthcare premiums. This is just moving the dollars from the Insurance companies to the goverment.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  57. Paul casey

    'Soak the rich," Jack? I don't think anyone's suggesting unfairly taxing anyone. You make more, you pay more.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  58. Joel Miller

    Its fair as the rich benefit disproportionately when people show up to work in good health. The amount of tax being proposed is very modest and after loopholes and creative accounting that only the rich can afford, will be smaller still.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  59. John in Illinois

    In a word yes ! Rich became that way on the backs of the poor. I believe it's time for paybacks!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  60. Sunny K.

    No, I think its unfair to "soak" the rich. It seems as if President Obama wants to punish the rich for being successful. You cannot raise taxes on someone due to them being more successful.

    Sanbir S. Kaler

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  61. Malibu

    No, I don't think this is fair at all. A program that is made to benefit everyone and targeted especially to help the underpriviledged should be borne by everyone. This is not a burden to be shared by the rich only. Although I agree, they have more disposable income, this is setting a dangerous trend.

    The president is hoping that a rich tax and decreasing doctor reimbursements will pay for this program. He is sorely mistaken. When Medicare/Medicaid were created, they only remained in the black for a few years before they began losing money and now Medicare threatens to be completely insolvent within 10 yrs. With this track record, one can be certain that the new government insurance program will begin hemorrhaging money within several years and the tax on the rich will begin to trickle down to the middle class.

    Furthermore, families and small business that have higher income will pass on much of their expenses to consumers to make up lost income. There is no such thing as strictly taxing the rich and a free lunch for everyone else. Ultimately, we all will have to pay in the end.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  62. Ron from SF

    Sure it's fair and if I made that kind of money, I'd be glad to pay it. Everyone has forgotten the tax rate on the top end was once over 50%. But in America today, it's politically incorrect to soak the rich. Wow, have we gone down the tubes. All those right wing think tanks are sure earning their money!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  63. jennifer

    no, people should not be penalized for working hard and being successful. everyone should pay their fair share. not sure why you all are are so mad at the rich. most didn't become rich by getting hand outs, they worked for it. don't have 5 kids if you can't pay for them!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Lorie - Tulsa OK

    Under the tax cuts in the past 8 years the USA has seen the biggest redistribution of wealth in this country's history- from the middle class to the upper-upper wealth class. Perhaps if we just rescind those tax cuts we would have no problem paying for whatever is needed. And health care reform is no longer a choice- except the choice whether this country is going to survive as the world's greatest democratic economy or not.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  65. JT in OH

    People in America seem not to notice, but they are already paying for the lack fo health insurance of many Americans and what they pay insurance companies goes up every year even though services they provide every year decrease. Soaking the rich is the least of our concerns. The lower and middle classes are already being soaked by an insurance industry that will not change a thing without government action and that is making so much money on this issue that they will lie, cheat, and mislead the American public to keep a monopoly on heath care. Be afraid – be very afraid of everyone being soaked by the insurance industry.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  66. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    That will never generate the monies to pay for it.

    As usual, they talk about taxing the rich, but let's face it.....that amounts to congress taxing themselves, which isn't going to go very far.

    In the end, it will be on the backs of the middle class, as always.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  67. Arch Stanton, Mississippi

    Those who benefit more from our country's system should be willing to pay more to help support it and keep it going. And that's the rich. Republicans act like the rich won't be inspired to create jobs or whatever if they have to pay more taxes, but that's bull - they know you have to spend money to make money. If they were going to create jobs or expand their business, they'll do it whether they're taxed more or not, because even if you're paying more taxes, you're still making more money.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  68. T Erwin

    Jack, your use of "soak" soaks!
    A couple % higher taxes for the rich is NOT soaking, give me a break!
    Mostly the "rich" have lawyers that get them so many breaks they don't pay any taxes at all ... do you?
    Bug guy

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  69. Achraf

    if it means my wife will finally get health care why not?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  70. Bob Neeley

    Insurance companies take 35% right off of the top of every dollar that they take in. Eliminate the insurance companies and the tax burden would be much less.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  71. tony the tiger

    That money the Feds are taking from the rich to pay for health care doesn't come out of thin air.

    For every dollar that the Fed takes from them to pay for health care the rich will have less money to spend on consumer goods and services of their own.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  72. Bill

    It's an easy "yes" when you think of the 50 million without health insurance and the consequences facing them.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  73. John Logan

    Absolutely, Yes! If you are making that much money, you should be made to give your fair share to ensure we all fellow American's have a certain level of 'quality of life'.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  74. Bill

    This is un-american. I'm not a rich guy, but I feel it's TOTALLY unfair to put the burden on people who, through hard work and effort, have become wealthy. Since when is it a crime to make money in America?! This is the beginning of socialism and I'm 100% against it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  75. Richard Aberdeen

    The wealthy bribed Republicans and moderate Democrats to keep them from supporting an national single-payer system, which is very clearly what we need. So, let them eat less cake–they got what they deserve for screwing the rest of us out of health care, so let them pay for it accordingly.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  76. Mimi

    Sure it is, Jack. The rich have been living high off the backs of the poor and middle class for decades. What comes around goes around.

    What really rankles me is the fact that the people saying we don't need health care are people who have health care and will until they die. Let them worry about broken legs and cancer and disease and prescriptions for a few years and then ask them if health care is necessary.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  77. Ric Curcio

    Sure "Soak the Rich!" We all know that when congress decides to "Soak the Rich...it means that the middle class better keep a close watch on their wallets!"

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  78. C. Martin, Birmingham, AL

    Yes, it's fair to soak the uber rich who make $500,000 and upwards a year. It's just as fair that they should pay as it is that my mother should die at the age of 51 because she had no health insurance. Her millionaire boss didn't think she was important enough to have health insurance. Soak 'em? YES. I've never heard of one who was worth the ink his money is printed on.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  79. Danny Hooley

    Yes! Here's a big difference between Democrats and Republicans: Dems want to tax the rich, and Rethugs want to hit the middle class. AGAIN AND AGAIN.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  80. Bryan

    Puleez, they're already pickled in top shelf vodka!
    They already don't pay their fair share of taxes, and just look at the mess they've created on Wall St., in Motown, and Main St. Geez.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  81. Byron

    Of course its fair to tax the rich. Since the days of most ancient Rome, it was recognized that the rich – who enjoy the best life within our society has to offer – have a greater responsibility to its harmonious preservation! If you were poor, you showed up to battle with a stick. But if you were rich, you had to show up with a horse and armor!

    America is strengthened by a healthy population every bit as much as she's strengthed by a couple F-22 fighters. Perhaps more. We're in the sorry state we're in today largely because, since Regan, the rich have been skirking their duties.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  82. Molly in Texas

    Come on Jack, soak the rich? It won't be a soaking, it would be more than fair since they don't pay their fair share of taxes. And why are we letting illegals get everything free including medical?!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  83. Dale Schwartz

    Sounds fair to me. The wealthiest Americans have made their fortunes on the backs of their employees, who are entitled to decent health care. Even in feudal time, the lords tended to the serfs when they were ill.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  84. Eileen Peabody MA

    Jack.....

    Why don't we look at what will really happen. As soon as there is an alternative, Corporate America is going to dump Health Care Benefits for EVERYBODY!!!!! (goes back to basic corporate greed)

    So...why don't we charge business, on a sliding scale, to pay into the health care plan?????

    It would work like this....a company with thousands of employees and is making profits of billions of dollars will pay a large percentage of those profits into the healthcare system. A small business, which employes 10 or so employees and is making just a slim profit....pays nothing!!!!

    GOSH...it just might work

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  85. john

    The so called "Rich" already pay most of the taxes, it seems unfair that the reward for hard work and success is a disproportionate taxation system.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  86. Pam Pallak

    Are you kidding...absolutely. Aren't they the reason that the costs are so high in the first place. HELLO...the drug and insurance fat cats.
    I have no sympathy for people who make more than $400,000 a year off the backs of the rest of us.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  87. Mark

    Yeah let's just take away everything that anyone makes over a million and give it to obama to redistribute.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  88. Brian Remington

    The question you pose is specious. ALL people will be soaked except those that are poor and will have to pay nothing while I on the other hand will be paying their bill. There aren;t enough rich people to cover the cost of all the poor. It is not fair.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  89. Joe

    Isn't it time the wealthy paid for the benefits they receive for doing business in the good 'ole USA? They want to take advantage of the free market system only the their benefit and not contribute back at the same level.

    Just sell more to the American people and produce more overseas. Not a workable plan.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  90. Jon D

    Yes it is fair considering nearly all of the wealthy people in America are just saving their money.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  91. Ron Stanchfield

    Is it fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform? Well... is it fair to soak the poor and middle class as they attained their wealth?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  92. paulCalifornia

    Yes it is fair. Paying more taxes does not mean you eliminate incentive for profit. You can still earn more if you want to.

    Redistribution ,taking from one citizen to provide for another, is unfair only if the prime distribution is fair. In my opinion there is nothing fair when working people can not afford healthcare simply because it became a "benefit".

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  93. Pete

    This is so typical of tax & spend socialist democrats; why should one group of sucessful Americans subsidize another group; the rich don't pay for my auto insurance, I pay it. And we should all pay for our own health insurance albeit with government regulation to keep health insurance companies honest.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  94. Nate

    Life is not fair. We have been tought this since we were children. So who cares. If by hard work my business takes off and I begin making 5 million or more yearly, I guess I would have to conclude that life has been fair to me. I suppose a "fair" trade off would be that the government is not. I would be able to sleep good at night though, and don't think my life would be ruined by being overtaxed. I would probably still be able to afford to send my children to college (on intrest).

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  95. Melissa Pilchard

    Yes, it is fair. "unto whom much is given, much is expected". The rich tend to induldge themselves beyond that which is reasonable and as a group not do their proportional share of charity and good works.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  96. Richard Clark

    Being a big fan of Robin Hood – I say SOAK the rich! They made like Robber Barons during the Bush Regime and I say tax them to pay for health-care, especially those making more than $300,000 a year.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  97. Peter-Pedro

    Absolutely, the rich had gotten away before when the GOP gave them tax breaks. They can afford to pay bigger taxes more ably than us down at the bottom of the food chain. The gap between the rich and the poor is too great, now it's time to reverse that.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  98. Bat Masterson

    Yeah, that is a departure from what has been going on the past 25 or so years. We have been using the SSA surplus to fund tax breaks for the wealthy, mostly on the backs of working class people. You people kill me, it's like you are born into a new world every day with no sense of history or context.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  99. El Grande

    Based upon the current comments, it is clear that no one here makes enough to be affected by the policy question being posed. Perhaps if you all actually made the income, or net profit, required to be affected by this proposal you would agree the increase, although beyond marginal, is necessary and equitable. In order to actually make enough to be affected by this increase, I make much more than you all make in a lifetime: it's called deductions. Unfortunately, the less you make (both individual and business) the less deductions you can take.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  100. Stephi, Los Angeles, CA

    If the tables were turned, as they usually are and have been for the last eight years, the rich would say the same thing as I say now, "Everyone has carry their share of the burden."
    We need to level out the wealth in this country. Let's see the rich walk their talk!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  101. Ross

    How about instead of increasing taxes on the wealthy, we increase taxes on people who eat one too many cheeseburgers. People who only eat at fast food joints is a main reason why health care is so expensive. Why not smokers? We all know smoking is bad so if you have health problems due to smoking you should pay more because you'll use the health care system more.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  102. Terry Dunham

    don't the rich pay more for maintaining our national parks? for building and maintaining highways and sewer systems? for schools? for publicly-funded hospitals? don't the rich pay more for public museums? for public sports facilities?

    why is it so shocking they'd pay more for a health care plan?

    and while we're wondering, how many of the lawmakers who oppose an increase in taxes for those making more than $250k MAKE more than $250k? If they were judges they'd have to recuse themselves. Now WE have to listen to their complaints. Makes me go "hmmmm".

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Diane

    The rich won't get "soaked". They'll pay a bit more in taxes. will have to cut down on spending $200 on a pair of undies, and thereby help people get the health care they deserve. They won't be losing THEIR ability to see a doctor!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  104. Ethan from Florida

    Jack, rich people should have to pay much more in taxes. Rich people are parasites,who became richer under Bush while the poorer got poorer. The only people who deserve tax breaks are the poor. Rich people only support the Republicans because they are greedy and don't want to give up money that could be used to pay for programs to help the poor and middle class.
    All I have to say is that: The rich continually oppress the poor,day after day.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Tony

    Who cares? They've been soaking the poor for decades. When productivity increases but wages don't, that's when the issue of fairness should come in.

    More tired, orwellian rhetoric on poor, oppressed billionaires is not what this country needs right now.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  106. j schreiber

    This whole conversation except one comment misses the point. In order for us to take care of things like health care in the USA we have to generate wealth as a country. You can't generate wealth unless you make things that people want to buy, and then you have a middle class that can afford things. Look at Germany as an example. We have deliberately through national policy destroyed our entire manufacturing infrastructure. A country cannot import everything and be wealthy.

    SO.. the answer is as a country we have to learn how to make things again, sell these things to other countries and generate wealth. Taxing rich people will work for a little while, but the country will still be iether rich or poor with nothing in between.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Jim Bailey

    Since the rich rely on the masses to make them rich to begin with they should pay a little more.
    Even the simplest farmer knows that you pamper your livestock from birth to market time.
    Jim B.
    Cripple Creek CO

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  108. Larry Arnone

    Yes, it is fair. At this point we must create the Obama plan. The Republicans continue to be successful in fooling the American people that nothing needs to be done. I personally pay $950.00 per month for a medical insurance plan and will do so for five more years until I can claim Medicare. Doing nothing is not acceptable and the Republicans are convincing people that our present system is adequate. Vote them all out.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  109. Karma

    I want to cuss, but Absolutely, it's about time the rich pay something, they don't do anything but make more money. They need to tax higher for people that's making a billion dollars or more a year. Tax the hell out of them.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  110. G.P. California

    Yes, it is fair to tax the rich for health care. It is ok for middle income to pay a 30% tax rate, while the rich are paying less of a rate, and finding ways to avoid paying taxes all together.

    That is why the rich is getting richer, and rest of us are getting poorer!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  111. Kyle

    BAD IDEA!, Tax the rich heavily – yes, but before we go on a spending spree with our new found source of revenue, lets pay down our debt and balance our books for a few years. Get out the gauzz and duck tape, we are in NO position to be spending anything beyond infrastructure needs. When our entire economy collapses because people think there is this unlimited source of wealth from "the Rich" or for that matter budget deficits, forget about health care, you will be lucky to have food.

    GROW UP PEOPLE, NO HAND OUTS!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  112. Stephen Fox

    No, it is NOT fair. The fact is, American citizens were not supposed to be taxed. The 16th Amendment was never properly ratified (they did not have enough states to do it); but even if it were valid, it only served to reaffirm powers that Congress already had, regarding excises taxes (or taxes on corporations and foreign entities doing business here).

    Moreover, there is no law on the books anywhere that created the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), nor regulates its behavior, nor mandates income tax, or a person or business to withhold taxes for the government. The last such law concerned the agency prior to the IRS; and that was abolished.

    Taxing from one group in order to pay another, or pay for programs that benefit others–in fact, the whole 'Robin Hood' scheme–is Socialist, bordering on Communist.

    WE own the fruits of our labor. It is OUR money. It does not belong to those within office, who claim to represent us. WE are the government.

    –Stephen
    Florida

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  113. SB

    We can tax the rich for health care all we want and it wouldn't matter, they will just file their way out of paying just like they do with existing tax code.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  114. Chris

    I'm a conservative Republican, and I'm not rich. If you think all Republicans are rich, you are sadly mistaken. Just like in Atlas Shrugged, this current Democratic administration and Congress are going to go after the very people who form ideas, start companies and hire people.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  115. Tom Cudzilo

    The best way to pay for a national health care system is to have a national lottery. Not only would we have enough money to pay for health care, we would have enough money left over be to lower the taxes on alcohol.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  116. Liz - Winter Haven, Florida

    Remember Leona Helmsley "Only the little people pay taxes" The working stiff pays SS on every dime earned, the rich on a small portion of their income. And isn't it just earned income they are taxing?These fat cats get a good portion of their income from investments, stock options etc. I think it's about time.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  117. Dave

    No, it isn't fair because the bill wil not help one bit. We need to go to a flat tax rate. The rich will be able to protect their money, anyway, and we still go further in debt.Obama needs to step back, and take a deep breath. He is cruising to be a one term president.
    Maybe that is ok.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  118. david

    this country made the rich, rich.
    poor rich folks, they need more trillion dollar tax cuts.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  119. Richard

    I think it's fair to soak the rich...PERIOD. They've been sticking it to the middle class and the poor since Ronnie Ray Gun deregulated everything and started the wholesale exportation of American jobs to the third world.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  120. mack from michigan

    After eight years of government that catered to the rich and enriched the rich, it wouldn't hurt them a bit to give some of it back and help pick up the pieces and help reassemble the wreckage that used to be our country. The republican party made it their mission to destroy the middle class in this country and now that all those good tax payin citizens are out of work the rich and the party that represents them can just "foot the bill".

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  121. seeksense

    It is absolutey time for the wealthiest in this country to pay their fair share of taxes.
    They have had many years of living on the backs of the middle class.

    Now,It's time for them to contribute

    Don't worry we're not gonna run out of rich people to worship.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  122. Brian

    Absolutely fair, those who are able should help those that aren't. If I were making big money like that, I would have no problem helping to straighten out this health care mess. I am 40, unemployed, and uninsured. I don't know what will happen if I became ill.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  123. Aaron M Hurwitz

    Nope! We should all pay for it through a progressive income tax. That's the American tradition.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  124. bert

    What a way to phrase a legitimate question. I don't think anybody should be "soaked" to pay for anything. The figures you should be researching and talking about (you are a NEWS organization, right?) are not the published tax rates, but the effective tax rates. Most individuals making over One Million dollars a year are not paying anywhere near 50%, and most average Americans would be shocked to find out all the ways the wealthy are able to keep from paying anywhere near the percentages that most of us do. Especially those that "earn" their incomes from passive activities such as investments or inheritance. Now, is that "fair"??

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  125. John

    The vast majority of those who would be subjected to the proposed tax to fund healthcare reform are "hard working families" who have dedicated many long hours and years, and made many sacrifices, to succeed. They did not achieve their success by taking anything away from those without healthcare coverage.

    In addition, the surtax proposed in the House bill breaks the explicit promise made by President Obama that the only effect of his tax increases would be to restore the Bush tax cuts. Many of the higher income citizens I know who voted for Mr. Obama are feeling that they were misled. President Obama and all Democrats should remember just how close the popular vote was in the presidential election.

    President Obama also campaigned on the promise of job creation. The negative impact that any surtax or similar approach to funding healthcare reform will have on job generating small businesses has been pointed out very convincingly by others.

    Among the alternatives to a surtax are: scaling back the healthcare reforms proposed, finding spending cuts or savings elsewhere, or if taxes must for some reason be raised, imposing the tax on everyone, not just the most successful people, most of whom will get only indirect benefits from healthcare reform anyway.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  126. Ian L

    It is fair to "soak" the rich as you put it. They make the most money and should therefore be giving the most back to America. If everyone would be more willing to pay slightly higher taxes, alot of the problems that exist in the US would be solved. Unfortunatly its always a "give me more" mentaility while wanting to give less.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  127. Rita Wakefield

    Nothing like a loaded question, Jack. Do I think the wealthy are in a better position to pay more? Yes I do. Do I think it is fair? I guess it is about as fair as people who are working 2 and 3 jobs to support their families not being able to have health care at all. I don't mind paying more in taxes if my neighbor can go to a doctor. It's fair .

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  128. Jack

    Absolutely not... why should hard working and successful Americans foot the bill for those that want to soak the healthcare system and not pay a dime for it (my government will take care of me, they owe me)!?
    If this passes this country will have far worse problems than we have now and it will take a herculean effort by our next President try and correct . Oh by the way, that President will be a Republican who believes in personal responsibility and the work ethic that makes this country the envy of the world!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  129. grammiej

    Ok, 1st it is hard for me to imagine making $300,000 or more. My career has been in education, my top salary after 20 years experience was about $38,000. SO, I would not mind letting those who make the most help pay more to get our health reform passed. Sounds like a good plan to me.
    2nd, I am now retired and my yearly income is about $25,000, so again I cannot imagine how it would feel to be in the income bracket of $300,000.
    Good question, thx Jack

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  130. Midge Amadeck

    I guess the answer to the question is how much harder does the guy making a million dollars a year work, than the poor slob working for him that can't afford insurance? I think we better get a grip, if we do not fix this mess than everyone will dump their insurance and line up at the hospitals and who do you think will pay then? The million dollar man!! And it will be more than 50% of His income.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  131. Steve

    So someone who makes $450,000 would pay an extra $7100. 1st-I don't personally know anyone who makes that much. 2nd-If someone says I would have to pay an extra $710 (I make 10% of $450,000) to make sure everyone has health insurance, I would agree.

    Steve
    McKinney, TX

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  132. E.

    I think we need to redefine "rich." A millionaire is rich and could afford to pay more taxes, but making $250,000 does not make one rich. Especially when you live in NY, paying some of the highest taxes in the nation. That would not be fair...

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  133. Chaz

    Politicians need to stop grandstanding and have to admit that at least some of the cost of health care reform will have to come from higher taxes. The best place to raise taxes is the rich, since they clearly have the money to pay for it. You can only cut spending so much, and if we didn't have Iraq to fight, we wouldn't be in such a dilemma.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  134. bruce k

    "SOAK" ... the rich.

    What a loaded debate. Why not try to have an objective discussion?

    Like the idea of using the top marginal tax rate to scare all people.

    As long as Americans are so dumb that they cannot understand the tax system a reasonable discussion and solution to this problem will be difficult.

    They have done it around the world and there are still rich people in all the other countries. The idea that we will tax the rich to where they will not work, or create jobs, is absurd, as are most of the reasons we hear on the Republican side of this issue.

    It costs what it costs. Why not implement it, and then enlist everyone to look at the data and figure out how to make it cheaper?

    And, we would not have this deficit in the first place if Geofge Bush had not given back the surplus to bribe rich people to vote for him, and overspent the budget for 8 solid years.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Joan Manning

    Jack,

    Since the RICH benefited from eight deregulated years under the BUSH administration soaking the POOR and MIDDLECLASS, I think turnabout is fair play now. In fact, it's about time, and I can't think of nothing better to spend it on than Healthcare.

    Joan Manning

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  136. David - South Windsor, Connecticut

    It's just another step towards making a welfare country. Taxation should be fair and equitable and why should someone who works hard for his family be penalized?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  137. jeanette

    Why not tax the rich? We gave them money to be rich I'm sure, the least they can do is help those trying to be rich, or even just trying to survive. I'm sure we'll give them what is taking in a second.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Lou

    Yes, soak the rich! They were eager to pay themselves millions in bonuses after being bailed out from the brink of bankruptcy with taxpayer's money. Soak every single one of them!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  139. EB

    We had this discussion this morning in our house. If we have to pay more taxes the first thing eliminated from our budget is our charitable giving. So the government should be prepared to fund the charities us evil rich people have chosen to support.
    As a side note, when traveling in Ireland I asked people how they liked their "free" health care. They said the rich simply buy the good health care and receive it. The poor are treated by doctor's with long waiting lists that accept the government insurance. Elderly people needing treatment or surgery are put off in hopes they die before expensive treatment is needed.
    I think a better solution would be to scale the insurance based on income, so you pay a reasonable amount based on your income tax returns. There wouldn't be a cut off, so that poor people don't have to stay poor just to keep their health insurance.
    As someone who worked their way up I understand how you feel "trapped" in your salary, make over 32k and you lose ALL government assistance so for years you don't take the raise. If we're going to create a program, let's make it a smart one that allows people to escape poverty.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  140. Ann Cline

    Of course tax the rich. They sure didnt mind when smokers had to pay for childrens health care. everyone should have had to pay for that. The middle income and lower income people are the ones who always pick up the slack.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  141. Jerry of Muskegon

    Jack, who's been soaking who for these past 9 years? "Soaking" isn't the right word for this question. How about "opportunity for the common good." After all, even when they pay the new tax rate, the rich will still be rich.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  142. Rob

    Since when is life fair? The better question would be, "Will it (soaking the rich) work?"

    I suspect that 20/20 hindsight will reveal the answer to both questions is similarly negative.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  143. James In Idaho

    I'm far more interested in soaking the peopel who are responsible for getting us to this difficult a place in the first part. If we find rich people who contributed to the problem, I'm all for it, but just doing it because they are unfortunate enough to be fortunate is really just veiled theivery.

    I say we tax each state according to it's population. Hmmmmm...

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  144. bob

    why is a certain amount of money considered rich? you can't judge someone by how much they make. people living in NYC that make $500k are basically middle-class. why should they be in the same tax bracket as someone from Idaho making the same amount?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  145. Angela

    Really??? $443, 000 out of $5 million, that is a problem? If they can spend that kind of money on crap they can surely give it up to help someone to live! It's sad that they only think of what THEY are giving up and not how they are going to help save lives. If I were that rich I'd give that up in a heart beat.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  146. Rich

    Let's call the Obama plan the "ADPT." American Dream Penalty Tax. We can attach it to anyone who was daring enough and good enough actually to strive for and attain the success the American Dream was supposed to be. Let's drag them back and hold them back so they won't consume any more, employ us any more, or just leave the country. After that, with this leftist administration making NO more money off them in exorbitant taxes, what are the cheeto-eating Oprah-watching hoardes going to do then when the wallet's of these so-called "rich" are no longer in reach for the plucking. You want something, work for it. Flat tax for all. America is like a movie, rich or poor you're both allowed in – for the same fair ticket price. Don't wanna pay? Don't see the flick.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  147. Gary

    Give everybody a flat tax. No loopholes.No deductions for anything.
    You bet the rich should be paying more.Mainly those that get the fat bonus money,on the back of the workers who really earned it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  148. dean wv

    After making about 20k a year for 15 years growing my business, I stand to make about 550k for the next 4 years after which my industry will be obsolete. These extra tax discussions are going to force me to slash my staff by at least 20%. The great employees that I'm going to have to layoff don't deserve that. At least they'll get free iv solutions to help with the starvation. i know, i know that I'm being overly dramatic, but...

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  149. LBK

    Sometimes it makes me sad to read these responses. So many of you mention the American Dream. The American Dream isn't supposed to be easy; and it isn't something that you're entitled to. The American Dream—the nice house, the two cars, the white picket fence, the family vacation by the beach, the plump savings account—is something you have to work hard for, something that you have to sacrifice for. These "rich" people so many of you speak negatively about are people who have worked their tails off to be where they're at. And, as a side note, just because someone is well off doesn't mean they've ruined other people's lives to get there. Many of these "rich" people have put themselves through school, worked long hours, put sweat equity into their careers—and it's panned out for them. Why on Earth would we want to punish those people by making them take on more of the financial burden? Health care in this country needs to be fixed, but it is un-American to punish those who are working hardest, those who've taken the most risk, so that the "poor" don't have to take responsibility for themselves.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  150. Jann in Denver

    Yes, absolutely! and I don't think they will mind. Its not the rich who are complaining about paying higher taxes for health care, its the GOP that can't stand the idea that this president will get it done despite them.

    Soak the GOP till they drown. They are the ones who need a good dunking!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  151. Brett - Massachusetts

    Yeah, of course, it is fair to soak the rich to pay for health care. They make the most so they should give back the most. Remember, they have had it very easy since the Bush tax cuts. After eight years, it's time they do more for their country.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  152. Mitch Gulbie

    Yes! In my mind, if it is a matter of people making 1 million plus getting their 4th boat, or using that money to contribute to an affordable health care plan for millions of people, the choice seems clear to me. They still will have plenty of money, I don't think their quality of life will suffer. But the right to health is listed internationally as a basic human right. We should have a public plan available that does not involve private insurance companies!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  153. Elizbeth Russell

    Yes, we should tax the wealthy to support health care reform. Many of them have done nothing to warrant such incomes other than entertaining and speculating on the money of the rest of us.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  154. Laura McLean

    Yes, it's fair. They will hardly miss it. (Math skills are at an all time low.) The rich have been getting too many tax perks as it is, Jack, and they should want to give back to the land of opportunity that served them so well.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  155. Jim Blevins

    Absolutely. The difference between rich and poor is far to large, that must be brought in.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  156. Rachel

    It's not fair to "soak" anyone in taxes. Naturally those who aren't wealthy are going to jump on the bandwagon and believe that letting the rich pay for all our problems is the way to go. Most of the wealthy have worked hard to be where they are, and to practically punish them for that with more taxes than the rest is not acceptable. Prompting the rich to fix our money problems is not the way to go.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  157. Scott

    Why the assumption that "rich" people have it made, got it by being aggressive or unfair, or "deserve" to pay more. I have what I have because I worked hard, made good grades, and chose to educate myself highly to develop skills worthy of more income. What's wrong with that? Why should I pay a higher percentage than someone who chooses not too? I have to high priced dogs, or psychotherapist, or spoiled children. The idea that the rich should pay "for the common good" is senseless. If they want to – fine....donate away. I choose to fight it. I'll pay the same percentage as everybody else, but I'll vote against any lawmaker who unfairly discriminates against me for making more money. That is fundamentally unjust.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  158. Jon in Minneapolis

    Jack,

    Give me 4 million dollars a year, and I will GLADLY pay 50%+ in taxes.

    And live quite comfortably, thank you.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  159. Sheila from New York

    Yes! A little more in taxes for the rich would not be a burden for them. If they can waste their money buying luxury items, they can use some of it to help people who need health care but can't afford it. That should not feel like a sacrifice.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  160. Sidney L.

    I'm middle class and working hard. I'm also not angry that others are rich. How do you know how they made their money? You are all so bitter. No, they shouldn't be soaked. There are better ideas out there.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  161. Jacobs

    Yes Jack the rich ought ta pay up especially the ones who benefitted from George Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations over the past nine years...i find it intolerable that some how its ok for large corporations to stretch their hands out for for my federal tax dollars in handouts/ subsidies yet when the average American family needs a break they yell that our hands be slapped away. Greedy rich!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  162. Chuck Wright, Georgia

    It is not only fair but about time. The wealthy are in the cat-bird seat. All those that make the decisions about how to distribute income are wealthy who produce the trickledown. Either fix the distribution fairness (trickle down) or fix the taxing fairness. The wealthy do not understand that they sow the seeds of their own destruction with their selfish greed.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  163. MG

    You people all seem to be angry at people who have become successful in life. I'd call it sour grapes. The vast majority of "rich" people in this country worked hard, got an education, made good decisions, and profited b/c of this hard work and these good decisions. By demonizing success, you're glorifying failure. I don't make over 280K a year, but I also don't resent those that do. If I had chosen a different career path or made different decisions for myself, there's no reason I couldn't be there to. Life is about decisions- don't make yourselves feel better by belittling the accomplishments of others OR by convincing yourself that you're entitled to some of what someone else rightfully worked for and earned.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  164. John

    Absolutely fair. "To each, according to their need. From each according to their ability to pay." We're all in this boat we call Earth together. I'm all in favor of rewarding and applauding those who've done well. But health care is about fairness, about equity. We must all take an oar, put it in the water, and row! The rich will have proportionately more, so they will need to contribute proportionately more.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  165. Bill Sullivan

    The wealthy in this country have gotten rich off the backs of middle class workers. It's payback time!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  166. Tony from Los Angeles

    I've been self-employed for the past 6-7 years. After pricing health insurance, I decided that paying my medical expenses out of pocket is cheaper (it's not really a surprise that insurance companies are some of the world's largest casinos). To be forced to pay for the medical expenses of others would be an outrage.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  167. Gwen of Tucker GA.

    Yes Jack..it's time for the rich to give back..the vilage is down if you loose the village you will loose the court/castles.. its up to the American people..people can't work if and when the job do come if everyone is sick...I am very sick now...and I can't get the medication I need or proper care..no job..no insurance..I can only pray...How about you folks.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  168. David

    OK – soak the Rich to pay for HealthCare. Then we will soak the rich to pay for Defense Spending (its protects us all); then for Highway Construction (we all drive on the same roads) – you get the picture.
    Most everyone wants a free ride at someone else's expense.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  169. amuscato

    How do you think the rich got rich? By soaking the middle class! It's about time they 'gave back' – and not by creating more low-paying jobs. They need to help pay for the healthcare of those that cannot afford it, because the jobs created by the rich just don't cut it!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  170. Bernice Albernaz

    The rich have so many loopholes to avoid paying taxes i doubt they would even notice the extra tax they would have to pay because they would find a legal way to avoid the extra tax! They pay their lawyers and accountants dearly just so they can avoid taxes the legitimate way! The rich have gotten richer over the last 8 years and the middle class have become poorer!! We now have two classes of people in this Country the rich and the poor!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  171. Aaron

    Of course, you are loading the question by phrasing it "soaking the rich".

    Also I think we could all use a history lesson so we aren't so quickly taken in by statements such as “Taxing the rich to pay for health insurance would mark a significant difference from how this country has paid for safety net programs. ” The fact is that through most of the most the history of social safety nets in this country (from the 30's on) the "rich" paid much more taxes than they do now. So no, there would not be a significant difference, there would only be the rolling back of the Reagan and Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans and the start of a reversal of the alarming trend of the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the middle class joining the poor.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  172. j hansen

    why is everyone concerened about paying. We all pay huge insurance premimns . why not use this money for health care. Or is it because the big insurance company do not want to loss their big profits??/
    judy MI

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  173. Steven Taylor

    What do the wealthey have to complain about? During the final year of the Eseinhower presidency, the top tax rate was well over 90%.and that was a Republican. The middle class of America has been getting screwed for too long.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  174. Alex

    It's interesting to see that a majority of people would love to tax the rich. They are the culprit, right? Who cares about the fact that the top 1% earners of this country employ 40% of the people in this country? Do you all think people that make $1M+ are stupid? They will balance the lost of income by firing more employees. Now, the remaining surviving staff will have to work more making the same and losing valuable time with their family. Bottom line is, none of us care about the others. We all wish that it is everyone else paying for the healthcare whether they are richer or poorer...as long as it's not us flipping for the bill.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  175. whatistthis

    are you crazy? if u cut too much from rich they will move to countries which give them tax benefits.every one should have same tax forms and bracket.if someone earns more money than some why should he pay more tax.why should rich people be blamed for everything.banks failed,but no body complained when they were good and helping for 40yrs.believe lot of countries have tried to do this and failed miserably

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  176. Arnold from New York City

    Soak the rich? No, soak the insurance companies and the healthcare companies that made them rich. Obama's tax plan gives no regard to cost of living. Here in New York City, too many people are "rich" when really we're middle class. Stop the war on the rich, start requiring healthcare and insurance companies to eat profits and take responsibility.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  177. mlnickles

    Why not. They been soaking the poor for decades. Time to pony up! It's not as if they are going to find themselves unable to pay for their food ,cas and utilities. They may have to cut down how many times they take the yahct out.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  178. Ellen

    Of course! The rich have been soaking the rest of us since the Bush tax cuts(at least). Republicans fight the redistribution of wealth when it flows from the rich to the poor, but I didn't hear them complain when it went the other way.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  179. tax religion

    NO it is NOT fair. What would be fair would be taxing the most successful businesses in the United States, which currently function entirely TAX FREE, and that is religious institutions. Exclude the charitable work of the religious institutions, but otherwise THEY are the ones who should be taxed. It's an entirely untapped market only b/c it's too "political." They should be paying property tax and should be taxed on all business ventures like any other business. Only once this is done should we even look to raise taxes on other Americans.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  180. Julie

    I do not think that it hurts the wealthy to pay their fair share. At the time of Eisenhower's presidency, the highest tax rate was 90%. Unfortunately, the past eight years the rich got better representation in Washington than the middle class did. The problem as I see it is that we all are paying for those who do not have insurance when they go to the E.R. for care; the hospital has to raise their fees to cover the care they provide to people without insurance. The best insurance would be to have what our government officials in Washington have; heaven knows, we are paying for it! Unfortunately, the people opposing health care reform do not want us to have the same coverage they have.

    Julie
    Miamisburg, OH

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  181. Alex L.

    A 50% tax on 5 million dollars a year is still leaves a yearly income that is more than most Americans will make in their entire lifetime. Excessive extravagent Incomes are damaging to our society.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  182. Task

    Well Cafferty, sadly you have a lot of ignorant people here who can't see past their own front door. Rich people are the ones giving jobs to all of us working class Americans. If you punish them for making money, you are taking away their goals and telling the rest of us that hard work WON'T pay off because the people who benefit the most are the ones who work the least.

    More important than any of this is that the rich people have power. They, unlike the poor, have the power to say "Screw you" to an oppressive government and leave. They can move their businesses to Mexico, China, India, or whatever. They could just close up shop, lay off hundreds of thousands of Americans, and move to wherever they want leaving our country with less money and fewer jobs. Every millionaire that leaves is leaving our country with $452,000 less in revenue according to your numbers.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  183. Brooks Osman

    We should follow the tax structure of the Lottery system. If you win $1000 playing a game... the taxes taken out is only 25%-33%. When you win big [over a million]... taxes are close to 50%. So, yes let the wealthy pay more in taxes!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  184. DJ

    Let's get real for a moment. The rich hardly get "soaked" in this country. They have, and always will have (no matter who is in power), the best access to health care, quality education, legal representation, investment tax shelters etc. etc.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  185. Andrew, Amherst NY

    No, it's not, but honestly none of Obama's plans have been "fair" to anyone. How about asking the 40% of people who don't pay taxes, to start paying some, instead of asking the top 1% to pay over 20% of the governments spending habits!

    It's time for the poor to pay their "fair share".

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  186. Jerry Shaud

    No, Its not fair to "soak" any one group to pay for national health insurance. Fund it by imposing a national sales tax or some other form of taxation where EVERTONE pays. Also, why is the congress discussing different "plans". If we're going to have national health insurance it should be for everyone, at the same cost, regardlee of income or any other qualifications. National insurance should nean national insurance. For everyone, the same. Period.

    As always, people who work for a living and have to pay taxes, with no way to pass on their tax burden to others, will end up footing this bill.
    It is just another way for politicians to buy the votes of people who don't want to pull their own weight.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  187. Peter from CT

    Jack,

    Lets see what other programs the new President can try and ram down our throats. Did everyone enjoy the debate on the 1,000 page bill? Do any of the other commentors know where to find the bill? Who are its sponsors. This country will once again become the haven for illegal immigrants who figure the government will give them healthcare, buy them a car, provide affordable housing and work at the Gulag. Thank goodness we now have Senator Stuart Smalley to sort this all out.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  188. Marvin

    YES Yes Yes why not Jack nothing els is working and at this rate alot more people will not have a job anymore.These are troubling times and it seems the only people with a problem with this proposal are the people who already have health care unlike myself.This has to work change is coming you can run but you cant hide go Obama you have my support.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  189. Judith Shade

    Jack, Health care reform is an absolute MUST!!! However, both parties are trying to patch and cobble instead of reform. First, take employer provided health care off the table – it should not be a given and if it is to be provided for convenience to employees then it should be a taxable benefit!! Employer health care really is the issue dividing the haves and the have nots.

    Health insurance should be treated like auto insurance – everyone must have a basic policy and then you can enhance as you see fit.

    BTW – I am too young for Medicare and do not work for a company that provides health care – too expensive for small companies to offer; I have a personal catastrophic only (with a $5K deductible) and all my regular visits, drugs, exams are strictly out of pocket. And I am not the only one in this position.

    Judi
    Hilton Head Island SC

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  190. Larry

    Most of the so-called rich got or grew their wealth beginning in the late '70's. That is when they redefined the input element of productivity. You know, out sourcing production to other countries and importing or permitting illegal to take the remaining jobs. Now it is time for them to pay as the rest of us have been paying. It is the cost of them doing business that is coming due.

    Larry

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  191. jose A. Palacios

    As a small business owner, I am in the process of reevaluating my goals in life. I am planing on closing my 20 year old company, which will cause the release of my 20 employees whom I provide health care benefits to. I will then sit home every day, eat potato chips, and watch Oprah and Dr.Phil. After all Obama has ushered in the era of the handout. Long live the dole!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  192. Ken Oakley

    Is it fair? You bet. Of course, I don't see it as soaking at all, since they are soaking up a good deal more of the income out there than I am, or than many many many many others. Jack, perhaps you can tell us the income percentile you'd need to be in to be taxed on this proposal: my guess is it's in the upper 2 percent or even higher.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  193. RJ

    If the rich are going to continue to run this country and make laws that benefit them only then its time for class warfare! The rich have been bleeding the middle class for 9 years now. I hate the notion because I fall into the shrinking middle class that somehow I havent worked hard for what I have, and now working harder just to keep my head above the water! Working hard is not just for the rich as a matter of fact most rich people I know got that way by scamming the system, not paying their fair share of taxes and by the way have a different standard in which they enjoy a better judicial system thanks to their money! We need to take this country back, and fast!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  194. Jorge Ramos

    I think it's about time that we make the IRS obsolete, and go to a simplified, flat tax rate system. There should be a flat tax rate for income tax, with no loopholes, deductions, or exceptions. The move alone would mean thousands of acres worth of paperwork eliminated for processing all these different options that many of the rich have used for years to reduce and eliminate their obligation to pay their share of income tax, while their wording almost assuredly goes to punish those in the middle and poor classes that are trying to finally get ahead of the game. As an American citizen who is unable to get health care even when I want it, I see no excuse for why I can't get help when I am TRYING to help myself.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  195. JG

    Why do people keep saying "SOMEBODY" has to pay for it? They do? Why?

    Why do people feel entitled to a service (medical care service) without earning the $$ it takes to pay for that service?

    I'm sorry, but you are not entitled to free health care. Just like you are not entitled to free food or housing. Our Government foolishly continues to provide these things for those who provide nothing in return to society. You want to know why our country is becoming more and more bankrupt? Too many freeloaders and too few folks who are productive.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  196. Pearl Nelson

    Twenty-three people in my office have jobs because of a rich man who went to school to be an oncologist. And for the fellow who talked about the rich man's toys...how many people have jobs because of the manufacturing of those toys. The luxury tax on yachts put a thriving boat-building business under the water.

    Pearl Nelson
    Shallotte,NC

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  197. Mike M

    If it weren't for the non-rich, than the rich would not be able to enjoy their own wealth. It's not only the right thing to do morally, but the correct thing to do for their own benefit. Of course the tax cannot be excessive, and there has to be some way to measure it as best as possible.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  198. David Odell

    I'll pay for my fair share. Just give us all access to that wonderful, socialized, single-payer plan that all US Government employees have right now. If those aging members of Congress ever lost THEIR health care plan, they would be hard pressed to get insurance at any price.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  199. Don Wilson

    All you people that are for "soaking the rich" are the weak kneed leaches that hold the country back. Everyone of you work for a company that a rich guy busted his hump to start and grow. Who are your kids going to work for when you socialist knock off the rich?
    Don Wilson
    Van Alstyne, Texas

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  200. Gordon, Nuevo, Ca

    No. Why should we get a college education to get a better job, and live our dream of a better life? Sounds like a socialized gov't to me. Maybe we should all be lazy and not do all that I have said and just let the gov't pay us to stay home.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  201. Pam .. Washington DC

    This is just a total waste of time. In the UK, EVERYONE is entitled to get free healthcare at the point of delivery and EVERYONE pays for that right. Taxing those people who are employing others and work hard to get their money is a short sighted answer as we will simply employ less people to maintain our profits thats the hard cold fact.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  202. Gary Meixell

    I believe the best way to pay for the health care reform is to tax the Democrats. They should have their tax rates tripled. That would force them to really think about this continued government wasteful spending.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  203. Gordon, NJ

    Yes. They've all benefited from 8 years of Bush tax cuts while working stiffs got next to nothing. It's ironic how same conservatives who fret about a few thousand in added taxes for Millionaires, think nothing of asking the "overpaid" auto workers to take $10k pay cuts on $50,000 salaries.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  204. Jeff C. (Cleveland, OH)

    Yes, Jack, it is fair to tax the rich more than the middle-class or poor. Health care reform is not an option. Somebody has to pay for it, and the middle-class and poor cannot afford it. I am self-employed and right now pay 15% federal tax, 15% Social Security and Medicare, 5% state tax and 2% city tax. I get to keep a little more than half of what I make. I can't afford health care on my earnings of about $40,000 per year. There is no way I can afford more taxes.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  205. Spike

    It is not fair. Why is the single person always paying the biggest burden for programs like these? How much wealth reassignment does this administration want? Likely more. I am not wealthy – yet under this plan, my taxes soar! Where does that money come from? It comes from the charities I support. There is only so much money in the pot.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  206. Roger

    My wife and I are in a 35% tax bracket and are far from a million dollar annual salary. If the president and congress would eliminate the loop holes for the rich and hold them to the same 35% tax bracket as the middle class, they would fine the funding for health care.

    Roger
    Buda, Texas

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  207. Jeff Adams

    Of course it's okay to tax the rich, they're the ones with all the money. Or should we continue to borrow money from the Chinese and Arabs even more than now? This increase in their taxes would only partially make up for the tax breaks they have been getting for the last 9 years, NOT counting the tremendous tax break they got since Ronald Reagan sliced the top tax rate from 70% to 28%. By the way, those proposed tax rates are not the actual rates most of them would pay. They still have many deductions they can take to lower their taxes.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  208. Ann

    No soaking of anyone. Most people who have some money have worked long and hard throughout their lives especially small business people. They are not sitting home waiting for a handout. They are paying most of the taxes already (almost 50%). Should they have to pay more while the rest of the population pays nothing?
    In Europe people are not "wage slaves?" Do you want to give up your consumer goods, etc?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  209. gloria

    It amazes me how afraid so many Americans are of helping someone else.
    If you didn,t have a goveernment that helped others, there is always a return, you would be know as cheat .

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  210. Jim H, Glendale, CA

    Sorry to see your knees buckling when the time comes, Jack. Some "tribune of the people" you turn out to be. Sure, the rich should pay those taxes. Don't forget, when you choose your insurance, who pays the premium? The recipient. This is just subsidies for those who can't pay. What's the point of the tax on wealthy? Because they've gotten away with paying too little for taxes since Reagan. And what have we gotten? An economy that has shut down American manufacture in favor of our Chinese serfs, and produced an increasing number of bubbles that explode and hurt the rest of us. Here's one for you, Jack: high taxes on the rich are good for the country. Our periods of greatest wealth, for all, have been periods of high taxes.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  211. Miriamfl

    Jack, I am willing to give back the middle class tax cuts we just got and also the tax cut for rich should expire. We need a public healthcare option asap. We no longer have the great jobs and work for 20/30 years and then go on medicare. Those jobs are gone thanks to decisions made by Washington and Wall Street. We can no longer depend on employers to provide healthcare and many of small businesses cannot provide it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  212. robert

    I strongly feel that, after eight years of tax breaks for the rich under the George W. Bush regime, it is time to require the rich to pay for the health care of the poor. The rich normally do not give to charities unless they get a tax break and paying fifty percent in taxes for health care for all is something they will gladly embrace.
    "Robert"
    Green Bay, Wisconsin

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  213. Mike Stephens

    Define "Rich"? While everyone wants a free ride, completely unamerican to tax one more than another, high income or not, bankrupting middle America when they have a medical emergency or lose their job and cannot pay for their McMansion any more. What ever happened to hard work, pay your own way and take care of your own? Government should not get involved in anything more than absolutely necessary. Any time government gets involved, it results in huge waste, increase in red tape and rules out the wazoo, so the new beauraucrats can protect their own incomes.

    Work hard, save your money and protect yourself, keep government out of it as well as their hand out of my pocket!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  214. oldfuzz

    Soak the rich? In what? I think we should pay based on our ability. When I was young, working my way through college it was tough paying medical bills. Fortunately our doctors knew the situation and gave us time to pay.

    Now that I can afford it I don't mind paying.

    For me, the most important question is: "What good does it do our country and economy to burden the most challenged among us with the high cost of health care?" If they use it and can't pay, there goes their sense of self-worth. If they don't use it, there goes their health and productivity.

    Is it right that anyone is not covered for basic health care in the USA today?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  215. Kelly

    The idea of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was tried in a massive field experiment called the Soviet Union. It didn't work. I've noticed that alot of the people without coverage neglected to finish school, discovered a fondness for drugs, obtained arrest records, and started having children (out of wedlock, of course) at an early age. I don't want to pay a dime for them.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  216. Brenda Shreve

    The only fair way to pay for healthcare reform is for everyone to share the cost. I suggest a 1/2% to 1% National sales tax on everything except food & health related items. Targeting one segment of society is unfair.

    I think we could speed up a solution if all the members of Congress had their healcare plans taken away until the job is done.

    Sinking fast in Alabama

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  217. terri lieblein

    All this plan does is punish positive behavior that helps to grow this economy and reward negavtive behavior of those who want the govenment to take care of them. I never had much as a child and I was determined to work hard and be successful. People have choices in America and this " rich pay for the poor" mentality destroys the incentive to do better for yourself.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  218. Justo Gonzalez

    Soak the rich? Are you kidding me? Did anyone have an issue when we ordinary Americans were taken for a ride with the Bush tax cuts for the rich? Please, don't assume we are stupid! It's time that the rich pay their fair share. They have been taken care of by the political establish far to long. How about taking care of babies, child, the uninsured, our sick, the elderly and the rest of us working stiffs. Even with this tax they will have made out like bandits for all the soaked us for previously!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  219. Ralph Spencer

    Soak the rich? Ha Ha, Never in a million years. The Rich never pay the Tax rate you think they do. They didn't get rich paying taxes and being socially responsible. They got there by avoiding paying taxes at every turn and in every way. You still have CEOs paying a smaller rate than their secretaries when it's all said and done. I like Obama more and more.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  220. Ari

    Jack,

    Taxing the rich is a sure way to keep this recession going for a long time. Who do you think buys all the products that keep our people working? Its not the guy making $24,000 a year. The guy making $450,000 a year is buying cars, furniture, houses, clothing. The person making that much is keeping our labor force employed. If we tax the rich more, get ready for the working class to be unemployed and for this country to be in a depression. You may not like trickle down economics, but the consequences of taxing too much will be severe.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  221. Ron Service

    I'm from Canada and have noticed that our health care system has been taking a knock from what I assume are U.S. lobbyists.Sure our health care system is not perfect,but we do not lose everything when we get sick.
    I notice a lot more Americans are buying guns.Maybe they realise your so called democracy favours the rich, Wall street and the big banks.Your government dispensed with intelligent regulation and now is reaping the fruits of expediency.
    Ron

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  222. Rebecca in SC

    When the Bush tax cuts were passed, the republicans thought that it was just dandy that the highest marginal rate was lowered a greater percentage than the others. The surtax being proposed would do nothing more than correct that unfairness.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  223. John P

    Gimme a break. All of you saying let's just take it from the rich are completely wrong. It's really gotten to the point where it's just not worth working up to a certain level because you're going to be so heavily taxed. There's millions of Americans who work hard to make a lot of money and deserve what they make because of all their hard work. They went to school, and then sometimes more school to get a license or degree to allow them to get their job that makes them that money. They've earned it. Just because you don't make that much doesn't give you the right to take money from the people that do. They're supposed carry a heavier burden just because they can? This is typical jealousy of people who haven't made it in life and want a piece of what other people have worked for.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  224. Ss

    It is about time! Definitely!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  225. Alex

    Of course it isn't fair. I worked extremely hard through high school and college to get where I am now. I think that my work entitles me to keep my higher earnings and not give them away to someone that didn't work as hard. People keep forgetting that health care isn't a right. It's a privilege. Don't drop out of high school and expect me to feel sorry for you.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  226. Johnny

    No, its not fair. Why should anyone pay for another person's healthcare, that is this unfair part. Especially when most of those people smoke and drink.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  227. Kim

    Yes they have destroyed the middle class.
    They should pay off the national debt of over ten trillion dollars.
    Also divert the tarp funds to pay for the health costs.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  228. Jerry

    No, and its not fair to soak the cigarette smokers for the SCHIP program either, Nor is it fair to mess with health care when a majority of people have health care and are happy with it and don't want it messed with. And it is not fair for me to pay for my own health care and sombody else's too. Now a lot of these people lost their health care because they lost their jobs. Where are the jobs our economy is more important than health care this is not the right time to do this whan our country is broke. Immigration control is more important than that. There is a lot of stuff that is more important than health care at this time. Jerry Iowa

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  229. Catherine

    All these morons who say, "Soak the rich" fail to realize that the when you stick to a subset of people, they quickly stop donating to charity, going to restaurants, on vacation and other things that contribute to those who make a lesser income. This is America dammit. There is no free ride. You want the rich have – go work for it. I'm not "rich". I'm just a hard worker who isn't willing to "steal" from the rich for something I did not earn.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  230. Gary

    First, don't tax them anymore but close all the current loopholes in the tax law. Second, maybe lay off the military spending on unwinnable wars. There you go...everyone in the USA covered and paid for!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  231. Marty

    Absolutely! The rich should pay for it or move to another country if they prefer.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  232. Lee Jones

    No, it's not fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform. The rich are the ones who own the businesses who do the hiring of us working people. Anyway, it will only send them overseas, or at the very least they will lay off workers. Where did this idea come from that we're owed more than we work for.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  233. Mary

    Let's see, Jack, are these the same people who have enough money to pay $1.5 million every day for the ads objecting to any reform of health care? Are these the same "rich" who received the best of the best tax breaks from the Bush Administration? In real dollars we are paying 4x as much for health care than we were in 1990. And the Insurance giants are making sure that they can make a huge profit each quarter by not allowing you to have the care you need. So, yes, go ahead and "soak" them.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  234. jeff

    Why should I feel sorry for a single person making close to half a million dollars per year having to pay an extra 20 dollars a day in taxes? They would never miss it. It is a small price to pay to those less fortunate.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  235. Paul

    Yes, soak those spoiled rich folk! Anyone making over $75,000 deserves to have their money taken away and given to people like me who dropped out of high school and live off of welfare. I have a RIGHT to the same good life those rich folk have!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  236. Kelby, In Houston, Texas

    Craig said, "business supply job’s and if business takes a hit who loses!"
    ***
    How did the rich convince the poor to come to their defense? The rich use every dirty trick in the book and make up new tricks in order to protect their vast sums of money. They force the system to carry its burdens on the backs of the poor and the poor are tricked into perpetuating this cycle of madness. Taxing the rich a little in order to advance our society is patriotic

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  237. Anita

    Absolutely....the rich have gotten away with huge tax loopholes, significant tax deductions, etc....it's time they started to give their "fair share" and close the gap between those that have and those that don't....it's shameful that our country does not take care of its citizenry and caters only to those in power...we are the only western country that shows its real disdain for the poor by not providing for them in the area of health care....get rid of outrageous salaries for ceo's who pillage their companies while they pad their pockets.....the middle class is fast becoming the lower class thanks to those greedy executives in the health care industries, especially the pharmaceuticals....it's pathetic to be able to buy the same medications in another country for less than it sells in this country where they are made!...it's time for REAL CHANGE in this country....

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  238. Allah

    The rich should pay much more! Much, much more!

    Here's a little reality check for all you rich people out there:

    If you make $5 million and expect me to cry for you if you have to pay an extra $450K in taxes, you are sorely mistaken. The taxes you're paying are probably 20 times what most people make in one year. You can live quite well off the remaining $4.5 million, so don't look for any tears to come out of my eyes.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  239. Chris Brunke 34

    Like it or not ,the rich are generally the ones that employ other people.When did it become a crime to become wealthy.I guess we live in a new generation in which we count on other people to be successful to make up for our poor choices in education,job decisions,and our lack of drive.Thank you rich people for paying my way!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  240. Ben Fenton

    Jack,

    The rich have already been sufficiently "soaked." The wealthiest 1% of Americans already pay 40% of all federal income taxes and the wealthiest 10% pay 70%. To make the income tax even more progressive would discourage wealth creation and make us all worse off. It's a moot point anyway, since the Federal Reserve will eventually have to monetize all of the debt we're getting ourselves into and all of us, rich and poor, will have to pay the inflation "tax" that will result.

    Ben Fenton
    Castle Rock, Colorado

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  241. R Canson

    Yes Jack it is fair that the wealthy pay their fair share for a change. I realize that you are one of the "RICH PEOPLE" and thus have an interst in keeping things the way they are. Why can't CNN have a candit debate on why there is SO much oposition from the replublicans and the insurace companies they represent. The insurance companies are like leiches that have attached themselves on our economy. They are draining the life blood out of the US economy, but we the people just can't seem to pull it off of us. If we don't get it off of us, it will bankrupt all of us! Please help save the union Jack, tell the other side of the argument for a change.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  242. Paula Whipple

    Has anyone considered that those making in excess of $90000 are exempt from Social Security taxes? And many of these same people insist on drawing Social Security benefits "because they are entitled to it" Not that they need it but at some point believe they have paid in (many years ago or prior to inheritance) and deserve to collect it. They should be subjected to at minimum what we middle class Americans pay and then some.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  243. Vikky Anders

    Is it fair for the rich to pay a larger portion of health care costs?

    Absolutely! And in fact, it's long overdue. Everyone would be better off if this were to happen. Even the wealthy. They didn't get rich all by themselves. It's always the workers , past and present, who contribute to the vast producation of their wealth.

    Thanks for asking this question.

    Vikky Anders in San Diego

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  244. Geoff - Arizona

    As my companies president always tells me. He will fire his accountant if he has to pay any taxes. bummer, I have to 30% taxes.

    Must be nice to be rich.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  245. Joe Burton

    Absolutely "soak" the rich to pay for health care, especially rich insurance executives and doctors who have been bleeding us for over 50 years. It has been insane to leave health care in the hands of those whose only desire is to make the maximum profit. It is no different than placing a pedophile in charge of a day care center. Time to pay the kitty and do the right thing.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  246. KathrynBlalock

    It is finally time to have the rich make some sacrifices. The middle class has had multiple funding burdens to the point we are no longer middle class. It is the rich and then the rest of us poor buggers !!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  247. Roger

    How about fixing the tax system so the really really rich people with the shark tax lawyers will have to pay taxes like the rest of us?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  248. Ellen

    I guess the message here is ambition, self-discipline and hard work are punishable by a substantial fine. Luckily for me, I'm not handicapped with any of the above.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  249. John

    No additional taxes for anyone; however, eliminate the tax loopholes and eliminate the cap on FICA and Medicare taxes. Perhaps paying additional taxes on fast foods isn't a bad idea either!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  250. Better_than_the_average_bear

    I'm not rich, but as an upper middle-class, small business ownerI expect to shaken down out of all this.

    This will affect me adversely.

    As a result, I'm not going to hire anymore workers. I will lay off a few people and probably won't offer any rasies or holiday bonuses.

    I'll also cut back on eating out and won't leave any big tips either.

    I'll stop buying things. Maybe get cheaper products from asia if I really need them

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  251. Steve

    Everybody wants the same three things from health care reform:
    1. Universal coverage
    2. The highest quality care
    3. Reasonable cost

    No matter how you try, you can have any 2 of these but not all three. We need to get used to this idea before we bankrupt the country.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  252. Michael

    No – it's called "Natural Selection"

    The Health Care Reform Bill will kill small businesses with the burden, the foundation of our economy (because big businesses were never initially big, they had to be "small" first). THEN the entire economy will fall into a collapse that it will never come out of, we will no longer be the leaders of the free world, because we will be ECONOMICALLY weaker to other countries.

    It's sad that the Democrats think their call for immediate action will not result without severe consequences.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  253. Darrick B

    I don't think it's fair to take from anyone to give to another without their permission. Instead of taxing the rich, tax everyone at a smaller rate and share the burden. Or, why doesn't the administration ask for "donations" for Health Care Reform instead. Even being unemployed at the moment, I still don't think it is right to tax certain individuals more than others. This is totally against the founding principles of our country.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  254. Philip

    Sure it's fair. And I can certainly tell you that getting taxed more above the $250,000 income level doesn't make me want to stop improving my financial situation. Because regardless of the minimum amount for each tax bracket I enter I still have more money than I did in the last bracket. And besides when I get into the top bracket what does it matter if I'm making $4 million or $5 million? It's still more than before.

    Philip
    Miami, Florida

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  255. JT

    Why not provide all Americans with the same benefits and healthcare coverage as the Senators and Congressmen (women)???

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  256. Dan M.

    Jack, I'm not going to cry for the rich if they end up burdening some of the cost of universal health care, but that's not going to be enough. What we really should be taxing are the things that cause disease in the first place, like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and trans fats. -Dan M. San Diego, CA.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  257. John M.

    I am always sadly amused by comments like a number that I've seen on this topic: "it's only fair to tax the rich, they're the ones that either a) caused the problem, b) pillaged from the poor to get where they are, c) don't pay their fair share to begin with... etc. A few points that many seem to forget:
    Over 50% of all income taxes in this country are ALREADY paid for by 5% of the poplulation. The "rich" are already paying for the majority of the services this government provides. Let's not pretend that this is a fairness issue.
    Many "rich" people have worked very hard to get the things that they have and, yes, had some luck along the way. I reject that the rich don't deserve what they have worked to achieve.
    The great social experiment played out for 70 years in the USSR was a complete failure. Communism and socialism, which is where we're headed, will create more poor people than ever.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  258. Pat in AZ

    Workers' compensation has not kept up with inflation. The gap between rich and poor in this country is getting worse by the day. I come from a household that makes $200,000 a year. Our house is a 1950s fixer-uper and we have two 10 year old cars that are paid off. With the exception of a yearly splurge on a 10 day vacation we are stuggling to get by and have no bills other than cable, phone and power. We are 2 months from being on the streets if hit by a medical crisis. We both have insurance but they don't cover much more than the basics and our employers will let us go if we have an illness that puts us out for more than 6 months. So from someone that is 'rich' by the standards being used, I wouldn't mind if a percentage of my income went to a national health care as long as we all get to benefit from its safety net when needed. The concept that big business has to make a 20% gain in profits year over year is absurd. We need to focus on holding our nation together over corporate profits. And we have nothing if we don't have our health.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  259. Chief

    How about just fixing the price of healthcare and leave taxes alone-I'm almost embarrassed to park my 8 year old Ford in amongst the Mercedes and Porches in the Hospital parking lot where all the MD's park. I probably can't live in their gated community either.

    Just trying to be humorous- but seriously there are fundamental flaws in a system that allows costs to rise by 15-20% a year when inflation is less than 3%. Can you say price gouging?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  260. Jorge

    Jack,
    Let the Class Warfare begin! Should we roll back the taxes to what they used to be under the Clinton administration? ...when we actually had a surplus in our budget. The answer is hell yes! The "Sweeping the ladder from underneath aspiring rich people" argument is untrue and invalid. Leave it to the Republicans to stall the aid to people that need it. Health care for all.
    Jorge

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  261. Stephanie Cobain

    So...60% of our bankruptcies are prompted because of medical bills. Just how does this affect the overall economy? Lose your job, lose your healthcare? Just wondering.......

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  262. hawthornesearch

    The reality is that the "rich" actually hire people. I work with them all day. I ask them questions about this and other taxation issues. The reality is they will hire MUCH less if you increase their taxes to above 50%.

    You will have your rationed government healthcare, with 4 month waits like in Mass. but you will not have a job. My job depends on companies hiring, and my best guess estimate, is you will see "real" unemployment approach 20% in the 6-12 months after this passes.

    When you count all the insurance firms that will go belly up, you can add on to that, so enjoy your "free lunch"

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  263. Catherine Ives

    The Bushies soaked the poor for eight years and gave that money to the rich. Remember those tax cuts for the rich? So how about reversing that now even a bit? The problem: the poor don't have much of a voice. The rich, well, they have all the Republicans in Congress on their side plus a good number of conservative "Democrats". The gap between poor and rich in this country is larger than most other countries except some in the third world. If this health care plan fails it will reflect the stranglehold that the privileged rich have on our country. Over the weekend I saw a piece about free health care being offered the poor in Nashville TN. The line to get into the clinic went around the block. And will go on for days. Shame on us if we can't provide good health care to our citizens as every other country in the "First World" does. Shame shame.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  264. Larry Cohen

    It is fair to tax the very wealthy. They will harldy feel it. Healthcare reform will help the very workers that most likely made it possible for the wealthy to have gotten where they are.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  265. Paul - NC

    The problem is far bigger then the simple minds that have posted thus far. Ask the question, why is the health care system so bad? Why do people who can not afford to pay for health care continue to have children? Maybe China is right, one child per family and then the family that has additional children pays a significant penalty. Is anyone else tired of paying for people that do not think about the ramifications of bringing children into the world. What is the real issue?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  266. Jose Cortes

    I came to the US in 1976 broke but full of hope. Now for the first time I will be making a little over $1,000,000. Obama taxes are a sure way to push me down the ladder. My assets are my work and my company. What about applying those taxes to those who don't have to work for a living, actors, sports figures, musicians, millionaires who voted for Obama, trust funders....?and leave ALONE those who have worked all their life 12 hours a days 7 days a week like I do

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  267. Evelyn Hughitt

    Tax all the obese people. They are obviously buying too much food so they have extra money to pay for health insurance, and maybe they'll end up weighing less which will lower the health care burden the rest of us have to pay for them! Plus, maybe they can contribute all that extra food they don't NEED to eat to feed the 1000s and 1000s of underfed children. Win – win- win!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  268. Dave

    Yes – I'm a millionaire. Tax me more and I'll spend less so I keep the same. That means I'm not paying for the 3 maids – now only 1. Not getting the house painted every 2 years – now every 4 years. Etc, etc...Get my drift? It means that there will be less for the people that aren't millionaires. Less for charity, less of everything. This is an elastic problem. So go ahead and tax me (us) more and watch what happens...

    I live within what I make no matter what happens.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  269. Matteo

    healthcare is a privilege, not a right

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  270. chuck

    Of course. Was it fair for Reagan and then Bush to use the Social Security surplus to give you rich folks a tax cut?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  271. James D in L.A.

    I think it is absolutely fair, not just for the rich but for everyone to pay more in order to get better services.
    Americans are world renowned for constantly complaining about "higher taxes", when in fact the U.S. has one of the lowest tax rates in the world.
    Nearly all Europeans pay over 50% of their income to taxes, which may sound horrible, except when you realize that because they pay more, their education is completely paid for from Kindergarten to University, they have all their healthcare needs completely covered, and the savings per person and for businesses allow most Europeans to take anywhere from 4-8 week paid vacations, allowing them to travel more than we do, see more of the world than we do, and have a higher quality of life than we do.
    Sounds like a great way to live if you ask me!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  272. Roslyn, Augusta, Ga

    I've been poor all my life and nothing is fair about that and I am still willing to pay higher taxes for health care reform. So to all you people out their especially the republicans, who is always saying how much they love their country, as if anyone believe that dribble, put up or shut up!!!! I say soak the rich, who cares, the rest of us are trying to hold on to our 1 home and put food on the table, while the rich(wall street, etc ) been stealing our money for years with the tax cuts bush so nicely gave them. I think we deserve a rebate and this is the perfect way to get it. By the way the rich pay more for a pair of shoes, purses, and clothing, than they would pay in increase taxes. So, welcome to our world. You are still better off than most Americans.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  273. John from Tillamook OR

    Soak the rich? Every time I renew my vehicle registration, I pay a higher percentage of my income than the rich. The same can be said for visiting our National Parks, state parks, and campgrounds. The poor pay a higher percentage of their income for parking, toll roads, traffic tickets, and the list goes on and on and on. These fees have never been equitable. And now the wealthy have the gall to speak about "fairness". Give me a break!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  274. Tom

    Suppose the "rich" move out of the USA? Then who will all of you liberals get to pay for everything?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  275. JAY

    There is a small percentage of the rich paying any taxes
    at all, it's time they payed their share .

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  276. Helen Mansfield

    "Soak" the rich? Who wrote that question? Right-wing staff members at Fox News?

    I don't believe that any individual making over $500,000 should be labeled "rich" - especially if that poor soul owns a home in New York City, San Francisco, or L.A. - but claiming that anyone making more than that is being "soaked" by paying his or her fair share is equally ridiculous.

    We all currently pay taxes to help folks on welfare receive health care benefits, and we've all heard how lousy their health care options are. I personally would rather see my tax money go to option plans as good as those provided to members of Congress, for all Americans.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  277. Carmen Cruz-Perez, Retired U.S. Army

    Why not a health tax???? I am retired and on a budget and have health care provided through my retirement. I will be willing to pay a health tax, if that takes care of the problem. We should all pay the tax, based on our income. Oh I forgot, Republicans don't want a tax increase. Just pull a health care plan out of the air. Nothing is free. Wake up America!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  278. Tim Holt

    Just as with the Revenue Act of 1932, democrats prolonged the depression. Here the same thing applies. The last thing we need to do right now is raise taxes during the greatest recession this country has had in 5 decades. Agreed health care is a big issue to solve, but with over 14 million unemployed right now why do we have to drive the economy further into the ground? Simple. Because Obama knows that
    if he doesn't do it now, his political clout will evaporate with the next election cycle.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  279. Amber

    Are you people crazy? Why should someone who has worked extremely hard have to pay for people that don't even try to become participating members of this society? If I ever work my way up to making $5 million a year why would I ever want to spend $2.5 million on taxes?
    You people can't forget who contributes the most funds to charities, schools, and who goes and spends the most money to keep the service industry a float.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  280. Justin

    This is wrong. If I were making just above the threshold for the higher tax trigger, I'd figure out exactly when I would be $1000 under the trigger, and then I would stop working for a year. I'd get the month of December off, and would save wads of money on the tax. No American should be taxed near 50% of their income just to support a socialist health care system. In my opinion, everyone pays far to much in taxes already. Government needs to decrease spending. That is the only solution to just about every problem we have right now.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  281. Shaun

    Sure. The top 1% of wage earners only pay 40% of the taxes now. We 99% should make them pay ALL the taxes. And, of course, we should also legislate that they have to continue to work, create, take risk, be responsible, get up early and come home late, skip vacations, stay up at night worrying about making payroll, and hire the rest of us so we have jobs.

    Just like they do now.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  282. Kevin in Texas

    Darn right it is ok to soak the rich. How do you think they got rich in the first place ? They dont rip each other off. They rip the regular guys off and they have been doing for too long.

    Go Barack and let me know how I can help !

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  283. Steve San Antonio,Texas

    There is no easy choice... but,

    those making $5-10K a month (middle class) are financially worlds apart from those making $250K – $5MM.

    Jack cut to the chase. The real question is: Would you rather make $120K and pay what you currently pay in taxes or make $250K and pay your current taxes PLUS an additional $7K. IF someone has to pay... are you or anyone making over $250K suggesting it should be those making less than $250K.

    It should be a no-brainer! This is why the rich get a bad rap...

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  284. Jack Branson

    I'm rich. I'm nice. I didn't give people the shaft to get where I am. These hateful comments make me think y'all don't deserve my help. Tax me more? Okay, but I'll just terminate some employees to make up for it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  285. Jeff Jones from Atlanta, GA

    Is it fair that members of congress get excellent health coverage that they would deny to each of us to appease -rich- special interests including both organizations and individuals? It's time we came together as a country to have our taxes cover EVERYBODY, not just senators and representatives. Otherwise, its just a payoff to a select few.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  286. jim erickson

    It's a dead idea to continue to manage healthcare solely through employers as it was established in the 50s and 60s when employers could adjust pricing to cover the growing costs. Those days are long gone and all Americans deserve healthcare.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  287. Latrice

    What do we do when the rich after taxes can no longer to keep the middle class employed?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  288. Jacobs

    Hi Jack the Republicans voted against medicare,social security and see how much good its done for our veterans and older folks they are never on the side of history, our middle class was squeezed almost to death by the wealth aided by the Rpublicans....when they pay higher taxes they are just giving back what they ought not to have taken in the first place, thank you!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  289. Eric

    Yeah, tax the rich, then they will leave, so who you going to tax then.

    Too many people want free hand outs. Maybe people should not have 5 kids and work a minimum wage job. It is always, blame someone else, instead trying to help yourself. Rome burned, so will we.

    Tax the people that are out there working, and give it to the people at home sitting on the couch watching TV. Yep that will work.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  290. David

    Wealth results from different things-the social lottery (inheritance), genetic lottery (ability), hard-work, and luck. An individual's wealth–rich or poor–is a complex combination of these factors. To acknowledge that all of society creates the means for wealth, progressive taxation for the the wealthy can be justified. More importantly, health care for all is a human rights imperative-it is the right thing to do. We don't need to worry about the wealthy; they will be just fine.

    David from Wisconsin.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  291. HC

    From each according to their means, and to each according to their needs. I see this as especially appropriate when it comes to caring for the health and well-being of our nation's citizenry.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  292. Clay, Granby, CT

    I agree, if you earn x percent of GDP, you should pay x percent of taxes. But the income/tax disparity happended under Clinton. Look at the IRS data. Even with the Bush taxes cuts "for the rich," the disparity gap has narrowed. It is better today than when Clinton left office.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  293. CAA Dover, NH

    People making more than 500.000 per year have had it too good for the past couple of decades under the Republican aristocracy and "trickle down" economic policies assuming good times for the wealthy meant good times for all. What this painful economic downturn, largely at the hands of Wall Street investor greed, should tell us is how the wealthy aren't interested in social responsibility, but are more interested in how much of our nation's wealth can be concentrated in a few, priviledged hands.

    Do your research and you'll find the proportion of taxes paid by corporations and wealthy individuals compared with middle class citizens has dramatically dropped over the last twenty five to thirty years. A tax increase for those with wealthy resources to level the tax burden to all citizens is not automatically a disaster; but the failure to contain health care costs would guarantee one.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  294. Todd

    You know I would gladly switch places with someome making 450,000 a year and pay the higher taxes! Tell anyone out there that makes that much or more if they want to switch places with me I will. I make about 35,000 a year and thats because i het overtime. I have 4 kids to raise on this and I am sure they too would love for me to make 450,000 a year. Let me know if I have any takers you have my email address.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  295. Renee Schnetzer

    Fine/dock the pay of anyone who demands/takes more than they need. Period. This planet can't afford any more 'desires'.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  296. Gregg

    No. But at least lets call it what it is. . . wealth redistribution. Obama and the Dems say everybody has to contribute to the healthcare takeover, but that is not true. They only want the doctors and the rich to contribute. He is not asking anybody below $250K to contribute at all. At a minimum, how about everybody contributing something. At least, then, their could at least be the guise of fairness.

    Too bad for the doctors. They will take a 20% – 40% pay cut and will still pay higher taxes. What if they just say no! They are not indentured servants. What if they just so no, we will not provide our services at those prices. They should.

    When Obama talks about the insurance companies making too much money, he is really talking about the doctors and health care professionals making too much. How much are we talking about at the insurance company level, a few billion? He is looking to take hundreds of billions of dollars out of healthcare. That will come off the backs of the doctors and nurses and technologists.

    Obama wants doctors to make as much as teachers. He has been clear about that. Irrespective of the fact that doctors went to school for 6 – 8 years longer, paid their dues through residency and internship and have EARNED the right to make more money.

    Enough is enough!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |