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Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?
January 30th, 2012
03:22 PM ET

Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's proposed 30% tax on millionaires would only be a drop in the bucket when it comes to solving this nation's deepening financial crisis.

The White House isn't too interested in talking about the impact of the so-called Buffet rule.

And here's why: Tax experts suggest the additional tax on the wealthy would raise about $40 billion a year in revenue. That's less than 1% of what the government spent in 2011.

$40 billion is nothing compared to the more than $1 trillion annual deficits the Obama administration is running - or the national debt which now exceeds $15 trillion.

Republicans say the plan is nothing more than a political charade. One congressman tells Politico that the president wants to "pit one group against another so he can raise more money to spend on a bloated government."

In his State of the Union address, President Obama suggested it comes down to tax cuts for the wealthiest or investments in everything else, including funding for education, medical research and the military.

President Obama's senior strategist, David Axelrod, said on Meet the Press yesterday that in order to solve the deficit, "everyone's going to have to give a little and that includes people at the top." What about cutting spending or the size of government?

Meanwhile a new Gallup poll shows Americans are divided on whether our economic system is unfair. 49% agree with the president that it's unfair while 45% say it's fair. However, a majority - 62% - say the economic system is fair to them "personally."

This could make President Obama's re-election strategy of giving everyone a "fair shake" a tough sell if most Americans think the economic system is fair as is.

Here’s my question to you: Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Robert in Florida:
No Jack! It’s not a good idea. The mindless Kool-Aid drinkers and occupiers who haven’t got a clue are buying into Obama’s class warfare. The rich do pay their fair share and part of mine, along with 50% of other Americans who don’t really pay that much either. Let’s stop spending money on bailouts and Solyndras and other bad choices before we ask for more from others. To demonize the rich is only Obama’s attempt to distract from his failed policies.

Dan in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania:
A 30% tax on millionaires is not a good idea, it's a great idea. However, it should also be accompanied by removing most tax breaks and safe havens the very wealthy have wrangled into legislation through years of using the K Street gang. After many changes to tax laws that put a greater burden on the average tax-paying American, it would be unfair to just call it even and start with a flat tax.

Tom in Atlanta:
Jack, This administration just doesn't get it. They seem to think in the spirit of fairness everyone should be economically equal. They seem to ignore all the economic data that clearly shows that when we give incentives to those who employ others, everyone gains. What is "fair" is when you encourage me to employ people rather than causing me to slow down and lay them off in order to save the company and its investors. This administration is playing its reference to "unfair", "unfairly". It might work, but it is just plain stupid.

Bert in Los Angeles:
Hi Jack, A 30% tax on millionaires is a small step in the right direction and a step away from the Reaganomics fiasco which caused our economic mess. We need to take our country back by dumping those aristocratic ideas the same way we dumped its predecessor of untaxed and deregulated global corporate tea cargo into Boston Harbor.

Joe:
A drop in the bucket is still at least a drop.

Posted by
Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Randy

    No. They don't seem to mind spending billions to influence legislation that favor them in American politics (see mitt Romney and Sheldon adelson). I don't think it's unreasonable to tax them at a fifty percent rate with zero deductions so these "patriots" can show how much they love their country which supplied the infrastructure for them to make such obscene wealth.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  2. American in Valparaiso

    50% over $10 million, 90% over $100 million.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well, let's see. More Taxes on Millionaires, More unemployment, less taxes for the treasury, more people not working, more poverty, Less money to hand out, of course, Tax the Millionaires out of existance. Kill the Goose that laid the Golden Egg. Go for it.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  4. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Do you remember the parable about the widow's mite? Jesus believed the poor give too much. He believed the rich have as much chance getting into Heaven as a camel does getting through the eye of a needle.

    If you love Romney, you don't want him to burn in Hell. Support the Buffet tax correction and pray for Mitt's salvation. Maybe not the tax man's, but we're all equal in God's eyes.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: I am not a millionaire; therefore, my answer is worth as much as a grain of salt. Yes, I believe they should pay more in taxes, because the very rich have had a free ride while the rest of us have been living in a deep, deep recession. President George W. Bush taxcut have gone on for to long. The rich are not creating jobs, because they are getting richer while the rest of this nation sinks. Now, if you want to do something about the deficit, do away with all the taxcuts for everyone. Let everyone be mad equally.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  6. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    Jack, the top 10% of wage earners pay 70% of ALL taxes! So I would like to know when the 48% of all Americans who pay NOTHING in federal taxes are going to start paying THEIR FAIR SHARE??

    January 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Jane in CA

    It is better than what we have now. The US economy grew fastest when the top marginal rate was about 65%. That sounds like a better number to me. If you want to have an economy that produces jobs here, then the people here need to be able to pay for goods and services. How many homes can one Billionaire want? Not nearly as many as a few hundred working-class families. Assuming that they are paid enough to actually afford one. That isn't going to happen so long as 99% of the profit goes to a handful of men at the top. If working people were paid more, they would pick up a larger share of the tax burden too.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Thomas, US Army Retired Vietnam Vet., Chicago, IL

    It sound unfair however the bible states "to those whom much is given, much is also expected." So, I am sorry that they are so much welthier than I and have to pay more. I will pray for them as I eat my bread and water. I will pray that they too will be poor as dirt and blessed with not having to pay taxes anymore.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  9. Russ in PA

    More nonsense from our government. It's interesting that so many people complain about the disparity of incomes over the past 30 or 40 years, which happens to coincide with Nixon taking the dollar completely off the gold standard, allowing the Federal Reserve and politicians to run rough shod over the dollar, expand crony-capitalism, and spend us into oblivion. End the FED, and get government out of attempting to manage our economy, and we will all be better off.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    January 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  10. RickFromDetroit

    NO! They should pay 40%!

    January 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  11. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    No !!! I do not think we should have a fixed tax on any specific group.I think each and every person should pay something even if its 10 dollars.You simply can not run a country with 50% of its people not paying tax,CAN NOT DO IT.
    Solution is simple:Really good fair tax reform for everyone no loops no special deals for the rich no nothing.EXAMPLE:
    Government employees owe 4 billion in back taxes.............COLLECT IT!!! TODAY.With good fair reform you'd have plenty of money including the millionaires paying plenty.Congress needs to act which they seem to love not to do.THUS
    OUR COUNTRIE'S MESS.
    David

    January 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Simon/Orlando

    It's not going to make any difference. With all the loopholes and deductions in our current tax codes they will not pay that much more. People in that tax bracket don't pay taxes...they pay accountants. We need to move to a flat tax and eliminate deductions. Now that's fair!

    January 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  13. Bill of New Mexico

    If Congress and the President want to have their wars and a huge military, then up the taxes on millionaires–period.

    If they do not want millionaires to pay taxes–then get every soldier back on U.S. soil, shut down 3/4 of the military bases,
    and cancel the construction of the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford!

    January 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  14. Kenneth in California

    A 16 trillion dollar debt and trillions in taxes spent on defense, entitlements, state grants, pork barrel, and a list almost infinite has gone into the pockets of most American’s. The wealthy gathered the lion’s share of those dollars. Trillions made it possible the entrepreneurship so many profited by, and just look at the profits made on Wall Street.
    Hell yes, tax them, it is time to give back a little. The sinking middle class and poor sure can’t. It is possible the rich are the only ones that can save the Union. Those who don't care to, may have their jets and yachts gassed up and ready to leave the country for more profitable places.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  15. Richard Texas

    Jack i think all people should be taxed equally regardless of their income level, That being said i also think that ALL people should pay the taxes that they owe on time. Federal employees and the Obama administration should pay their 2 billion dollars worth of back taxes. That would throw some cash into the mix. It is hard to take Obmaa and his ideas seriously if they only apply to the wealthy with the exception of his staff and government employees.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  16. JD in NH

    Absolutely. If people want the country to get out of debt it won't be possible just screwing over Grandma and trying to wring tax dollars out of people who can barely make the rent. Take Mr. Romney, for example. He makes approximately $60,000 a day. A DAY! Would his life change drastically if he made only $40,000 a day? I don't think so.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: For the millionaries---the answer is NO! And I can assure you if this passes---the millionaries will find a tax loop as to not pay-–Did you see the 13 tax tips that Romney and Newt Leroy posted on the website/-–taxation is not the answer--the government needs to control the spending-–can't penalize the rich for being rich--since they are the individuals who run the country.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  18. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    Of course it is a good idea, but it can't stop there. The payroll tax has to be reinstituted as it was prior to last year. The corporate loopholes must be closed. Cayman Island accounts must be taxed. The country has to get serious about its debt. Everyone working or making profits in any way must pay a decent share.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Mel - Houston

    It's a great idea for millionaires, however, someone is going to have to make up the difference. Jack, do you want to step up and pay their share. I didn't think so.
    Since these millionaires are supposed to be the job creators tax them at 38% and offer them a 10 dollar deduction for every job they create. Just as a little payback make the paperwork so arduous that they will decline the offer.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  20. Ron WPAFB

    If it means kids get to go to college on loans that won't hurt them, if it means the elderly don't have to choose between rent and their medicine, if it means more police on the streets and firefighters don't loose their jobs, if it means 9 million children won't have their newly found Health Insurance take away, then Yes, Jack!
    “GOP has no plan except get Obama out. How do christians cut Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security and Education. Is that what Christ would do, NO! Then Why does the Moral Majority, the Religious Right, the Republican­s do this and help Big Business get richer by shielding their tax break and yet not vote for the working class tax cut? They are money worshipers, power mongers!
    2nd Corinthian­s 10
    And with all deceivable­ness of unrighteou­sness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteou­sness.
    False Prophets!”

    January 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  21. Brad, Portland, OR

    Absolutely. The wealthy have so many loopholes that you have people like Romney with 20-some-odd million dollars in income paid a 13.9% rate, when regular people pay somewhere around 30% of their incomes.

    And when we have such a huge budget deficit, letting the people who can most easily help close the gap skate on their obligations makes no sense at all.

    All these loopholes may be technically legal, but they're immoral. There should be a floor on how little the wealthy can pay in taxes, and that floor should be the same percentage that the average person has to pay.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  22. Ed from California

    If it's good enough for the rest of us....it's good enough for the, "Job Creators". Where are the jobs??

    January 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  23. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, a 30% tax on millionaires is a small step in the right direction and a step away from the Reaganomics fiasco which caused our economic mess. We need to take our country back by dumping those aristocratic ideas the same way we dumped its predecessor of untaxed and deregulated global corporate tea cargo into Boston Harbor; it’s the American Revolutionary thing to do!

    January 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  24. andy

    yes it is a good idea. 8 years under george bush millionaries and corporation were given more tax breaks then the preivious 4 presidents which did nothing to stimulate the economy. why jack when millionaires and billionaires are given tax breaks it is not considered class warefare but you say to raise taxes its class warfare.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    A 30% tax on Millionaires is not a good idea, it's a great idea. However, it should also be accompanied by removing most tax breaks and safe havens the very wealthy have wrangled into legislation through years of using the K Street gang. After many changes to tax laws that put a greater burden on the averge tax paying American, it would be unfair to just call it even and start with a flat tax. I sure miss income averaging, deductons for credit card interest and interest deductions from car payments. The list goes on as the breaks for the wealthy increase.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  26. David of Alexandria VA

    Jack - the CBO published a report that the average 1% already pays 29.5% in federal taxes. That's twice the rate of the middle class. So, Obama is making all this fuss over a rounding error? I guess he forgot to mention this in his speech. So much for transparency in leadership.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  27. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    30% seems reasonable. Bush weighed the rest of the country down with his tax cuts for the rich almost doubling the actual debt during his 8 years. The tax rate was much higher than 30% under Nixon. It's not as if Obama would lose votes with a 30% rate on the rich, they didn't, and won't vote, for him anyway a side from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Buffett is known for stating his secretary pays a higher tax rate than himself.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  28. marcy from florida

    I think there should be a 50% tax on millionaires.
    Then if these millionaires create jobs we
    can then bring their taxes down to 30%.
    I also think there should be a 50% tax on these
    obscene bonuses tat Wall Street and the banks
    pay out. Anyone caught fixing the books should
    go to prison for life. Freddie Mac was caught
    betting against people getting lower mortgages,
    and it is said this is legal. What kind of people
    have we turned into. This is very ugly.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  29. Jenna Roseville CA

    Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?

    Jack, the tax rate was much higher under Ronald Reagan and since he was the KING of the GOP then they should be falling all over themselves to do as he would have wanted.. especially since the evoke him all the time..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  30. Ray in Knoxville

    It's a start, Jack, but not a total solution. Part of our huge debt problem now is that the Bush tax cuts reduced the revenue that our government has taken in over the years. This tax increase, along with revenues from a recovering economy will begin to pay down our dept. The next step will be to end the tax breaks for corporations, unless they are creating jobs here in America. Then we can make common sense cuts in spending that don't endanger our environment, senior citizens or truly needy.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  31. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    If only someone would step up and say "our tax system is the root cause", not the millionaires being taxed. Our politicians supply the loopholes and smart CPA's and business people use them to the utmost. It is our current method of how people get taxed, not those who earn the money to pay taxes. When will we ever learn

    January 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  32. older than dirt

    Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?

    Yes. We should also end welfare for the businesses and end Bush tax cuts for everyone.We need to learn that if we demand services from the government they must be paid for it. If we don't want the services cancel the programs. It's. really not that hard. spend what you have and pay down your debt.

    This is not a Republican idea or a Democrat Idea it's just common sense.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  33. Joe

    A drop in the bucket is still at least a drop.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  34. rex in portland, oregon

    Where are you from, Jack, that $40B means nothing?

    The thing is: money sent to Washington does not stay in Washington. Money sent to the rich stays with the rich. It is this circulation of wealth that drives the economy. If it takes governmental action to get the money circulating, then by all means, let the government do it. It is obvious that the wealthy are not trickling it down as reaganists contend.

    And, Jack, please STOP pretending that the size of government is the source of all troubles. There is a function that the people (the government) should have. One of those functions should be to control the economy so that all people benefit from it. You keep preaching "leave it ALL up to the monied people – they know best" and that is a false message. Governmental spending IS NOT THE ECONOMY, just a very small part it. If we do not finance the people doing what they decide is right we are right back to feudalism.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  35. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    30% is a rediculous thought. Everyone should pay a flat tax of 15%.. Remove all deductions, exemption and credit to special interest. Raising anyones tax gives more money to government and does nothing to restructure the balance of wealth or support a strong middle class.Tax all PAC Money and political donations.the same 15%.. Buying an election should not be tax free

    January 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  36. Greg in Arkansas

    I think it is a GREAT idea, but not for the purpose of raising tax revenue. Instead of wealthy business owners sucking the profits from their companies in the form of high salaries and bonuses at reduced tax rates, they could re-invest those dollars into their business by expanding, remodeling, repairing, re-tooling and modernizing to compete with other countries. Money that is currently sitting stagnant in their bank account would be pumped back into the economy, create jobs AND make their business worth more.....everyone wins.....just might take a little longer for the rich folks to reap the rewards......

    January 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  37. Doug Ericson

    No income tax on earnings period. All that got us was a Government so big, all it wants to do is protect itself. Reduce Government spending by 20% every year untill there is no national debt. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  38. Andre R. Newcomb

    No. What's their take-home pay? And just what did they do (if anything) for the money they have? And these things of deductibles (and there are many of them)?, who covers the make-up burden in the tax rolls? It's snow for amateurs to give them permission to take off with the money. Just like when a person does some complaining about terms of endearment in our society . . . and 'the guilty' (who has yet to be detected) says to the complainer, "Is that right?" The complainer thinks that the question is a 'fact-check' - but the questioner is ACTUALLY seeking an affirmation that such things are OK because the complainer JUST said "That's right!" . . . as opposed to being illegal. Things are actually that twisted in America. The police go by the letter of the law. People get screwed and the hogs are in heaven. America.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  39. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    $40 Billion a year more is nothing to sneeze at. Sure, it would be nice if the fantasy of a trickle down theory really worked, and it would be nice if there were such a thing as job creators. But so far, as the wealthy have benefitted, they have not shown any interest in creating anything other than minimum wage and part time jobs here in the USA. Everything they do goes to China or India or Mexico.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  40. Gerard Luimes

    I'd rather see a measely $40 billion revenue from taxes then to hear the tired mantra of "cut.Cut,CUT ! So long as NOBODy in power is willing to talk seriously about a realisticillaly revamped tax structure, it is clear that the nation cannot recover from the present impasse and impoverishment.
    gerry at Edmonton,Can.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  41. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it is a great idea. Jack I am willing to tighten my belt and pay more taxes, but only if the 1% pays their fair share. When I hear a presidential candidate making $56,000 a day and he says his 15% taxes are fair, makes me sick to my stomach. I think what the majority of us are mad about, is people not paying their fair share. The majority of us do not have Swiss bank accounts or offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. All we want is for tax loopholes be stopped and everyone contributed to paying off the debt. Try getting that bill passed by the Republicans in the House and Senate and see how far you get.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  42. MNResident

    It's a "FEEL" good idea, which is why it is popular with the masses. However, given the ways the rich can hide their money and the way the REAL government problem (overspending) is not being dealt with, it won't solve anything, and will just leave us back discussing the issue in the NEXT election cycle......

    January 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  43. Tyler

    30% tax on the rich? Washinton can't agree on anything. The hostility will remain until AMERICAN citizens return to the poll. If we were wise based on what we know now. Its not so much of a Presidential Election year as it is a New House of Representatives year for me. We have learned that we can not have a split in the House and Senate as majorities.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  44. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    have to start somewhere, Jack, although I would rather see us just go back to the Clinton tax rates esp for so called "investment income". WHY should people that WORK for WAGES pay a higher income tax rate than "coupon clippers" like Mitt Romney? I also think it's fair to have a 2% or 3% surcharge on income OVER one milliion. I would sure happy to pay that on any earnings I was making over one million.

    and how about an "alternative minimum tax" for Corporations? WHY should the likes of General Electric not only pay NO tax BUT also get money BACK from the federal govenment?

    January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  45. Phyllis G. Williams

    Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?

    They have nothing to lose, because "For whosoever hath, to him
    shall be given, and he shall have more abundance" (Matthew 13: 12).
    This tax would cover the unpayable bills of the indigent and enable them
    to become useful citizens.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  46. Arlene, Roselle, Illinois

    The 30 % sounds good to me , but then again I'm on Social Security so how would I know anything
    about Millionaires.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  47. Jk from Minnesota

    You have to ask? absolutely!

    January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  48. Cy Gardner

    Rich people can always explain why its a bad idea to take the shaft out of my butt. cy from arlington, va

    January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  49. Charles - San Antonio

    Yes. And I believe people who earn less than $50,000 should not pay any federal income tax at all. The republicans talk about lower taxes on "job creators". However, imagine the economic benefit if lower income individuals paid no taxes. This would help alleviate some of the "fairness" issues as well as provide significant benefit to job creators because lower income earners tend to actually spend a much larger portion of thier discreationary income on goods and services provided by the job creators. Everyone would benefit.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  50. Daniel Solina

    The best plan would be Ron Paul in the White House.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  51. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    Raising taxes, especially on millionaires & billionaires, is one way to start cutting down the deficit. The others are cutting the waste in Washington. A balanced approach is needed, but the people (and companies) who have gotten preferential treatment the last 10 years. We ALL need to share in the pain.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  52. René

    This is not the solution to the problems of the US. The US national debt is as big as the US GDP and the trade deficit with China has become enormous, Structural economic reforms are essential to solve this problem. America consumes a lot but doesn't produce as much as they should to finance American consumerbehavior. Growing unemployment and poverty because of outsourcing makes it almost impossible to uphold this consumerbehviour. Then again, policymakers should be aware of to much protecionism.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  53. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    Jack, the entire tax system has been ‘gamed’ by both parties for the gain of a small percentage of the population while the rest of this country’s inhabitants are slowly sliding into an economic abyss. It doesn’t matter if the tax rate is 30% or 90%, these millionaires are going to beat it through their K-Street connections. You know, the same K-Street who writes almost all of the bills now passed through the halls of Congress by BOTH PARTIES. As history has shown numerous times, a Plutocracy will lead to only one final conclusion, and we are all living today in the United Plutocracy of Empire America. The two parties who have sold out most Americans for GREED and POWER have done a fine job in hypnotizing the sheep, but some of us no longer buy any of what they are selling. The great experiment of a democratic republic based on capitalism has failed, and we will most likely see another American Revolution right after the coming Depression.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  54. Jim Thomas

    A very good flat tax would be the way to go but the rich will queer that as they could not have the chance to deduct everything they do now. Our crooks in D.C. have just about eliminated the middle class but that will be the downfall of our country.Ron Paul is the person to be elected period>VOTE ALL INCUMBANTS MUST GO.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  55. Eric

    Unlikely, mostly because it hasn't been clearly thought through. The current tax system is as complicated as it is because at least partially the government has tired to use it to induce behavior on particular groups. Invest in municipal bonds and their interest is tax free, keep an investment for more than a particular period and its increase in value get a lower tax, etc. There are now so many inducements, sweet heart deals and conflicts that it is hard for anyone to argue that it is either fair or effective. That said adding yet another quick bandaid is just plain stupid policy albeit perhaps good politics. The only sensible thing to do is to start from scratch, though that would mean that we would have to agree what the definition of fairness is and that would likely be a disaster for politicians of both parties and their fund raising efforts.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  56. Cy Gardner

    How come 40 billion dollars isn't such a big deal if it is coming from millionaires? The same people will tell you that school lunches for poor kids, student loans, medical care for the poor and unemployment checks for the laid off are all sacrifices that must be made to save less money than forty billion dollars and we have to make those sacrifices or the republic will fall and apocolypse ensue. These are just rationalizations for more greed and unfairness. cy from arlington, va

    January 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  57. Tom (Atlanta)

    Jack, this administration just doesn't get it. They seem to think in the spirit of fairness everyone to be economically equal. They seem to ignore all the economic data that clearly shows that when we give incentives to those who employ others everyone gains. Raising the tax rate to 30% for the upper 1% a) will not generate enough revenue to make a significant difference, and b) as history has taught us drives corporate investment south further shrinking the economy and the federal income. What is "fair" is when you encourage me to employ people rather than causing me to slow down and lay them off in order to save the company and its investors. This administration is playing it reference to "unfair", "unfairly". They are using "unfair" as a rallying cry "to arms" in Berlin Wall-style. It might work, but it is just plain stupid.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  58. Peter from Albuquerque

    It is a great idea, but it's not enough! We need to start off taxing the rich now. They can afford to pay their bills are are obviously suffering the least from the economic crisis. During this time, find ways to cut spending, and fine all of the financial institutions and their CEO"s etc. and put all the money collected towards the national debt. Then, finally, after a few years, repeal all of the Bush tax cuts! This will dramatically change our debt problem.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  59. Mr D

    I guess it's a good idea if you want to make "political hay" with the masses in an election year. Anything for a vote.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  60. Fred Colby

    Jack, You say the tax would be only a drop in the bucket. But, get enough drops and the bucket is full.
    Also, how about a "war user fee" on everyone who supported the Iraq invasion but didn't want to pay for it?

    Fred. Menominee, MI...Dah U-P

    January 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  61. Richard

    Albany, NY If done along with the $4 Trillion in cuts to government spending the president has already proposed, YES. The point is that this Congress is committed NOT to agree with anything. They've passed 83 bills in this session of Congress....one of the lowest numbers of legislation in history. Why? Because the status quo is good for all those rich people and special interests that have it all right now. Obama is right, this economy is grossly unfair and the 99% are on their way to fixing it. Stand back and watch.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  62. Steve

    Obama has no clue what taxing the rich means. It's all smoke and mirrors to get all the poor voters to vote for him, and there is a lot of them. He needs to get ACORN back to register those poor ignorant voters, he's going to need them in November.
    The Liberal smoking news analysts aren't impressive anymore. The smart voters have them figured out. They are just keeping quite, waiting for November. November comes Obama is gone.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  63. Deb in MT

    It's a start, Jack. What we need to do is go back to the Eisenhower (R) era where tax rates on the uber-wealthy were much, much higher: the rates had to be high to pay off the huge deficit from WW II. Deficit aside, we had a booming economy with infrastructure investment then, and one wage earner could support a family, buy a home, and send the kids to college.

    Of course, if the so-called "job creators" would actually use their abundant wealth to create jobs–instead of padding their Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts (I'm looking at you, Mitt Romney)–we'd see even more revenue from existing tax rates on all the newly employed to help pay down the debt and the deficit.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  64. Robert Florida

    No Jack! It’s not a good idea. The mindless kool-aid drinkers and occupiers who haven’t got a clue are buying into Obama’s class warfare. The rich do pay their fare share and part of mine along with 50% of other Americans as well who don’t really pay that much either. Let’s stop spending money on bailouts and Solyndras and other bad choices before we ask for more from others. To demonize the rich is only Obama’s attempt to distract from his failed policies. If we raise the rates now and still do nothing about spending we’ll just be going back and asking for 40% next time and then where does it stop. Note: Warren Buffett paid more in taxes in one year than his secretary earns in five years.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  65. Barbara Leavitt

    How is making more than 99% of the rest of Americans fair to pay less tax? It is insane. It simply should be FAIR to
    all, not just a few. I also notice the Republicans have stopped using their 'shared sacrifice' term......guess they got worried the rest of us would actually believe them. It's disgusting what has happened to our country because of greed.
    Henderson NV

    January 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  66. John

    Jack, simply NO!

    Tax policy should be simple. All income is equal meaning no special rates for each type of income, top rate is 25% bottom rate is 5% and scale it up between 5-25%. The only deductions a person would get would be for charity, kids, education and your primary home. The rest of the tax code would be thrown away.

    Next, the government needs to reverse 25 years of growth done by both parties. We don't need 4 different agencies and 10 different departments to look at foreign trade. We also need to stop policing the world. We really don't need every single base in all 140 countries do we?

    But the one key part of all of this is pinned on a return of the idea of America first and American citizens first. Companies, government, our elected officials and a large part of the population has abandoned this idea. We need to return to this or we are just spinning our wheels talking about taxes and government.

    John
    San Jose, CA

    January 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  67. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Rather than do this as some sort of alternative minimum tax, a 30% tax on millionaires should be part of raising the dividend and capital gains tax rates to 25%, while the income cap on Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance contributions is removed and non-wage income is added to the base. This will not only save Social Security, but it will raise the overall tax rate well above 30% for millionaires and solve a bit more than 1% of our fiscal shortfall.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  68. Al

    Compared to what? How about a one confiscation using eminent domain of property above some amount per person to pay off the national debt? Where do you think the break point is – maybe wealth over $25,000,000? It is a zero tax and yet solves fiscal problems.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  69. Libby23

    No graduated tax rate is "fair" – period. And of course this "taxing millionaires" rhetoric (like being a millionaire is a 'sin' to be taxed like cigarettes and alcohol) is political BS 'campaign lying', blowing smoke and pandering to his base, not intending to ever quit adding to the already unsustainable and security threatening national debt, counting on his supporters to engage in on-set memory loss and forget the long list of his broken promises and the theft of their most precious civil right, those being their right to Privacy, Property, Freedom, and the Pursuit of Happiness. CUT the budget $1 TRILLION, STRENGTHEN National Defense, cut WASTE from 'military' spending, and balance the budget in three years by going back to 2006 Budgets, no more unConstitutional wars, restore your already lost Civil Rights. President Ron Paul 2012...

    January 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  70. Pete from Georgia

    Bad idea.
    The More a misunderstanding Government taxes wealth the more that wealth will find friendlier pastures in which to flourish. There's a big world out there but our clueless administration thinks you can only invest and make money in America.
    Huge mistake.
    If an intelligent adminstration were to come along and with leadership drastically change our ridiculous stifiling tax codes, the wealthy industrial leaders would bring their money home, create tons of jobs, and unemployment would be history....................a thing of the past.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  71. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I think we ought to go back to the Eisenhower rates for millionaires. Screw the small stuff.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  72. Greg Turman

    Jack;

    In 2010 the dem whitehouse, along with dem majority senate & house, voted to extend the Bush tax cuts thru 2012. After the upcoming election we are ALL going to get a tax increase.

    After loosing $$billions on $31,000 home solar panels and $43,000 GM Volt (4) door golf carts, the government needs more cash to double down on growing horse apples on Mars.

    It's time to go back to Kansas Toto !
    Gregory Turman
    Noonday, Texas

    January 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  73. Josh from New Orleans

    Tax the millionaires, they can afford it. Everyone else cannot.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  74. David

    Jack, the entire premise of your question is misleading. It's not a "30% tax on millionaires", it's a tax to ensure that the minimum tax they pay is 30%. If they're already paying that amount, they have no additional tax...... it's designed for those who use loopholes to pay significantly less. But I suspect you knew that already.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  75. Mark

    Of course not, Jack. The President is just playing into the current zeitgeist of "inequality". If the economy were better, no one would be having this discussion. Everyone wishes they, too, were one of the "fat cats". But the system no longer rewards people the way it once did. Manufacturing and hard work used to be the engine of prosperity; now most of the profitable companies are those that just move money around. If you don't already have money, it's hard to make any. Inequality exists, but it's systemic, and difficult to address. Taking more from the rich solves nothing.

    Mark
    Tempe,AZ

    January 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  76. Brandon from Denver

    I couldn't help but chuckle when you dismissed the $40 billion in revenue as a drop in the bucket. When viewed in comparison to the current alternatives being presented such as eliminating the capital gains tax, which would cost us well over $100 billion annually and increased military spending, which is already in excess of $1 trillion annually, I'd say it's a step in the right direction. There will be no silver bullet and if we can't see that the solution to this problem is the cumulative effect of numerous changes, we're destined to fail.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  77. Larry in Houston

    After reading your article, I would sat that you're spot on. 40 Billion isn't anything, especially when the interest alone is somewhere around 10 billion a day – if it's not, it Will Be in another year or so. According to your article – I would say that I'm one of the 62% – To be perfectly honest, even though I'm voting democrat, I'm not in love with President Obama, believe me. There's nobody on the other side, that I would remotely vote for, especially the way they've been carrying on. It's too bad somebody else isn't going to run against President Obama. I would Vote for he or she in a heartbeat, Jack. After hearing what John McCain said yesterday morning on meet the press – He sent Gingrich such a blistering attack, in his first 5 minutes of the program.

    Larry in Houston

    January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  78. Ed from MD

    It's smarter than trying to tax poor people since poor people are generally poor and have nothing to tax.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  79. Pat in Michigan

    How about this idea 30% tax on everyone no deductions for anything.How much would that raise?One last thing. no more foreign aid.do they love us for our money or our ideals?

    January 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  80. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't think 30% is enough. A person making $200,000 a year pays 35%, Mitt Romney makes over $20 Million a year, and pays less than 14%. And this has been going on for more than 10 years now thanks to Bush and the GOP's failed tricked on economic policies. Where are all those jobs Americans were promised? Add to that the more you make the more benefits you get to enjoy, including offshoring your money, and there you go. 30% isn't nearly enough. And Jack, it seems a little unfair to compare what was spent in 2011, when we have now seen an end to the Iraq war?

    January 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  81. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack, we are in deep doo-doo and while this would only be a "drop in the bucket", it would be a start, but you're asking the wrong guy because I'm not a millionaire; however the millionaires that I do know, think its a great idea, like another time in our history when we were facing deep doo-doo, world war two and we were all asked to help out anyway we can, however that was a time when the country had a sense of community and those days are gone, it now feels like everyone in this great country is out for themselves and only themselves, sad, world war two wasn't that long ago.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  82. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It’s a terrible idea. It needs to be closer to 80-90% as it was during the Eisenhower years. Everyone prospered then. And as far as “everyone” having “to give a little” goes. Nuts to that. We in the middle class have been giving through the nose for the last couple of decades. That’s partly why we are in this mess. Like it or not, trickle down does not work, has not worked and can never work. The only thing that works is trickle up. Instead of bailouts and bonuses to the banks and the crooks on Wall Street, the trillions should have gone directly to us as the people who spend money. That way the billionaires and big business get it anyway, but it does a lot of good on the way up. It is time to give something back to us and get the wealthy to pair their share before we have a chance of getting back on our feet as a nation and as the middle class. I would have been happy to pay only 30% when I was a poor working middle class slob. Then I only got to keep 50%. What are they complaining about.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  83. Cy Gardner

    If you take 30% of my salary, that wouldn't pay Sarah Palin's bills at the Wasilla Haircuttery for six months. But the government isn't worried about my contribution being only a drop in the bucket. If they give me that money back, I will spend it on food, rent and the increase in my alcohol consumption caused by the 21st century. The millionaires take their tax break and send it to the Cayman Islands. At least my drop goes into an AMERICAN bucket. cy from arlington, va

    January 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  84. bob z. from pa.

    it's not a tax just on millionares but small buss tht 250 000 yr. obama says one thing but is something else

    January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  85. Loren

    Typical Washington BS, do the PR stunt, while ignoring the underlying problem. While I never expect to be a millionaire, I also understand our tax code and all the little loopholes that the Democrats and Republicans have put in there to benefit their friends. Cut the crap. FIX THE TAX CODE, then we can talk.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  86. Pete from Florida

    No, I think we need to go back to post-WWII days and have about a 90% tax on millionaires. Polls overwhekmingly support raising taxes on the rich, and whether it's just a drop in the bucket or not, every little bit helps. And if a drop-in-the-bucket is so meaningless, why do Republicans bother cutting 100 million here, 300 million there, etc? The rich have been getting a free ride for the past ten years, and all that excess cash in their pockets did NOT produce jobs. The only thing that "trickled down" were demands for even more tax cuts.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  87. Chanel

    Yes 30% on millionaires tax is a Good idea if the Poor Can Afford to Pay 35% to 38% They Cant Cry About 30% .These People Make 250k+ At the End of the Day they Still Remain Millionaires and they Still Have Money . . .

    January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  88. Hongli

    It might not sound like a lot but it's a good starting base.Let's remember the Republicans are not interested in this subject at all so let it be . The so-called "MIDDLE-CLASS" has carried the burben far too long.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  89. chris

    oh great more money for govtwaste away on t some pork project or stimulas money on another failed company like slyndrao

    January 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  90. Hongli From Tor.Cda

    It might not sound like a lot but it's a good starting base.Let's remember the Republicans are not interested in this subject at all so let it be . The so-called "MIDDLE-CLASS" has carried the burden far too long.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  91. BILL, WI

    Tax the 1 Percenters! This is nothing but a meaningless, hollow soundbite from politicians who have no idea how to solve a serious problem. 40 Billion dollars is only about 8% of whats needed to pay the interest payments on the national debt. And this administration wants to increase the borrowing limit, thereby increasing the deficit, to help pay the interest payments on the debt.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  92. Gigi Oregon

    You show me one of the 99% citizens who think the rich shouldn't pay at least that amount and I will show you a very stupid and naive person. If the goal is to be the strongest peace building country on earth, the top 1% need to be in the game... Is 30% enough to pay... We are middle class and pay over that now. I believe we have sacrificed more for our Country, than any of the 1% at the top. To the God the Republicans demand we say "God Bless America" should know the importance of the story of the "widows 2 pennies" in the Christian scriptures. It's the sacrifice not the dollar amount that shows our support and love of country as well as our obedience to God.

    In Answer to your question Yes, and if the "rich" want to be blessed they should sell and give it all. But as in the scriptures and the story of the rich young ruler...many won't and will become sorrowful and let moths and rust decay there fortunes. So for all my republican friends "In God I trust" and will pay my taxes.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  93. Nate NC

    A 30% tax on millionaires is a band-aid to the root problem of government misappropriation of funds. It's like standing in a BATHROOM using a KITCHEN POT instead of the functional tiolet. (Talk about a drop in the bucket).

    January 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  94. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Politics is still perceptions and the Obama administration wants to make people think that taxing the wealthy is the way to be fair and pay down the debt. We need someone to step in and take control of all areas, taxes, spending and deficit reduction and I don't believe that anyone will do the tough things like cut defense by 40%, SS changes to the age and eliminate medicare fraud.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  95. Al in Delaware

    All you are doing is parroting Republican talking points. As usual you twist the facts to back up your biased concluions. You didn't ask whether people thought the system was fair to them personally. You conveniently ignore polls that show an overwhelming number of people in all demographic groups favor the rich paying more in taxes, which is the original question you posed. If public opinion was not in tune with his position Obama would not be proposing it in an election year. GOP candidates might be that stupid but Obama is not.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  96. Chanel

    it Addition What Makes them Better Then us That they don't have to pay the Same Tax rate as Us ?

    January 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  97. Frances

    Absolutely Yes! Why it was ever lowered is beyond any rational reason. Let's get back to the tax rates under Kennedy and Clinton. It is amazing how so many super rich people don't want to pay their fair share. When I hear people say, well they pay most of the taxes, I think they are listening to the politicians who are given millions in donations to say that. The rich HAVE most of the money. The wealthiest Americans pay a much lower percentage in taxes, and that is what counts.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  98. Ann from Charleston SC

    Psychologically a 30% tax on millionaires may be a good idea. The 99% feel that millionaires are getting richer at their expense. The millionaires have tax lawyers who know how to work the system, so the rich end up getting advantages the rest of us do not have. To me the better idea is to do away with deductions, loopholes and all means of weasling out of paying taxes and make everyone pay what they owe. I think Obama is intelligent enough to know that taxing the wealthy at 30% won't raise that much money – I'm not sure what he has in mind.

    You quoted President Obama's senior strategist, David Axelrod, who said on Meet the Press yesterday that in order to solve the deficit, "everyone's going to have to give a little and that includes people at the top." What about cutting spending or the size of government? Doesn't the word "everyone" include those who would lose the benefit of the spending and government employees who would lose their jobs if the size of government were reduced?

    January 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  99. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Millionaires didn't become millionaires without knowing how to protect their money and a 30% taxation won't stop them now. The idea they need our help to protect their money is absurb.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  100. TomInRochNY

    I'll agree to not raise their taxes if they agree to actually create enough well paying jobs for the rest of us to have a decent living. Yeah, I didn't think they'd go for that either.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    January 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  101. confused

    I can't understand how a "good" Christian millionaire can say its okay for him to pay less than 15% income tax because that's all the law requires. Am I to be believe that's this is what JWD? Did not Jesus tell his flock to feed the hungery, aid the sick, love thy enemies, follow the Golden Rule? I am not pro-abortion, but I have to ask myself if it wouldn't it be kinder to end a fetus's life before birth, than to let it starve, die from disease, or live in poverty the rest of its life due to lack of education? Don't tell me it doesn't happen. And many churches send more aid to foreign countries than taking care of their own flocks and/or spend huge amounts on the facades of their buildings. Are there more souls saved in these crystal palaces than old clapboard buildings? I remain confused.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  102. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    Capital gains and distributions should have a similar progressivity as personal income. If the first 100,000 was taxed at 15%, up to 250,000 at 20%, to 500,000 at 25%, to 1,000,000 @ 30%, and higher than 1,000,000 @ 35% – a millionaire would pay 25.75%, and Mitt Romney's 21,000,000 dollars in income would be taxed @ 34.5%
    The more you make, the more you pay. Once upon a time, wasn't that the America we all knew ?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  103. David Doherty

    Yes it's fair, I am so sick of hearing every time that someone comes up with something that will start turning our financial situation around, somebody will say that's just a drop in the bucket. Well until a 40 ton, solid gold meteorite lands on the white house lawn, we'll have to start with drops in buckets, many many drops. Like the proverb says, every long journey starts with the first step.
    Dave from NH.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  104. Mike S., New Orleans

    I don't know if 30% is the right tax rate for the wealthy, but I think it's important to remember that a Republican majority voted for expiration dates on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Now they've backpedaled because they got so much wealthier under Bush, so they don't bring that fact up. The truth is, these so-called job creators haven't created any jobs, so give the tax cuts back, and pay your fair share, regardless of its impact on the deficit.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  105. Annie, Atlanta

    Ray E (Georgia), I just can't hold back anymore. Seriously, man, more unemployment if you tax millionaires? How then do you explain the economy falling off the cliff and all those job losses (at one point over 800,000 per month) with all those extra special tax breaks in place. This is just sad, such stunning ignorance that is, and the need to share it with the rest of the country to boot.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  106. Jeff In Minnesota

    We dug a hole and we need to now fill it in. It may be a drop in the bucket to some, but something is better than nothing. It is all about perception that the wealthy just keep getting wealthy at the expense of the rest of society. And for what? We are told that tax cuts for the wealthy will stimulate the economy. Well, the wealthy have had tax cuts for quite a while so where are they stimulating the economy? Most of America doesn't see anything stimulating the economy, but according to reports, the wealthy just go on getting wealthier by the minute while the rest of America goes without and that is the thing that gets most people riled up.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  107. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    If the government was to find and remove all the inefficiencies, you know the $200 toilet seats, the hundred dollar wrench;and if we raise taxes on everyone proportionally, then have our politicians focus on competent spending, then the tax increases would be temporary until the national debt is drastically paid down, and taxes would be drastically lower for everyone there after.

    But then we are dealing with politicians making this nothing more than a fairy tale.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  108. Brad, Portland, OR

    The top marginal tax rates during the prosperous 1950s and 1960s were over 90%, and rich people didn't leave the country, and CEOs didn't decide to shut down their companies and become manual laborers so they didn't have to pay taxes at a high marginal rate.

    Looking at history will disprove the supply-sider's apocalyptic predictions. What they say will happen just didn't happen when similar policies were in effect.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  109. andy Lynn, MA

    It's a great idea, Jack. And oh by the way, I really don't want to hear any Republican propaganda about taxing the job creators. If they really are job creators; where are the jobs?????

    January 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  110. Sandstone.

    "30% now, 33% next. Tax Me?? I think Obama's tax if a four-letter word!"

    January 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Kurt

    Yes, it's a great idea especially if Jack Cafferty is a millionaire.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  112. Keith

    No, of course not. It makes no sense whatsoever and does nothing to solve our debt problems. I don't know about you but my boss is a millionaire. If you tax him more he will look to make up the difference in other ways. Higher prices for consumers, less employees, lower capital expenditure for the business, etc. Worst idea, and President, EVER!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  113. Maggie

    It most certainly is fair we have been paying for years now ENOUGH IS ENOUGH pay their fair share and shut up about it already...

    January 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  114. Samantha

    Jack,
    It is not about charging millionaires simply to be fair, it is about them paying the same rate we pay.
    If that means they pay more, then so be it, but all should pay the same rate.
    We can get money from elsewhere too, say like foreign aid and tightening the belt on our Reps and their perks, starting with their low cost / free Congressional Healthcare Clinic.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  115. Bernard

    It's a great idea and a matter of equality. Millionaires need to pay the same percentage (or more) than people who make minimum wages.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  116. Bill from Rotonda Florida

    Lets see. How long would it take to find a cure for AIDS if 40 billion dollars was thrown at it? Yes, $40B is trivial when you compare it to the government budget, but $40B is large when compared to curing AIDS in our lifetime.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  117. Fred

    Are you kidding me??? Why should the wealthy people get all the perks, that the middle class have to pay for. You are only distorting the problem, by twisting the question. Pay your fair taxes, and shut up!!!!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  118. Clemdane

    Tax should be the same on everyone. If I pay 33% for a small fraction of a million why shouldn't millionaires pay the same? And corporations should not have loopholes that let them out of paying any tax, a la Exxon.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  119. Ralph

    Jack, you said what about cutting spending first – amen! Raising any taxes is not a good idea until we both cut spending and stop borrowing money to finance the deficit. Period.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  120. Peter

    The pay freeze on the federal workers was a drop in the bucket but they sure went ahead with that. Why not a tax increase on the rich?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  121. Andrew

    It's absolutely a good idea, as a millionaire myself I would never have been able to achieve what I have if it wasn't for the infrastructure previous generation's paid for with their taxes.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  122. Libby

    We have to start somewhere to raise revenues. Remember, we are still paying fore Bush's plans from the past too. If you cut government spending, you also end up cutting jobs. Why increase unemployment that way?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  123. Michael

    Will we still be in debt trillions of dollars? Yep, so will it really help?

    Michael
    Bloomington, IL

    January 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  124. toppgunnery, charlotte, nc

    Yes, a 30% tax on the rich is fair. Most money "earned" in this country these days is made through less than above board methods sadly to say, and those that make most of it should give a good amount of it back to be used to pay for protection to live in this country. If they got away with making the kind of money they do in the US in other countries, MOST of them would be in jail!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  125. Justin from Pennsylvania

    The 30% tax is just a start to fixing our problem, but it needs to be consideredin addition to spending cuts. We need to accept that 2007-2011 required higher-than-average spending to get this economy out of recession. Now that the economy is growing again we should consider spending cuts and tax increases where necessary...this is the President's goal.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  126. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    No. People in the top brackets are already paying more. They pay at a higher rate, which may not be constitutional, and they pay on a higher amount. They DO NOT use 30% more services. This is class warfare and envy at work. "Thou shalt not covet".

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  127. martha

    ditto. I am not buying the Republican run on giving more $ to the 1 %. Enough already – lets even this thing out. L

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  128. Jerome from Louisville

    A good idea? It's a fantastic idea because people would finally see that nothing would change and they'd realize that this act of stupidity is not the problem. An obese, over-paid, over-reaching federal government is the real problem, and we could finally move on to coming up with real solutions that are relevant to the problem.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  129. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    Yes it's a good idea. At least everybody is contributing fairly. It reduces the debt even if it's just 1% The problem is, they want to give tax cuts to the wealthy but not cut corporate welfare. Then we can see a real drop in the defecit, you know, oil subsidies, tax write=offs, lobbyists and the like. Hell, if they just spent on the defecit what they are spending on this GOP nomination, the defecit could clear this year. Maybe in less than 6 months.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  130. George

    Didn't anyone read Rich Dad Poor Dad? Most millionaires earn their money and already pay 30%. It is those like Romney who earn nothing but soak the system with capital gains paying little to no taxes that are the problem. Obama is wrong. He needs to go after capital gains. That will make up the difference.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  131. steiner

    Congress is NOT doing their job.
    Replace every one of them, Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc.
    They are all have ego's that are bigger than the deficit itself.
    The term 'compromise' is not in their vocabulary.
    They each have their own agenda, and those interests are NOT best for the country as a whole.
    They do not listen to their constituents.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  132. Bill

    forget about the 30% on millionaires. Close the 3300 loopholes in the tax code for special interests. Private jets are fine if you can afford it but they should NO be tax deductable.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  133. Zak

    Why is a 30% tax such a problem? During our periods of highest prosperity, the marginal tax rate at the top was over 70%! I agree however that we must also cut spending–so why don't we make significant cuts in our absurd military budget, to which most of our tax dollars go? Oh right: Obama, like Bush before him, is a diligent servant of the military-industrial complex. (Why else are we waging economic war on Iran, when there is literally zero evidence of them developing nuclear weapons?)

    January 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  134. Yuriy

    Making wealthy pay their taxes is not just about cutting the deficit, it's about fairness to those who already pay them. Why in the world would you let those who have plenty of cash pay less?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  135. Sir Jack

    Of Course. They are the ones who created this mess.
    The Banks and Corp's each are sitting on 1 Trillion, interest free.
    But they refuse to reinvest for their political reasons.

    Even though they ship their money to off shore accounts,
    They want the poor to pay more for college
    And the Seniors to receive less and less in Medicare and Social Security.

    They spend more in lobbying then they are forced to pay in taxes.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  136. Justin, Seattle, WA

    $40 Billion may be nothing but it is still $40 billion. The wealthy surely shouldn't be allowed to get %15 tax just because they are rich enough to do it. I have to pay %27 on my taxes. Mitt Romney, the ignorance of this man will drive this country down so bad. He may pay more for charity with his %15 tax but our government needs this money! Mitt should man up and pay his extra to the Man and donate the money he actually earns like normal people.

    When people say Obama's administration is running a 1$ Trillion a year budget, you must not forget what Obama walked into. I am getting sick and tired of the ignorance of reporters and people around saying his administration blah blah.. He walked into a nightmare and if you could find a way to honestly make everyone happy in the US, that includes the people in Seattle and Texas.. New York and California.. and the blob of republican states in the middle of the US.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  137. LindaR

    While the 30% tax on the wealthy would only be a drop in the bucket, it's a start. We definitely need a balanced approach in our efforts to reduce the deficit. Along with spending cuts, this tax increase might just make a small dent in our deficit.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  138. Margot

    It seems to me that this "class warfare" dog won't hunt anymore. Part of the privilege of being a citizen is paying your fair share of taxes. Our infrastructure is getting old, our educational system is failing: we have some serious problems that need to be dealt with. Ignoring them just puts us behind the curve. so, yes, it is time for those who are wealthy to pay a higher tax rate......Whether or not it puts a dent in the deficit isn't the issue. Doing the right thing for your country is. Margot in Washington

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  139. david-seattle wa

    30% is just about right. i pay 28% federal tax and i dont get write offs but wallst commodity speculators steal 50% of the king crab 60% of the pacific (true)cod and Halibut i harvest while they get a capital gains tax break down off what they stole from me and my crew on a fishing boat up in the Bering Sea.why should they get such special interst favors that put me in poor house when they get to cheat me out of my work to get a tax break off what they dont ever work for?? revolting..

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  140. Bobby Johnson

    Jack it don't make since for everyone who makes a million dollar to pay less tax than 99 percent of americans. Sure Romney paid seven million to charity but seven million to him is pocket change. But yet the government takes 30 percent of my check and 30 more for going back too college and getting nursing degree at age of 32 with three kids. If anyone needs a bail out think about those like myself who choose education instead of unemployment.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  141. dave in nashville

    Hey, it's a start, and I laugh every time I hear "only 40 or 50 BILLION", like it's chump change. It all adds up.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  142. Mark from Montgomery, IL

    30% of the millionaires is just a lot of fluff and chest pounding from Barry. No, it is not a good idea. What needs to happen is government spending needs to be cut and the tax code rewritten. Make a flat 15% tax for EVERYONE and be done with it. No write off, except for 10% of your gross income for charity. No mortgage deduction. No special deduction for having kids. If you make a $1.00 you owe 15 cents. If you make a $1,000,000 you owe $150,000. Then balance the budget and live within our means. Why can we give money to foreign countries when they have a problem but can't give it to our own country right now?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  143. Tim, Springfield, IL

    Jack, in a word, yes. No, it won't solve the problem; its not meant to. But since we will have to make big cuts to lots of things folks want, esp. entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid, higher taxes on the wealthiest will be needed in order for the rest of us to be willing to take the pain that will come. It doesn't work unless its seen as fair to everyone.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  144. Michael, Bloomington, IL

    Will we still be in debt trillions of dollars? Yep, so will it really matter?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  145. Rob Arruda

    Absolutely not. Why should anyone have to pay a higher or lower share than I do? God does not require a higher tithe from the rich. A flat tax is the fairest solution.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  146. jovan

    Jack, its obvious u are also clueless to the plight of the 99%. you are so blinded by your dislike of the president that you can't see is that the middle class is asking for everyone to do their fair share. you don't worry about it because you obviously are not part of the middle class. why should rich people pay less in taxes while the middle class shrinks but all you and the republicans keep talking about is making the government smaller? let the seniors go to the wayside because they dont want to pay more in taxes. you are no different than those republicans that are trying to ruin the country.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  147. Bob

    No. Cut all spending by 50% , add a penny tax for paying down the debt, and add a balance the budget amendment. Problem solved.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  148. Mahvash Samiian

    Yes it is, it does not matter how much revenue it generates. We all should pay our fair share and those who can afford it should not have the extra privilege of the lope wholes either,

    January 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  149. steve

    Sure, as long as they used it to pay down the debt. Yeah right. When was the last time we sent money to Washington and they used it responsibly? They have proved that not only will they spend all the money we send them, but $15 trillion more. It doesn't even stop when they run out of money.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  150. Ticked

    Why shouldnt they pay the 30%? I do and have been for...well, all my life on a blue collar's salary. And it stinks seeing the rich getting richer by getting gov't tax breaks when the working class has always had to pay their fair share. Why is a billionaire entitled to NOT having to pay their fair share?!?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  151. Joshua

    Joshua, North Carolina

    Listen jack, of course taxing the rich more will help, every little bit helps right. look at it this way, its more of us (99%) than it is of them (1%). what im trying to say is that if its only gonna genrate 40 billion a year in revenue so be it, its time for SOMEONE ELSE to pick up the slack for a change. im sure at the end of the month the millionaires wont have to worry about rent and utilities unlike us paycheck to paycheckers, know what im saying

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  152. Kade Ames, IA

    You said Obama's Buffett tax would only help out with 1% of our budget and what about cutting the government instead. I say how about both? The debt is America's biggest problem and every little bit will help to get it under control. Solve the debt problem and you will solve the economic problem. As far as taxing the rich to help the poor, isn't that how FDR got us out of the great depression?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  153. JB from Nashville TN

    Jack, be clear. The 30 per cent would be on Capital Gains Tax, raising it 15 per cent. Obama and Buffet
    are once again trying to mislead and deceive the public. Buffet's secretary DOES NOT pay more more taxes
    than Buffet...he pays Capital Gains ...just like Mitt Romney...they are paying on their investments . Raising the
    Capital Gains tax will result in a decline of investments...just what the economy doesn't need...more decline. So,
    When you pose this question, Jack, explain the specific tax you're referring to...don't be apart of this whole tax scam
    deception.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  154. Bill - NJ

    Why does everyone continue to call this a "tax on millionaires"? I pay capital gains tax and I'm not a millionaire. When are you all going to come clean on the fact that this is a tax on the middle class? Enough already!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  155. Larry in Houston

    Is a 30% tax on millionaires a good idea?

    NO. Bad Idea – IT Should be around 65% or More –
    They aren't going to bring manufacturing back anyway. They (the so called "Job Creators") or – The Factory Owners – will Never bring back those Jobs, Jack. You have yourself the question: Why would they want to bring the factory back here, IF they are manufacturing things thatt they can pay someone way less than they would here, in the u.s. ? Just because Obama said "master lock" came back here, it doesn't mean the approx. 3 million Factories that left, will ever come back. Those people that works in those countries, ride a bicycle to work – live in huts – their floors in their houses or huts are made out of dirt – there's 10 or 20 people living in a 4 room hut, or house. So, How Could we compete, Jack ?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  156. Robert

    Yes, it is fundamentally unfair to tax income that doesn't come from a forty hour work week differently than income that comes from semi passive investments. I, for one do not like paying double the percentage Romney does in taxes, just because I work for my income. Yes, your also going to have to increase other taxes as well as do some big cuts to balance things out. Yes, you did just give a nonsense argument Jack. Just because one proposal is not going to fix everything, does not mean that that proposal should not be a part of the total solution. I for one think we need to bite the bullet and phase out most of the Bush tax cuts, phase out most of the tax breaks for corporations, cut the corporate rates a little, but not enough to offset the previous, and start phasing in tarrifs to account for other countries not having fair environmental and labor laws...

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  157. George

    $40B accounts for all their shelters. If you remove the shelters the number multiplies. You don't get rich working but by taking advantage of the system and avoiding income which is taxable. That is why so many millionaires are short-timers and why the wealthiest pay little taxes in any society.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  158. garry1961

    Off course its fair,bushee s responsible for this mess and dept ,if not fair ask them pay this dept

    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  159. Bob in Texas

    Yes it is Jack. The longest and most prosperous time this country, and the world, has ever seen was the twenty five years after WW2. For most of that period, the top tax rate was over 70%. The high tax rate on the wealthy encouraged reinvestment in their companies and discouraged taking money out of the company as salary and bonuses. Thirty percent is not nearly enough. Top rate taxes need to be at fifty percent or higher to encourage investment and growth. The capital gains needs to be at least as high.

    Jack, you argue that "reducing the size of government" will benefit the economy. That means laying off or firing government employees. When unemployment is well over eight percent, government layoffs will only exacerbate the problem. The time to downsize government is when unemployment is low, not when its high. If you can't apply basic economic theory, Jack, at leas try some common sense.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  160. Joe from Ohio

    Sure its fair Jack. Even Adam Smith who described the socio-economic necessity in "The Wealth of Nations" for a progressive tax system would be called a "socialist" by today's conservatives!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  161. Ron M

    Obviously what we have been doing is not fair or there would not be so much inequity.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  162. Alex

    Yes.... tax everybody equal! People are threatening that the rich will move somewhere else if they get taxed more, I think not, there is still millions to be made by these people even if they would be taxed more, that statement is just a scare tactic! Another point to be made, just because taxing the millionaires wouldn't cover the whole deficit does that mean we shouldn't do it?? Tax the rich and cut spending and government, we have to do a combination of many things of course! We have to start somewhere, talking back and forth isn't going to solve anything! Living in a humane society means that me everybody help the whole country get better....I know that's not the American dream but we don't live in the olden days stop being so egotistic about taxes, I would happily pay 20 dollars more in taxes if that would help the whole country!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  163. Jausan

    An enthusiastic Yes! Because using austerity like Europe will result in more job cuts and no growth. Besides most people who are for this are looking from the perspective of 30% being taken out of their paychecks that would impact the light, grocery and other bills. The money that these billionaires make will not hurt the basic functions of their lives. Another yacht, beach house, or corporation to buy. Besides, these guys have no intention on bringin jobs back, give them the tax breaks and let them continue to source overseas.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  164. Ed Truncale / Erial, NJ

    Jack,

    Your right, it is only 1%, almost not worth it. Tell you what, let's do the tax and rather then have it wasted on the government, just give it to me. I'll show you how to stimulate this darn economy.

    Ed / Erial, NJ

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  165. Vaughn Kenny

    Anyone who believes the solution to this countries Debt problems can be solved in one move is a complete idiot. $40 billion a year is AWESOME for a first move, now stop giving billions to the oil companies in government "GIFTS" known as subsidies and tax ALL huge corporations. As well as establish a law that prevents said corporations from passing the expense to the consumer. The American population is so brain washed they don't even see whats really happening. American citizens are willing slaves in a police state that is described to the public as "freedom". WAKE UP PEOPLE, YOUR LIFE IS BEING STOLEN RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER YOUR NOSE!!! Corporations are currently buying your president, and you all willingly vote for corporations.

    A free America... means just this: individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it.
    Frank Lloyd Wright

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  166. paul a

    yes a 30%tax should be put on the 1% . as proven when clinton was pres the rich were taxed and created jobs . tax them more than 30%.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  167. Hank Corbett of Jacksonville, nc

    The Presidents proposal to tax millionaires is rediculous as a solution to our economic problems. When the so-called super-committee failed, the President had two choices: to do something or to do nothing. He chose the latter – to let the economy to stagnate for another year. I think most people and most experts were angry and did not understand why he didn't move to shove the Bowles-Simpson plan down congress' throat and force them to vote on it. That would have been the comprehensive plan that would have worked!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  168. Bob (Arizona)

    No, people are paying enough taxes. The government needs to get their spending under control.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  169. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    It amazes me that the 45% of the Americans that don't believe that the tax system is unfair are still being snookered into voting against a President and his proposed policy as opposed to voting objectively for tax policy which will be of benefit to their own personal household. They vote against their own interest like sheep. jack, this question of the 30% tax on millionaires was never ever raised during the mid 1990's when millionaires were paying the 30% and when the budget was balanced with a surplus to boot.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  170. Deb

    To paraphrase an old statement – $40 mil here, $40 mil there, soon it adds up to real money!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  171. William Berkson

    Absolutely. We need more investment in infrastructure, education, research to make the country grow. The answer to why not cut now is that we need more government spending to grow the economy. And the rich are sitting on an uninvested trillion. Read today's column by Krugman: all the budget cutters in Europe have brought their economies lower and lower. You seem to want us to join the stupid brigade that doesn't look at reality. The reality is that strong government and strong capitalist economy go together. Austerity policies are the biggest enemy of our future.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  172. Lori B, FL

    Jack, of course we should tax the wealthy more. I'm so tired of everyone saying this or that is just a drop in the bucket...we need every single drop!! We have to start somewhere!!! Furthermore, I want to remind all financially comfortable Americans that the IRS accepts checks anytime during the year as a donation towards paying off the National Debt! My husband and I are helping. Who else will accept the challenge? Bill Gates...Warren Buffet...just mail them a check please!!!!! Obama needs our help to get it done, because my fellow Republicans (in Congress) won't do their job!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  173. Drew

    Jack, you are correct. Taxing millionaires at 30% is a horrible idea. If one wants to kill our economy that is a sure way to do it. The incentive to invest in businesses, the stock market, and our future will be crushed by this socialistic ideology. Just taking money from those who have become financially successful and giving it to entitlement programs and those who are interested in getting handouts is not how we have built such a unique and successful society. How about controlling out of control government spending, providing people with a dose of reality like you cannot spend more than you take in, realizing that the world doesn't owe anybody anything, check out the rest of the world for that wake up call. Get real, take money from those who are making it will just take money away from the mouths they are feeding. We need leadership that will grow the economy, reward legal success and let the private sector run business not government. If he gets his way, this great nation will be Russia II. One can get that today by just getting on a plane. Enforce the laws and leave those who strive for success alone.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  174. Jeff K

    In fairness to everyone YES it is a good Idea. The rich take the money from thier tax break and invest it outside our shores rather than reinvesting the money in creating jobs within our borders. If the Republicans feel it is unfair to tax people evenly, then lets do away with all taxes. How long would the country last without raising money? As for the spending, the government would not have to throw out so many life preservers to people who are struggling like myself if people who earn more than what they need to live comfortably paid thier part.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  175. John Bellotte

    More taxes on the rich throughout history has always resulted in less revenue collected. Pres. Reagan reduced taxes and on EVERYONE and reduced regulations on business and the revenue increased, unemployment was reduced to less than 5%, and businesses flourished. The same thing happened in 1920/21. When taxes are raised as under Pres. Hoover, with more regulations, he started the Great Depresssion, which FDR perpetuated with his tactics until WWII got us out. So raise taxes and increase regulations and Obama can make history by starting Great Deprssion II.
    Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  176. Allen

    I believe millionaires that send money offshore to avoid taxes should be taxed 100%.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  177. Kevin

    Jack you sound like a bitter old man. In the 50s and 60s the tax rate was much higher and we built interstates, schools and went to the moon. Now we can't even fill in pot holes. The rich gamble away on Wall Street and do not create jobs – if they did, why has the economy declined since the Bush tax cuts. Cut spending? Sure. Let's cut the entitlements the House and Senate get.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  178. Politics

    I guess 400 billion dollars means nothing to the rich people! If it is so puny, pay it becasue the country needs it.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  179. James Killings Jr

    Yes it is a good idea! No one is talking about taxing the millionaires out of existence and they can afford to contribute a little more! This is only one of the many steps that need to be taken to get our financial house in order including downsizing our tremendous military. EVERYONE needs to contribute and the argument that asking the rich to give a little more will kill jobs is ridiculous.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  180. Bill from Maine

    No so again we can take it from those who have the least so they can have even less. Those who claim to be true Christians know how this is all going to turn out so enjoy the wealth while you can!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  181. Craig

    A "mere" 40 billion works out to more than $100 grand per person in this country. That kind of cash would go a long way toward fixing the unequal healthcare situation in this country...or any other issue that emphasizes the disparity between the rich and poor.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  182. barbara anderson

    Yes, they should pay at least 30% and please do not say they will create jobs with the money if they do not pay taxes. That has not worked out and it is time to pay up like the rest of the people do. Romney would not even miss some of his money because he has soooo much. I really do not feel sorry for the rich, Jack. This is silly. They enjoy all the things the poor pay in for taxes and keep all their money so they can make millions more a day. How can you even ask such a ridiculous question. This is just plain dumb.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  183. Bryant from Austin, TX

    Jack, I'll bet even Mitt Romney thinks $40 billion is a lot of dough!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  184. anthony h

    I do believe its a good starting point and every one should pay the same percent of taxes across the board. I also think that Obama cut fund from the government by reducing the funds to its military branch which was increased when we went to Afghanistan and Iraq now that we are reducing troops and aid in these areas the military does not need the extra money it was a good idea on obamas behave

    January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  185. Ted

    Sure 30% is about what I'm paying. Why do millionaires get a 15% capital gain tax rate for investing their money in a business when I pay so much more in taxes for investing my life, time sweat and blood into the company? If the god of money is so important why not go upfront, cut all the millionaires taxes, increase the working poor rate to say 75% and start calling them serfs or slaves I'm sure we can find some term. BTW Turlock Ca

    January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  186. Mike from Las Vegas

    That's a Republican question....and to answer it...YES! Maybe even more. I can't believe how any employee could say that his boss is a millionaire and if they were taxed over the pittance that they pay now, there would be hell to be paid! What kind of lily livered trash is that!!! I say MAKEM' PAY!!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  187. Tom

    I can't think of a single good reason why the rich should pay less in taxes than those in the upper class who bust their butts working everyday, just so rich people can live off capital gains and dividends.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  188. garry1961

    Have you ever asked question is it fair lower the tax to bushees ,if 30% not fair ,who will pay ,bushees or you?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  189. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    We should pass the 'Buffett Rule,' and spend much of it to boost IRS audits. If we collected more of the $400+ billion in tax evasion each year, we'd now be talking 'serious' money.

    Rick,
    Medina,OH

    January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  190. Caldwell

    30% tax? You bet. If I have to pay 30 plus percent and higher as I make more then why shouldn't the wealthiest folks get taxed as well? They may be trickling some of that down through menial job creation but it's not enough to make a difference to unemployment either way. As I make more I create work as well – I hired a gardener and a housekeeper recently but I am sure that I won't get any tax relief for doing so.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  191. C Longman ( Bconlong)

    Jack, a little difference, however, between Obama and the republicans his message is right. Remember money goes up not come down. When the poor and the middle class have money they spend it, who benefits, the rich and ultra rich. Obama policies will help them more than the middle class and the poor. The rich dose not have to open more business they can just stay and make their money. The poor will buy, the middle class will get a chance to start a business.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  192. AndyF

    This is about ALL Americans chipping in, and frankly after over 80% supported going into Iraq AFTER starting war in Afghanistan, WE ALL SHOULD BE WILLING TO PAY HIGHER TAXES. Yes. govt spending needs to be reigned in to truly put a dent in the deficit, but this will take a multi-front attack, but to cut that that takes away from the millions already dissafected by the Bush/Cheney mismanagement of our economy and the 2 wars, you are cutting from the largest segment of society that sends more of their own to war than those billionaires complaining about not being able to support a 12th house, or 15th car, or $1 million sweet 16 birthday party for their spoiled brat kid, if they were to FINALLY pay their share.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  193. Radcliffe

    WHY NOT? Everyone else is paying 30% and they make less money.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  194. Debbe, San Francisco

    The 30% tax on MILLIONAIRES would be a VISIBLE and IMMEDIATE way for this special group to be LEADERS by EXAMPLE for shared sacrifice in our country - we could use a show of LEADERSHIP by EXAMPLE right now. It would make further neccessary cuts more reasonable for everyone. It's a WIN WIN WIN.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  195. Danny California

    Jack your right government needs to be cut particularly in excessive benifits that no other Americans have.i know president Obama wants that to but the people who vote on these issues are the same people that have something to lose.right now I see trickle down economics as a failure even a rich man can't start a business with competition from corporations so until we find ways to create more ownership in America for more Americans so more of them can support a decent system free of abuse we need the help of rich Americans to bridge the gap and we need government make the big decisions so we can go forward.jack right now we are in a trickle up economic situation when people like warren buffet and to few Americans share in the profits of great companies like Walmart and McDonald's and average Americans cash out 401k money just to hold a home with falling values we are losing ownership in our own country at alarming rates.we need good stable jobs that lead to home ownership and stock option along with safety nets I am a disabled American who worked 60 + hours a week before I was injured and I know we need to preserve and build these safety nets and wide spread growth.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  196. Ed Austin, Canada

    Let's do the math. Someone who earns over a million dollars and pays 30% in tax has over seven hundred thousand dollars left. Someone who makes less than one hundred thousand dollars and pays any tax has less than one hundred thousand left, a small fraction of seven hundred thousand dollars. If those who earn over a million dollars cannot afford to pay 30% in tax, how can those who make less than one hundred thousand dollars affford to pay any tax?

    January 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  197. Bob

    Forget it but how about a national lottery with the funds going to pay for debt reduction.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  198. Jim-Charlotte NC

    Remeber 2000 when we had a balanced budget and there was all that talk about paying down the debt. Remember in 2000 someone saying debt wasn't bad. Remember in 2000 when people were told it was there money and not the governments. So in 2001 we got a tax cut and then 2 wars, one useless one. Now the cry is that we can't afford to take care of our needy because the ultra rich deserve all their earnings and it is time for the poor to pay their fair share. Can't wait for your show when you your question of the day is 'Why does New York City now resemble cities like New Delhi and the countryside The Sudan".

    January 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  199. Bob

    Yes I think it is fair for Millionaires to pay 30% tax. After all it's the middle class that has been carrying the country since World War 11. Not only that, our politicians robbed Americians of the money they had in their social security fund. What have they taken from the top 1%,nothing. Now their answer is restructure social security. Why not just take all the money spent on wars and pay back our social security fund.Since 99% of politicians are millionaires, I say hell yes . Maybe the tax should even be 50%. Let them fell the pinch 99% of Americans feel.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  200. Jeff K

    If the business owners were all honest and straightforward, there would not have to be so many regulations. Some are on the up and up, but for the most part if they could get away with cutting corners to make an extra buck, they would. As long as there exists the hiring of illegal aliens, exporting jobs overseas, cutting corners on safety regulations, there will need to be regulations. I'm sure the honest people are not the ones complaining.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  201. Bill

    I would like to point ouout that what EVERYONE is referring to as a "tax on millionaires" IS NOT IN FACT at tax on MILLIONAIRES. It is a tax on annual EARNINGS over $1M, and there is a HUGE difference! There are many "millionaires" who have very modest earnings by comparison, and who can quickly jump to the conclusion that they are a target of this new "millionaire's tax". Let's start speaking about this in more accurate terms!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  202. Sara

    Yes, of course they should pay 30%, maybe more. The question should be why haven't they been paying all along? They are the ones who have bankrupted our country. It seems like to me, the wealthy have been getting all the entitlements. I pay more than 30% in taxes and struggle to make ends meet for my family. So why shouldn't they have to pay like the rest of us? They will still be rich after they pay their 30% and they can finally start contributing to the country they say they love so much. Then maybe they can start creating some of those jobs they are always taking credit for and stop being dishonest hypocrites.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  203. Jean k

    What about self employment tax? I pay almost that much myself. No one seems to care about how much taxes the people who groom your dogs, cut your hair, or mow your grass pay. It just needs to be fair for everyone.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  204. Renato Santos

    Yes, it is a good idea to tax income over one million dollars at 30%. A journey of ten trillion steps still must begin with the first step. In order to solve the budget deficit, everybody must contribute their fair share. The challenge for concerned and intelligent people like you, Mr, Cafferty, is not to minimize the importance of small solutions, but to bundle enough of them to solve the problem.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  205. larry in Mi.

    Fair is fair,you bet we should raise TAXES on the rich.Anyone that buys their theory that should pay a reduced rate because they provide the jobs is being stupid.They hire because they need employees to do the labor that provides their income, and it many cases MILLIONS in yearly income.Many pay inadequete wages with no benefits.This country should be ashamed a company like WALMART is our largest employer.No wonder we are in trouble,people who would rather worry and reward the rich than make a stand and make themPAY.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  206. C. E. Halberg

    After a decade of war on two fronts, the bush tax cuts, and the many other unfunded programs the bill has come due. If you were so worried about spending why didn't you protest the Iraq war? Why didn't you protest many of the other programs put forth by W. This should have been a settled arguement 9/12/01. Instead, we were told to go shopping. Now the bill is due and nobody wants to pay.Thus is the consequences of political inaction.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  207. Rosie

    Yes, I think a 30% tax on millionaires is a good idea. I know it won't solve the country's financial troubles, but it's a start...I like the "Buffet Rule."

    January 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  208. Donn

    Jack, Everything needs to be on the table and everybody needs to sacrifice something. I believe we should go back to the tax rates during the Clinton presidency on everybody and not just millionaires. Then we can use the revenue raised as a baseline for tax code simplication which would reduce the rates as long as we eliminate all the loopholes and most of the deductions.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  209. Troy Owen in Austin

    We HAVE been giving them tax cuts .... where are all these jobs they were to make from it? I think it's a lie, they ONLY hire when they have customers NOT when they get more money from tax cuts. Reagan raised taxes in his second term, and THEN the jobs started coming back. Repubs are generally well off up on the hill, they just don't want to pay more.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  210. marybeth, massachusetts

    Yes, I do think it is a good idea in that it is only a first step in the right direction. What's left of the middle class and the poor have been paying a disproportionate part of their income in taxes (i.e., a higher tax rate than someone like Romney, who pays 13.7%). That isn't right. The system is broken, and not only should the rich be taxed fairly but the loopholes should be closed too.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  211. Stuart Johnson

    Well Jack, I have seen and heard conservatives say they want to restore America to it's former greatness. Do you think,oh let's say, 1946 would be a good year? The top tax rate then was 86.5% and capital gains were taxed at 25%. I wonder if that's what the 1% poster boy (Mitt Romney) means when he speaks of a time when America was great? But should the 1% pay a 30% tax rate? Sure. After they take advantage of all the loopholes in the arcane tax law, it won't be very much money. What we really need is meaningful tax reform.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  212. peter oliphant

    a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step... using the same analogy, this is better than what the GOP is doing, which is to shoot the current runner so they can get their own runner in the race....

    peter oliphant – las vegas, NV.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  213. Olan

    Yes! The Obama Administration hasn't argued that increasing the tax rate for the wealthiest 1% of Americans to 30% would solve all of our economic and national debt issues. However, that combined with sensible government cuts (i.e. defense) will point us in the right direction.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm |