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November 2nd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Fair to make rich pay so much for health care reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to health care reform, the rich may have to dig deep into their pockets. The House Democratic plan calls for a 5.4 percent tax on singles making more than $500,000 - and on couples making more than one million dollars.

It would only affect 0.3 percent of tax filers and is expected to raise $460 billion over 10 years.

But, as always, there's a catch... This new tax isn't indexed to inflation like other income taxes are, so it would continue to ensnare more families and more small business owners as time goes on.

One analysis shows that in 2011 - a family of four making $800,000 would see their federal income taxes go up more than 12 percent, while a family making $5 million dollars a year would see their taxes go up about 32 percent.

Some tax experts say it's a mistake to call on only the rich to pay for services that are used by all. One economist who advised President Bush says: "This gives the impression that (health care) is only worth having if someone else pays for it."

Meanwhile this isn't the only tax that President Obama has planned for the wealthy. He wants to increase the top marginal income tax rate from 35 percent to almost 40 percent.

I guess cutting government spending is out of the question. Socialism takes another step forward.

Add to that the fact that most Americans are already seeing their health insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, etc. go up.

Here’s my question to you: Is it fair to make the rich pay for so much of the cost of health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mich writes:
The only tax system that is fair is a flat tax: 10%-15% for everyone, poor people, rich people, corporations, non-profits, everyone. This nonsense of the rich needing to "pay their fair share" is actually "the rich need to pay someone else’s share". Being rich isn't easy, it's more work and sacrifice than the average person is willing to take.

Cheryl writes:
Jack, After so many years of the middle class shouldering the burden, I find it hard to feel sorry that the rich may no longer be able to dodge their responsibilities! I'm tired of trying to figure out how to make ends meet while some peoples only worry is whether they buy Gucci or Coach!

Henry writes:
It's absolutely, utterly, unconscionable to compel anyone, "wealthy" or otherwise, to surrender their wealth to total strangers. It's simply theft; there is no possible moral or philosophical justification for it. And, on the pragmatic side, why in the world would the "wealthy" tolerate this kind of abuse? There are lots of nice places in the world to live.

Ralph writes:
Yes, Jack, they should bear the brunt of the expense to make sure everyone is covered. There is no excuse for 1% of the population having the same amount of money as the remaining 95%.

Carters writes:
Absolutely. Why shouldn't they pay more? They are willing to pay more for everything else in their lives.

Angel writes:
The ultra-wealthy are rich for a reason: they are smart and savvy. You raise their taxes and they will find a way around it, either through tax loopholes or relocating to a more favorable "tax friendly" country. It is naive to think that the "rich" will just let government take what they have worked so hard to make.

Ryan from Wisconsin writes:
Where did all their money come from? By screwing the rest of us. Time to give a little back.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    It was fair for them to pay us as little as possible to maximize their profits and riches before minimum wage and look at how they fight against an increase in the minimum wage today. What goes around comes around. How about them words "Grass Hopper".

    November 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  2. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    We certainly cannot collect it from the working poor! When you add up all the taxes they pay ... at all levels, you could make a good argument that the tax system is 'regressive' with respect to them. It will be hard to tax the middle class ... too many of them vote.

    On the other hand, having a tax begin at $1 million for a married couple is hardly 'progressive' taxation. It would make more sense to have a lower starting point, and a step-ladder of rates.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    November 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  3. Sherri-Illinois

    Absolutely! They should have quite a bundle saved from 8yrs of the hefty tax cuts they got from President Bush.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Lori - PA

    No I don't think it's fair to make the rich pay for so much of the cost health care reform. There are better ways to offset the cost of the health care reform. Streamline the health insurance process. Stop with unecessary tests. Work on stopping any fraud that takes place. But to stick it to one group of people? It's not right.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Alex in Seattle

    It is fair for those who make more to pay more. Before Reagan, the highest tax bracket was much higher. Tax cuts for the rich only raise the deficit so it seems logical that tax increases for the rich will help reduce the deficit. Everything costs money. Tax cuts never paid for a road or a bridge or a school lunch or a fire truck.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  6. Jimmy in Houston

    As John Edwards said the goal of the Democratic party was to – Eliminate economic inequality...........that about sums it up. The country is on a bad path to socialism. Government is creating too many needy people and depending on the rich to support all the entitlement programs. Sooner or later there won't be eonough rich people to support the growing population of needy. Everyone should be responsible to pay for their own health care, governments only role should be in making sure health care is affordable and available for all to purchase. I am beginning to wonder why I should work hard to earn a living.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  7. Ray in Nashville

    Yes, Jack, it is. This issue is part of the old battle of rich vs. poor that has been going on since day one, when those that were stronger took what they wanted. Now-a-days they do it with money, courts and government rather than physical strength, but they do it just the same. The rich reclaimed the upper hand in this country back in the Reagan administration and damn near ran it into the ground, shifting the tax burdon away from them and on to the middle class, exporting jobs and investments out to third world countries simply to make more profits and fighting any and all attempts at regulation as being un-American and socialistic. It's time that average Americans take their government back again and force the rich to pay their proper share for having all the advantages that this country gives them.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  8. JENNA

    Is it fair to make the rich pay for so much of the cost of health care reform?

    The more you earn, the more you pay – not the less you earn the more you pay.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    November 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  9. JWC in Atlanta

    No. Not fair. But it's past time to re shift wealth. If it's true that ninety percent of American wealth is controlled by the top ten percent, it's time to rethink how we compensate people for their efforts in life. Then your question would be unnecessary.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  10. Rae from Indiana

    Socialism? Really, Jack, give me a break.

    Yeah it is fair. It is more than fair. What is not fair is how the money from the middle class has been getting sucked up to the top for the last 30 years. What is not fair is that people who work 2 or 3 jobs and can't make it are labeled as lazy or stupid.

    The rich are fine and always will be.

    By the way, did Warren Buffet ever have to pay out that million dollars to any rich person who could prove they paid a higher percentage in taxes than his secretary? I don't think so.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Fran, Michigan

    Perhaps it's not. However, we in the dwindling "Middle Class" have carried the burden of this country for the "Rich" and the "Poor". The "Rich" have loopholes, and the "Poor" have no money. We are being crushed under it's weight. So....if the "Rich" honestly pay their taxes, maybe, just maybe we wouldn't have to ask this question!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  12. william fitzwater

    They have more they should pay more. In the end it will cost all Americans less.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  13. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    That's ridiculous, Jack. These increases would still not come close to matching the cuts for the wealthy made by the Bush administration.

    This country is in crisis. If we don't make adjustments now, we will be paying for inaction 10-fold down the line. This is a really disappointing take from someone who surely has great insurance already.

    The healthcare bills coming out now are ineffective, because the Republicans would rather have a wasteful bill than a Democratic victory. If we were discussing a Single Payer system, none of this would be an issue.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  14. Dennis

    Jack, so it goes, we all think we pay to much in taxes, any taxes. But when you look at who benefitted from the Bush tax cuts, it sure wasn't the poor or middle class now, was it. Tax the rich? How about if they just go back to paying their fair share like the rest of us for starters. As for me, my big tax break under Bush amounted to forty-three dollars, of which I would gladly pay that back to help offset the cost of health care reform. Now, if the rest of the poor and middle class would only do the same, we just might save the wealthy in America from having the burdon of the toughest of all jobs in America, looking into the mirror.

    Dennis/Nashville,Tn.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  15. DEB - FLORENCE, AL

    No Jack it's probably not fair, but the rest of us don't have it to pay. I would glad pay more tax if I made more money. As it is, I pay what is required as should we all. It is our duty to pay tax, it's what operates our country. Yes the government should cut back on their spending, but what about all the programs and aid that is provided to us all. I believe President Obama has a plan. He is not trying to have the government "Take Over," that is just a bunch of crap.

    My husband and I just received an open enrollment letter that informed us that our insurance is going up 5%. It just went up 5% in June of this year. We can barely pay it now so with this increase we will have to raise our deductible and hope that nothing drastic happens. He has health problems for the past 2 years, but before that, no sickness or anything all his life. It's pretty tough for him as you can imagine. Thanks Jack.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  16. John in Santa Barbara

    Reagan said "trickle-down", well I'm here at the bottom and I haven't felt a drop. George W. cut the taxes for the rich and left us in an economic recession. I say its time to CUT THE FAT HOG, Suuuuuuweeeeee, Suuuuuweeeee.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  17. a.c. of La.

    Why shouldnt they pay more for healthcare they pay more for Homes, cars, Boats,Food, Vacations,clothes, etc

    November 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  18. Carla Martin-Wood, AL

    Yes - they should pay and pay dearly. As a paralegal for nearly two decades, I watched the filthy rich get off with paying practically no taxes, while those who are the economic backbone of this country, drones like me, paid their share, our share, and then some. They should pay for healthcare and MORE.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  19. Kim in mpls

    Who was it that wrote into law that Social Security is ONLY collected on the FIRST $90,000 earned ?

    With 80 Million baby boomers set top retire in the next ten years how much Revenue over the years has been Lost do to this little perk for the wealthy.

    What will be spent annually to support the baby boomers? (80,000,000 * $12,000 to $14,000 per retiree and remember this will be annually added to the budget / deficit). You think Obama created this, NO however he will have to fix it or this country is in for BIGGER Trouble.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  20. dale whittemore

    was it fair for the rich to get huge tax breaks from bush. the trickle down theory was supposed to make us all better off. while us poor middle class got soaked the ceo's of the corporations sent our jobs out of the country while giving themselves huge a bonus. sounds more like tinkled on to me!

    November 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  21. Jim Bailey

    Ever since the Reagan administration the rich have had it easier and easier as our country got sicker and more decrepit.
    The Republicans and their corrupt Blue Dog allies have done a great job of destroying America's middle class and ignoring the country's infra-structure.
    We used a dash of socialism to get us back on track from the Depression: if that's what it takes let's do it.
    Jim
    Cripple Creek, Colorado

    November 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  22. Susan

    No, Jack, of course it doesn't make any sense. This looter mentality has to stop – which is "I need it – you've got it – so give it to me" It is crazy. Whether it's health care, or anything else that the producers of the world will be required to pay for, it's a fundamentally flawed approach. What are the looters going to do when those of us who own and run businesses decide enough is enough, and just close the doors, fire the staff, and stop producing? Then who are they going to demand the money from? Good luck Obama!

    November 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  23. Mode (PDX, OR)

    The days of the rich being able to legitimize their wealth by pointing to their hard work are over, and have been for decades, Jack. Today's rich are the most lazy, worthless and psychologically disturbed Americans high society has seen in a long time. Is it fair to make them pay more for health care? Sometimes I think, to be fair, we need to tar and feather them on top of taxing them more. Its the selfish, short sighted and delusional sense of entitlement the rich have, which got the US economy into this mess. Meanwhile, more Americans are forced to go without the education they need in order to realize how our weakest link is our upper class. We've turned into a wage-slave, service sector economy and the rich are to blame for taking us here. To hell with them.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, it won't just be the rich. Sure that's what they're saying now, but look at the reality. 53% of us now pay all federal tax with the other 47% getting a free ride. That free ride is about to get upgraded to a Lexus. The only fair way to do this, or any other spending program is to have EVERYONE with skin in the game. No one but the very poorest should be exempt from a federal tax burden. Maybe if we all had to pay there will be sufficient outrage that spending gets cut instead of taxes going up.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  25. Frank from Peterborough

    No Jack the rich shouldn't pay any taxes and the middle class and poor should accept their lot in life and be satisfied to suffer and die when illness or accident happens to them.

    The answer of course is every country in the Industrialized world has it wrong and the United States has it right..............way way right.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  26. John

    Jack

    I am sorry but I don't feel sorry for them.

    Just think about it Jack, these are the people who put money into the contributions of politicians therefore they write the laws. What is said in the "headlines" is for the masses to take up and talk about. The real law is hidden in the literally 1000's of pages of lawyer speak that gives them more write-offs and loopholes that either makes this bill add to the deficit or once again makes the middle class pay for something the "rich" were supposed to but paid good money to avoid.

    The rich and powerful write the laws, do you really think they would write something that would hurt them?

    John
    San Jose, CA

    November 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  27. Katiec Pekin, IL

    This tax increase doesn't even begin to replace the tax cuts Bush gave to the rich and corporations. And, with all their write offs they get because they can afford tax attorneys, many pay less than we do or no tax at all.
    Costs in goverment are being cut but it is a low drawn out process.
    Middle class America deserves a break. Too bad you do not agree, Jack.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  28. Richard Green

    Jack, how is it "socialism" for taxes to return to the levels before Bush when he tripped all over himself giving cuts to the rich? I'm thinking you have a personal stake in this. Jack, the rich were rich before Bush's cuts and they'll still be rich after the cuts expire. Relax.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  29. John

    Jack....
    Yes, I think it is. They love to pay more for everything else, while the unemployed and underpaid, are scraping to get by. I know personal friends, who are unemployed,without insurance, unemployment benefits are running out and those kind of things. Do you have a personal friend that is out of a job and has no insurance. I do.
    John
    Pampa, TX

    November 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  30. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Let them pay, they're probably bankers, insurance or drug executives and helped get us in this damn mess or they're congressmen who have taken millions from lobbyist.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  31. Missy in Phoenix

    No. It's not fair. There simply has to be a better way to provide universal health care without unduly taxing prosperity. But because those in Washington aren't looking for those other ways, it highlights the fact that this "health care reform" effort really isn't about health care at all - it's about Big Government getting their hands on more of what we earn.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  32. Anna, Missouri

    Gees Jack, you sound like one of those in that top 0.3 percent. Why not mention the fact that most of us have seen our wages stagnate over the last 8 years, and some of us actually had to take pay cuts, while that top 0.3 percent saw their income rise substantially? I really do not remember that top 0.3 percent say it wasn't fair when we were taking those pay cuts or when Bush's tax cuts added tremendously to the deficit. If things continue the way they are now, we will be spending half of our paychecks on health insurance. What percentage of income is that top 0.3 percent paying for their healthcare? Since I am a nurse, I don't think I will ever be wealthy, but if I ever win the lottery, I promise, it will go to help others in need.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  33. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Yes, it is fair to tax the rich more, be it health-care reform or other purposes. Additional taxes at that level of income does not impact them in a meaningful way (such as deciding whether to buy food or pay for heat).
    The wealthy are the primary beneficiaries of our infrastructure and they should pay more on the basis of the prosperity it has allowed them to accumulate–infrastructure like roads that allow reliable deliveries, clean water that keeps a healthy workforce that shows up reliably to work, etc. Health-care falls into a category like clean water.
    Remember, you who run or own businesses, if you pay this additional tax to support the health-care system, it means that you will be paying LESS for any private insurance you may carry. The net financial impact may prove to be neutral or close-to-neutral, with an outside chance of actually *saving* money–especially considering the insurance industries recent report on their plan to hike rates over the next decade.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  34. Susan Frost

    Alas! Those poor, put-upon folks who must struggle to make ends meet on only $500,000 plus a year. I don't know how they manage! It makes me weep! Life has been so unfair to them. How dare we ask them to pay their fair share of taxes like "the little people" do?

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    November 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  35. Melissa

    They already have more than their fair share of everything. Its not like its going to make it any harder for them to afford that new Porche they want. They can start pitching in to help society in other ways than tax write-offs for charity.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  36. Renee Young

    Why not ? We bail out the rich, at the tax payers expense, government officials give themselves raises. I think it is fair.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  37. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl how about sending a bill for all of the "free" medical we give to all of the citizens that other countries have misplaced? want to stop illegal immigration, start sending out bills for our services, they will build their own walls.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  38. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    It certainly is fair, because since former President Ronald Reagan the rich have been getting a free ride, paying lower and lower taxes year after year, on the backs of the rest of us...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  39. Frank/Canada

    Hi Jack

    As a finanically comfortable retiree many other people worked as hard as I did to make it possible. My bussiness could only prosper if I had good workers around me. Gladly would pay a little more taxes if more people get better health care and education.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  40. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Yes, it is fair Jack. As Jesus said in the Gospels, "to whom much is given, much is asked." People who earn $500,000 or more a year can easily afford to pay taxes. By the way, the taxes the wealthiest Americans will pay, is the same as they were paying under Reagan, Bush I & Clinton.

    We are willing to pay more taxes if it means that our less fortunate neighbors have....... HEALTHCARE.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  41. Charles L. Morse Sr.

    We all have one body each . We should all be paying for one body each for health care . I'm not rich , but Ihave my pride right or wrong . I'm responable for my body , wifes , and my childrens . That is call accountabiliy .

    November 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  42. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: In a word: Yes!

    November 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  43. Lou from North Carolina

    No, it is fair to make people who have sicknesses like over-weight, unattended diabetes, unattended other things. Around here, people who don't have insurance still have health care if they care to have it. A lot of people don't want help and those people should pay heavier premiums. It is still just like car insurance. If you are careful, you pay less.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  44. Mr. D

    Everyone should be responsible for their own health care. That means paying for it. That also means that choices have to be made by people in terms of what is important to them. Some degree of help should be offered to those that truly need it. However, sorting that out is a tough job and fraud, as it does now, will run rampant. Let's not slay the golden goose.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  45. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, why not have a flat 5% tax on everyone with no tax exemptions. Do you think the rich would like that? I don't! They would not have any tax loopholes to hide behind. I have no pity for the rich especially when I hear Warren Buffett saying that he pays less taxes then his secretary. What about Wall Street? They seem to be doing just find with all the money they received. You see Jack I do not go to an expensive accountant to find loopholes where I end up paying no tax at all. With the little money I make, I fill out the short form and take it on the chin. That is why I do not feel sorry for the rich. In fact it looks like the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer to me. When anyone starts to complain who is making millions of dollars about things, they should come down here and look up. But with all the greed there is, it probably would not even bother them. There are few exceptions such as the Kennedys who I have great respect for. But usually it is when someone is rich and he's on his deathbed, that he starts to think about people less fortunate. What they should do is pay their fair share when they are alive and well.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  46. Tom Kowalski in Atlanta

    Is it fair to make the rich pay "so much" for health care? Fair? It is a heckuva lot fairer than to have the poor not have affordable health care in one of the wealthiest countries the world has ever seen. Do I feel sorry that the wealthy might have to cough up some of their bucks for others? Where do you think their money comes from - from the hard work of others ! Accumulating wealth at others' expense and then not sharing that wealth with those less fortunate, when they are in desperate need of it, is downright immoral. I have no pity for someone making half a million a year when their secretary works 40 hours a day for 50 weeks to make a measly $25,000.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  47. David Gerstenfeld

    Since I need lower health care costs and live on S.S. I say yes. If I were rich, maybe not!
    David, Las Vegas

    November 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  48. George Orwell

    Jack,

    Your comment above is disingenuous. Obama is not calling for raising taxes, he is calling for allowing the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy to expire. As those cuts were never meant to be permanent, you can't now argue that he's calling for a hike.

    As for the raise in taxes to pay for healthcare: presently the top 0.3% pay about the same percentage in taxes as do the bottom 10%. You make the same mistake most people do: assuming that the only taxes paid are federal taxes and ignoring state, local, sales, property, and the slew of other taxes which effect more of the middle, working, working poor than they do the wealthy.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  49. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    You betcha! In many societies the wealthy tend to shun the less fortunate; involuntary contributions may help to deter some of that.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  50. Joe CE

    If these taxes are enacted, the rich will still be paying less than their fair share. The average individual making over 1 million pays a lower percentage than one making $50,000 and this is on their Federal Adjusted Gross. If you look at the gross income, the dicrepency is larger..

    November 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  51. Barb from , Mich

    It's about as fair as denying health care to people because they're unemployed and without insurance. And, what he hell does fair have to do with anything?Or how about all the money that was lost out of the average Joe's 401k in the last couple of years. I didn't hear the " One Percent" at the top of the wealthy pyramid shedding any tears over how fair that was as they lined their pockets. Fair, my dear Jack, is like beauty. It's all in the eye of the beholder. I'm sick of the crybabies on Wall Street who beg Congres for a bailout and then arrange for their annual bonus. Spare me the crap about fair.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  52. TM Yale New Haven, CT

    Any country that allows individuals to earn 5 million dollars a year at the same time poverty exist on the other side of town, has the right to tax, raise taxes, decrease taxes, or create new taxes whenever that gov't sees fit to do so for the good of the people of the republic. Why do you think the rest of the world cant wait to get to the shores of the U.S.? Its because Americans have the audacity to even ask this type of question.Yes its fair. It would be unfair not to ask that they pay.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  53. Jim

    Jack,

    Of course it's fair. The higher tax will have zero impact on the lifestyles of those who will pay it. Not one of them will have to skip a meal or walk to work. They can easily afford to pay a bit more to help their fellow citizens. Oh, wait, helping your fellow citizens is "Socialism" isn't it. Darn!

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    November 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  54. Tom in Athens , Georgia

    Yes, but it should be indexed to inflation.Sorry if the rich are offended by "socialism taking another step forward".I am incensed by the health care industry continuing to raise premiums, deductibles, etc. at will because they enjoy complete freedom from any competition-as in whatever happened to Schumer's making them subject to anti-trust legislation like all other businesses?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  55. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack,
    it's like that story about the legendary safe cracker, Willie Sutton. When the judge asked Wille why he kept robbing banks, Sutton replied, "That's where the money is."

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    November 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  56. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    I'm not rich so you know I'm going to say yes, as most unrich people would say.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  57. Kirk (Apple Valley, Minnesota)

    My heart bleeds. I'm retired. I pay health insurance out of my retirement check for both my wife (also retired) and myself. Next year I will be paying about about 22% more for health insurance than I am this year. That will be about 55% of my monthly retirement for health insurance.

    And hey Jack? When did you start to be a bleeding heart for rich people? Are you making that kind of money?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  58. Charlie in NJ

    Of course it's not fair. The "rich" can't pay for everything. There's just not that many rich people out there. But it's popular because most people won't have to pay for it. You said it best "Socialism takes another step forward".

    November 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  59. Thom Richer

    Why not? All of us have for decades. Please have someone explain to me why they begrudge equal and affordable health care for all peoples of this "United" States. When I heard what a supposedly knowledgeable and long serving senator said today, I gave up all hope for America for many years to come. I refer to the Democratic, no Republican, no Independent Senator Lieberman actually saying the dumbest thing I have heard since Bush last opened his mouth in office, that "doing nothing is better." God help us...or him.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  60. Maria

    Is it fair for me to not have health insurance because of pre-existing condition? Certainly I'm for government reform and spending cuts in each department. But come on, people who make millions each year can spare a dime or two to help those less fortunate.

    Maria
    Brunswick,MD

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  61. Richard Sternagel

    Yes it's fair! The Obscene Bonuses that these Corporate CEOs continue to make with our tax money is beyond belief! The word Pigs best describes these villains!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  62. RJ from Lake,MI

    Well its not fair but who`s left to pay it? Middle class is tapped out, unless you want to totally eliminate the middle class you have to go to the rich. The rich must also remember that if not for there actions as to ship all of our jobs that pay for the products they sell overseas or across the border we wouldnt be in this mess nearly as bad!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  63. Dan, Chantilly VA

    There are millions of honest, every-day Americans who scratched and clawed their way to a high 6-figure income through hard work, saving, and planning. Why do we insist on punishing them by lumping them in with the stereotype of the miserly multi-millionaire? They already pay their fair share. If the government needs money, they can cut back on the billions in waste generated each year.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  64. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Yes because the poor dont have no money to even pay attentionif the rich dont pay then the system dont get payed is there really a choice here .

    November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  65. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Considering the impact Wall Street has had on our economy, I think it is a great idea to make the rich pay. However, increasing the tax may not be the right solution. Why not get rid of all of the tax loop holes that have been protecting the rich ever since the IRS was created. It is time to rewrite the tax code and make it fair to everyone. From the other side of the issue, those receiving health care at others expense must be deserving of the gift. Those who earn money and refuse to pay taxes are not in the deserving category.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  66. KIM FROM PA

    Yes, absolutely! Whether they have jobs or not, should help pay for it. We the middle class, have little or no jobs and cannot. And until we do have jobs, let the rich pay! Take from the rich and give to the poor/middle class!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  67. Christopher in PA

    Yes. Somebody has to pay for it and you can't make the poor or middle class pay for it because some of them can barely pay their bills let alone this new health care reform.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  68. Jay From Dallas

    Sure, lets ask the rich (anyone over 250k in income per year) to pay for everything. FAR be it for the middle class to be expected to pay for their own healthcare, or taxes. I mean, a person making 250k per year already pays 97k per year in federal income taxes! Lets see if we can get another 20k or MORE from the 'rich' because congress doesnt have the guts to tell the people making 30k a year or less, they need to start paying SOME taxes and SOME healthcare expenses.(A recent article in cnnmoney, shows that anyone making 30k or less per year pays ZERO income tax.) How is this FAIR? How is this BALANCED? I for one would not mind seeing some FORM of a flat tax along with a value added tax/or national sales tax to pay for healthcare. This way...anyone that has the money to spend for goods and services has the money to pay tax on such items.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  69. Steve, Clifton, VA

    As fair as it is for them to be the sole beneficiary of the trillion dollar tax cuts several years ago.

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    November 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  70. Marietta

    Yes it is fair for the rich to pay for health care reform......The rich the ...wealthy got a Stimulus Package of their own from last administration.......$2.4 Trillion dollars in wealthy Tax Cuts till 2012...purpose and defined it was to create American jobs...lost millions of jobs instead. in last 8 years.....and all republicans voted Yes Yes 2 times for wealthy tax cuts... that is lost tax revenues of $2.4 Trillion dollars..till 2012...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  71. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Hey Jack, do you know what's in those 2,000 pages of healthcare reform? Plenty of loopholes for the rich to pay NOTHING. If fact, I'll bet there's a nice tax deduction for them in there somewhere. Geez, who do you think runs this country and makes the laws?!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  72. Mrs. M in Arizona

    I don't know Jack, but I suspect you and several of your coworkers are in the targeted salary demographic. After this bill passes, let us know how those new higher taxes are working out for you.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  73. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Index it to inflation and let them pay it. Many of the haves flaunt their good fortune and don't know when to tone it down during bad times for the majority. The unemployed middle class guy gets upset when Top Dogs don't donate to charities and keep their good fortune only for their selfish selves. This is one way to force them to open their pocketbooks to help others. Remember,during good times the middle class carried society on its' back while the Top Dogs were stashing away money for themselves for a rainy day.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  74. Ricardo - Cypress, TX

    If it is fair for the poor tax payer to pay for the Big Fat Cats, the Mortgage Companies and Wall Street to stay alive why not the rich, who benefit most from OUR money, pay for our health care ? It's just a matter of "protecting" their "investments" any way...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  75. DEE

    Well, Jack considering that the wealthy made out like Gang Busters for eight years while the middle class became less middle class and the poor got poorer, then I think that it is time for the wealthy to pay the piper. The country as whole will be better off for it. By the way a 3% tax increase wouldn't hurt a middle class family at all; therefore it certainly would not hurt a wealthy family.

    Dee

    Houston, TX

    November 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  76. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Yes, make the rich pay more. It may not be totally fair but it is certainally the better of two evils. The alternative, in the end, would be poor sick people with no insurance and really healthy rich people living in paradise without a care in the world.
    In the past, could we have ever imagined that our health care industry would have made so much profit on the sick and dying in the present day so as to cause the dilema we are in now.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  77. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Yes, Just look what they (The Rich) got away with for more than 8 years.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  78. Janice From NJ

    Yes it is. They can afford to get the best of care while others can't afford to get any care. It would be different if the rich would pledge to pay for the "free clinics" that are being given all around the country. Oh, they donate money to get their name on a hospital wing ! Everyone must be cared for equally. How about the Japanese Mafia guy who was 80th on the list to get a new liver but "donated" $1 million to UCLA Hospital and suddenly moved to the head of the line and got his liver? Makes you want to throw up....

    November 2, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  79. Ed Tallahassee

    What percentageof their income is it? I have insurance, and it costs me around 25% of my income to pay for me, and my family. So if it costs them 25% of their income then I feel for them, if not then I don't want to hear it!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  80. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    You bet your paycheck it's fair, Jack. They don't have to worry about where their next Rolls Royce is coming from because they live in a world all their own and cannot understand what it's like to struggle over money every day. I say let them carry most of the financial burden because they can surely afford to!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  81. Scott Stodden

    I dont know Jack I mean people making that kind of money a year are the ones who can afford to pay them higher taxes, I guess what I would do is call Mitt Romney and ask him what he did for the state of Massachusettes to be insured with health care, who pays for all them people to be covered cuz he was responsible for passing a healthcare bill for the state of Massachusettes where all citizens of Massachusettes with healthcare and nobody's taxes went up to pay for it.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  82. ken jefferson city mo

    Yes it is only for 8 years though because when george bush was in office the wealthy people in this country was catered to they got all of the advantages so what comes around goes around.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  83. Ed from the Four Corners

    It is about time the wealthy started to pay their fair share. Between Reagan, Clinton and Bush, the wealthy have had an easy go on taxes. Oh yeah.... the "trickle down" economic system hasn't really trickled a whole lot. It is more like trickling up while the middle class continues to disappear and those in the low income and the poverty level continues to increase.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  84. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY

    Jack,

    We are the U-N-I-T-E-D States for a reason. If a fellow citizen needs a helping hand, we are supposed to be there to provide one. That is not socialism nor taxation without representation. That's called human decency, respect, and dignity.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  85. Jane (Minnesota)

    They need to help pay for something (their fair share????) since they got the biggest break from the Bush tax cuts.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  86. John L.

    Fair or not, we stick them for the bill for just about everything else, so why not health care too? The half of us who don't pay any income taxes are happy are happy to have them around to carry us.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  87. Will from San Jose, CA

    The top marginal tax rate in the US during the 1950's was 90%. We weren't a socialist nation then, and making our tax rate less than half of that isn't going to turn us into one now.

    Health care reform should absolutely include significant plans to reduce the cost of care in addition to any tax revenue increases. However a 40% tax rate, the same rate we had during the Clinton years, isn't going to kill anyone.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  88. John, WA

    Robin Hood strikes again.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  89. Ken DE

    It is totally fair to tax the rich, because the poor get free health care and the middle clas can't afford to pay for their own health care. Health insurance premiums are scheduled to increase 25% for the next few years. I don't know how I will be able to pay my premiums within the next few years. Taxes must be raised to 90% for millionaires or the middle calss wil be extinct within the nex ten years. The banks, insurance companies and wall street are swimming in money, and we need to empty the pool.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  90. Adalbert

    Jack, the rich has not paid their fair share for a long time. They run this country and they make the little people pay. Remember Leona?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  91. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    Jack, it is about time the filthy rich pay their equal share. After decades of lies from Reagan, Daddy Bush, and W. Bush, about how lowering taxes on the rich will allow them to create jobs with all that extra cash and all we got was a failed economy, job loss, home foreclosuers, and the rich buying up all the homes on auction, it is great to hear that their party will soon be over.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  92. Ron, in AZ

    No, I do not believe it is fair. Congress wants to penalize these people for being successful, that should not happen. I guess that is what they call spreading the wealth.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  93. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Am I my brother's keeper?
    High time the rich started pitching in so that the less fortunate can have health insurance. And how about getting rid of those tax cuts Bush gave the rich? And finally, how about Congress taking a pay cut?

    November 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  94. David in Raleigh, NC

    The only fair way is to implement a flat tax. That way everybody pays the same percentage of their income in taxes no matter what they make.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  95. Chad from Los Angeles

    YES! The rich have it easy compared to how it used to be when we had a middle class. Is it fair that the rich have been getting richer while the rest of us have been suffering the last 30 years? Its only 35% now, it used to be 50-70% for the wealthy before Reagan started our country's economic decline!

    Stop protecting our rich! I would gladly pay twice the current tax rate, if I made a million dollars in income!

    November 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  96. George Wilson

    Hell yes, they have have had a free ride long enough, now let's get it back in one lump sum, and from now on. The repeal of the Bush Tax cuts will help all of us.....

    November 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  97. Michael Anderson

    Sure, they are the only ones that have benefited from this financial crime wave. The entire country is now set up to benefit the rich, and only the rich. Jack, 2% of the population now controls 95% of the nations wealth. I know, they earned it through hard work, whereas the other 98% of us are the leeches. Have you ever taken a good hard look at what our government has been doing for the rich since 1981. Now that is what I call welfare, and it comes on the backs of the 98%.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  98. Michael from Ft. Hood Texas

    I think that most of the rich have made their money not from hard work but from scamming the system and using the lack of regulations and controls in the free market. Sure it pays to build a better mousetrap, but not at the expense of the mice. I say take their profits of greed and avarice and let that trickle down the food chain to the more unfortunate!!

    November 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  99. Jim from Chicago

    Absolutely, Jack. For the past 25 years, the rich have been given a free pass from paying their fair share of taxes. We have seen that trickle down economics only worked for those at the top. Now, when we are in a crisis of dollars and conscience, it is time for those who have benefitted most to "pony up."

    November 2, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  100. Gigi Oregon

    Fair? Whats fair? Corporate America has been kicking labor in the butt for ever. Is that fair.... They have robbed the labors in wages since the beginning of time. If you enjoy having your butt kicked let the rich of... Poor rich, like they would have to give up one of their toys.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  101. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Yes it's fair! For the eight years of the Bush Admisistration they paid less than middle class taxpayers. They are also able to afford accountants to show them every tax shelter there is,and how to avoid taxes by keeping their money off-shore. It's their turn to pay the piper, they lost the election!!

    November 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  102. Tommy Grace

    Jack, millions of Americans without healthcare insurance help pick-up the cost of State Medical Schools. Why shouldn't these tax-payers expect a return on their investment?

    November 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  103. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    We just learned that 23 College Presidents earn over One Million dollars a year. 25% of our households earn under $60,000 a year and the median US family income is $40,000. We are becoming a two class society. One group working hard just to squeak by and another with more money than anyone needs. If we truly champion “pursuit of happiness” than the median income family should be able to afford common luxuries such as ownership of a modest home and a good car, etc. Essentials like Health Care should be priced as a percent of income and not priced at market rates. While we have a large class of people who can afford almost anything it’s not going to break my heart if their taxes go up to reflect an equal Health Care cost for all.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  104. diridi

    you ask this question to Idiots like Rush Limbu, and Dick cheney, insurance thugs, hospital thugs..., they definetely so no...but I say "YES"....yes,....yess.....yesss....yessssssssss...they any way made money, embazzled thrugh illgotten means...let these idiots pay....it is their turn...first fix health care reform with public option....

    November 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  105. Robert

    Jack,
    It isn't just about health care. The super rich can afford to share with the many who are far less fortunate, and they should. This country makes it possible for them to gain this level of wealth. Why do they need to keep it all? If this is deemed socialism then so be it. The Christian principle "Love one another" should motivate the rich, but they are consumed with taking care of themselves only; so I am in favor of the government doing what these people should do but won't.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  106. Guy from Hawaii

    No, it is not fair! And it is not necessary!
    If I hear the phrase health care reform one more time I'm going to puke! We raise plenty of revenue in taxes to cover health care for everyone. We spend them, however, on bombs, bullets, wars in far-off places, etc. etc. We don't need Health Care Reform (oh I just puked) we need to redirect where our current tax dollars go so everyone is covered and there is no increase in taxes. Sounds to simple for Congress to figure out!

    November 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  107. james in Idaho

    Of course it is Jack. So many people focus on the fact that the wealthiest already pay the most in taxes, but they conveniently fail to mention that the rich also use the greatest amount of resources, and put the most amount of people to work at dangerous and unclean environments. Heck, even the hospitals have McDonalds franchises in them right next to the ICU.

    Let's not forget that without good, strong, healthy employees, their businesses fail. What are they gonna do? Get out of their Lamborghinies and actually help? Perish the thought.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  108. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    The rich were paying appropriate taxes before G.W. Bush cut them and laid it all on the backs of the poor–along with the deficit. My question back to you–is why shouldn't rich people pay the taxes they did before 2001?
    My second question–why shouldn't the rich pay–it's not like they're investing in America anymore. They take their factories outside the US and leave Americans without jobs and wonder why nobody can afford their products. They might deal in stocks and bonds but do they invest in anything that helps the little guy or in any company (besides fast food places) that will provide the little guy a job. Do they even consider themselves Americans? Do they even care if our economy goes under, because they can just move into one of their other homes overseas. I think taxing the rich is just a little payback for what they did (in part by financing their pawns in Congress) to the rest of us.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  109. Jerry - Toronto

    Hell yes. The rich get richer on the backs of the middle class and poor. Time for them to pay to play. Their cash cow (the middle class) is almost out of milk and they better start thinking about its health or they too will end up on the bread line if milk runs out. Its udder nonsense to think otherwise.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  110. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Hell no, Jack. The only fair thing is to let everyone be on their own. Maybe when the rich find themselves with no one to lord over they will figure out that it's sometimes OK to share your wealth.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  111. Dianne, Atlanta

    I think the rich should just pay their fair share of taxes based on income and eliminate the loopholes they take advantage of to pay less taxes to begin with.
    I'd like to add that I think the Congress has a lot of nerve giving themselves a 5% increase and not give seniors the cost of living increases.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  112. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    It's absolutely, utterly, unconscionable to compel anyone, "wealthy" or otherwise, to surrender their wealth to total strangers. It's simply theft; there is no possible moral or philosophical justification for it.

    And, on the pragmatic side, why in the world would the "wealthy" tolerate this kind of abuse. There are lots of nice places in the world to live. I'm not quite in the $800 thousand league, but I'm thinking of leaving the US–it's almost gotten to the point where anyone who has the integrity and self respect to not be a welfare bum is seen only as a sucker to be soaked.

    I work for a living and part of my compensation, part of what I work for, are the health care benefits my employer offers. It's just plain wrong to give free to those too irresponsible, too improvident, or too indolent to provide for themselves what people like me have to work for. And then to demand that I pay to support these bums is just offensive.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  113. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    Taxes going up $20,000 to $40,000 for the rich? Does that mean that the McCain family will have to sell one of their 7 homes?

    November 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  114. Lucy

    No, but, hate to break it to you Jack, life isn't fair. Just have to make the best out of it, and quite honestly, I think having these uber rich people give up some of their money to benefit the common good of humanity is a bit more fair than the alternatives.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    November 2, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  115. Lee

    Interesting question Jack. But I do think it's fair as much they have profit from the middle class Americans. You can say they are giving back to the community. Beside Jack, we are The UNITED STATES of AMERICA, not the divided.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  116. EZ

    ABSOLUTELY, they get the MOST PERK for the bucks, why shouldn't they pay MORE. They are willing to pay MORE for everything else in their lives. WHY complain now?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  117. Ryan from Wisconsin

    Where did all their money come from? by screwing the rest of us. Time to give a little back

    November 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  118. Mich

    The only tax system that is fair is a flat tax. 10-15% for everyone, poor people, rich people, corporations, non profits, EVERYONE. This nonsense of the rich needing to "pay their fair share", is actually "the rich need to pay someone elses share". Being rich isn't easy, it's more work and sacrifice than the average person is willing to take. Forget about the MTV stereotype of rich people all inheriting their money, we don't, we just work harder and are more committed to success than others.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  119. Karl from SF, CA

    After their eight year break with the Bush cuts, it's time they start paying their fair share again. It was during the tax cuts for the wealthy the economy went to hell. Let's get the taxes and the economy back to the level they were when Clinton left office. Remember, " The Good Old Days"?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  120. John

    The rich always get us into these financial crises. Taxing them to fork the bill for health care should be their punishment.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  121. stillonline

    Hell yea! We paid to bail out their sorry behinds. At least they can keep us healthy enough to work off the debt. Basic economics. Take care of the equipment.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  122. L. Jordan

    In a word, YES, let them pay their fair share of taxes. They've gotten off easy when Bush was in office, and it's time to pay the piper. These are not considered members of the "middle class", and their wealth should be taxed as such.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  123. Aree Metz

    I may not be rich (heck I'm a student, I'm lucky to be solvent!), but even I know that it isn't fair to expect a few to pay for the many. If we are going to provide affordable insurance to EVERYONE, then EVERYONE should contribute to the system.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  124. PLS Email

    No, it is not fair. This is a road to socialism and de-incentivizes business owners from expanding and hiring more people. If people work 70-80 hours per week and have a job that contributes to the economy, why should they be penalized for it?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  125. hd

    Jack,

    Sounds like you are in that exclusive .03% to me.

    hd
    Herndon

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  126. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    If someone is making that much money, then higher premiums would have little or no impact on them. But it is sad that in a country where we strive for success, we also penalize for success. I still say the answer to lower health care costs lies within the profit makers and not the poor saps who have the misfortune of becoming ill.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  127. Annie, Atlanta

    Why not? Every time Republicans enacted tax breaks, it’s the rich who enjoyed the lion’s share. Did you forget about the $1.5T plus tax break for the rich under Bush? Maybe we should go back to the progressive tax of the 50s and 60s.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  128. John in Norwood, MA

    The rich always get us into these financial crises. Taxing them to fork the bill for health care should be their punishment

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  129. Tom

    Yes it is quite fair. The tax pain should be the same regardless of your income. So far, the tax pain for the rich hasn't kept up with the tax pain for all other income categories.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  130. Tom Jones

    Of course it fair, the rich should be paying more taxes as it is. I cant stop thinking of the Beatles song "Taxman" Complaining about taxes, Paul McCarthy is just about a billionaire?!! What are they crying about?!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  131. Ray Victory

    Vero Beach, FL
    No, Jack, it is grossly UNfair. The portion payable by those with incomes over $250K should be based on a marginal tax rate in the 60-70% range, which would be more in line with rates of the 1950-60's which saw the greatest prosperity for the entire nation, not just the top 5%.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  132. Bob

    Yes it is fair when they dont even pay as much as the middle class in the 1st place. I have an idea, make everyone pay the same tax percentage then come out with another percentage that everyone will have to pay for health care. I'd be willing to pay taxes for Health Care as long as the percentage was the same across the board. The rich get richer and the poor get screwed as usual. Can't wait for the revolution, I feel its just around the corner.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  133. Andrew from Harrisburg, PA

    It is more than fair, it is necessary and it is about time! If you are a single and are making over 600,000 dollars a year and you are not contributing to society, then you do not deserve the money you make. It is about time we stray away from this idea of profits first and maybe, if there's money, care for the common good. I applaud socialism and am very happy to see more financial regulation. Now, maybe I wont be screwed over as much by private companies!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  134. guy kohlnhofer

    NO it is not right to make the rich pay for health care. On a bigger note you have to remember that the more you give people for free the more they will want and the more other people will join them. Eventually you run out of people to take from.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  135. jonrussell

    YES it's fair. they got a huge cut under bush

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  136. Bob D. Morristown, NJ

    The wealthy have so many tax loopholes that they don't pay anything near the nominal tax rate. Warren Buffett says had doesn't think it fair that his receptionist, who earns 1/2,000th of what he does pays a higher overall tax rate, and I agree with him.

    So yes it is fair for the wealthy to pay a much higher nominal tax rate to bring them closer to the actual tax rate the rest of us in the middle pay.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  137. Ron St. Louis

    Awwww...poor little rich people making $800,000 a year might have to pay more taxes to help out the rest of the country. My heart bleeds. Give me break.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  138. Bill Batten

    Let's have some perspective here, Jack. When Medicare was enacted in the 60's, the top marginal rate was about 75%. In the booming 50's, the top marginal rate was 91%. Even with Obama's 3.5% increase, our top marginal rate will be one of the lowest in the world. And, you want to talk "fair?" How about taking a trillion dollars from the Social Security fund built up with working class tax money paid in for retirements and giving it to the top 2% of the wealthy in the country. That's what Bush did. Was that fair?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  139. Pat Tully Jr.

    FAIR?

    No...it isn't "fair". If it was 'fair', this freeloading class that makes half a million or more a year would also have to pay back thirty years of taxes dating back to Ronald Reagan's giveaway to the rich that he called a "tax cut".

    The fact is that this minute class of Americans has been enjoying their lavish freeloading lifestyles at the expense of all working class Americans.

    Let 'em eat bread.,

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  140. Pamela in Florida

    Obama is keeping a promise and Yes. It's about time the rich and upper class had to pay taxes.... We've been watching them slither through loop holes for decades.

    The middle class has been footing the bill for America long enough...

    Thank God someone in Washington is listening to the middle class.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  141. Danny from Grundy, VA

    The underlying philosophy of the Democrats in the health care debate is that those who are wealthy owe an elevated duty to those who are not so well off. In that I agree. However, what the Democrats seem to want to do in constantly advocating the raising of taxes on America’s wealthiest is to FORCE them to be charitable. Charity should come from the heart, not from the legislature.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  142. Ray Luague

    Im am not what you would consider rich, middle class maybe. I think we should ALL chip in for the healthcare tax, even if by a small percentage by the poor and middle class, at least it wont seem as if we are pulling a "robin hood" maneuver on the rich. If we all will benefit from it, then we should all pay at least what we can as a whole.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  143. Greg

    Considering the fact the richest people in this country have been continuing to get tax breaks throughout the Bush administration, it is time for them to pay some if not most of that back. It's about time they get treated like everyone else instead of being able to slip through the all the loopholes the last administration created for those people.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  144. Todd Sicklinger

    Yes, it is fair. The small number of rich people get more benefits from our government than everyone else put together. Our whole economic system is designed to reward people for being rich.

    Also, it will encourage small business owners to put profits into their businesses and their workers.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  145. Virginia from New Jersey

    Dear Jack,
    The rich are a anchor on our society. They pollute the air with their jet rides and travel, the pollute the water with their yaghts and speed boats and the ruin our roads with their hummers and humvees.
    Heck yeah! they should pay more for health care. They are making the rest of us sick with their pollutants. Pay up!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  146. Sonia from St.Louis, MO

    Yes, it is. I find it amusing how people like to whine about this, the simple fact is that it isn't going to affect the rich's quality of life in any way. They will still be able to afford everything they want, the only difference will be a slighter smaller bank account when they die. This isn't Socialism, and if you think it is, you don't know the slightest thing about Socialism. People who can't afford Health Care are going to be able to get it, and many lives will be saved. But Of course, since it helps the poor, it must be Socialism!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  147. steve danser

    Where was your outrage when the last administration gave those same people huge tax breaks that raised the deficit

    November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  148. Linda

    Jack, If you're rich, you'll say it's not fair. If you're not rich, you'll say it is.
    I'm not rich and would not feel bad if they weren't able to buy some extra expensive luxury because of a higher tax.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  149. mindy

    ABSOLUTELY! The rich have gotten away with perks from the bush administration for too ;long while the schools and programs for children have been cut and cut and cut! now its time to pay up !

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  150. hgmma

    I don't know Jack, I'll let you know when I turn in my bankruptcy and my financial problems due to medical bills for a million dollar per year job!

    Henry
    Manchester, NH

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  151. Fran Z.

    Under the Bush regime the wealthy increased their financial holdings beyond comprehension at the expense of the middle class... Just look at how electricity, gas, food, health care, housing, health insurance, and the basic necessities have gone sky high in prices. It is time for a little reset of the wealth in this country.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  152. Alax Jones

    Jack, I don't think is is fair to tax the rich. They have become our scapegoats!!! Our lives suck, tax the rich. Can't afford to pay my own debts, tax the rich. Insurance companies make bad choices, tax the rich. OUR elected officials can't manage a budget and put us into debt, you guessed it, TAX THE RICH! To me, this is becoming ridiculous. They might have more money but haven't they put in the hard work and ingenuity to earn that money. What is more American than that? Oh yeah, tax them is!!!

    We need to come up with a new solution to our financial problems and stop punishing success.

    Respetfully,
    Alax
    Elizabeth, Colorado

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  153. Hillary

    The rich are only paying that 40% AFTER deductions. When you calculate the actual rate based on gross, they are still only paying a fraction of the percentage the rest of us pay. Its about time they start paying their fair share.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  154. Jake

    I realize the necessity of taxing the rich so much with our ridiculous spending in our current system. But just because it's necessary doesn't might it's right. I think it's wrong for the the people who pay ZERO in federal income tax to demand others pay for them.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  155. Lauren from NY

    Why does this administration want to punish those who have worked hard for their money and why do your listeners who are writing on this blog have such a hatred for those who have succeeded in their life. This tax wouldn't only affect the "super rich" as one of the bloggers wrote. It will affect families that bring in 250k a year who have mortgages, bills and pay the majority of taxes in this country already.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  156. george kosinski

    why sure they should help pay for health care reform they helped create this mess with their corporate greed my heart really bleeds for them.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  157. Jennifer from Marshall, MO

    It's about time the rich had to pay it's fair share...

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  158. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The rich are rich because they always manage to find a loop hole to get a return on their money, so I wouldn't be concerned about whether it's fair the rich pay more. The concern should be if there are enough rich to support healthcare reform.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  159. Lee

    It is not socialism, it is social justice to ask people who can afford to flip the bill instead of asking the poor to suffer

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  160. Jarret Summers

    Yes, it's fair to make the rich pay more for health reform. I'm sick and tired of the rich complaining about having pay more taxes for healthcare. Does the rich not realize that the majority of them would not be rich if it weren't for the middle class and poor buying their products and services? Now that we've made them rich they don't want to give up a little more to make sure their employees, less fortunate family members, etc. have decent healthcare? Where is there humanity??!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  161. John in S.C.

    Hell yes ! What do I care,I'm not rich.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  162. Catia

    Yes it is. Money talks and they are good taxpayers. But, nowadays , we have more middle class than rich.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  163. Billy from Minneapolis

    No, it's not fair. It's also not fair that so many people think that raising taxes on the wealthy is socialism but cutting taxes on the wealthy is democracy. Give me a break.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  164. William Burgoon

    In two words> HELL YES!!!

    And raising their percentage of tax is a hell of a good idea also!!!
    Did you know, Jack, that in America 95% of the wealth is owned by 5% of the people!!???

    You won't read this on air of course--but you should!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  165. Jean

    I agree that the rich should pay more than their fair share. Health care costs can also be cut significantly. One example is using computers as we do in the clinic where I am a midlevel provider. It cuts duplication of ordering tests and labs etc

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  166. Nancy, Tennessee

    The very rich hasn't been paying their fair share under the Bush tax cuts along with their many loop holes. It's time they anted up some of the money for this country. If the rich don't want to pay for health care reform with their new tax increase, then they can tell the government to spend their contributions on the wars, highways, or defense. That will help them sleep better at night knowing their tax dollars are at work somewhere besides hospitals or doctor's offices.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  167. Tony

    Yes! Recognize this is a pittance for people making this much money. When so many people are without health insurance and struggling in these rough economic times, asking the rich to pay a bit more in taxes sounds completely sane! When did Americans lose their hearts in exchange for greed anyway?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  168. Robert Doles

    Yes Jack. The big corporate fat cats and the bankers and wall street guys have all gotten rich on the backs of the American middle and lower class, not to mention nearly destroying our country in the process. And they are totally unrepentant as demonstrated by the enormous bonuses they recieved for incredibly poor performance. I guess if you're rich, you don't have to do a good job to keep your job. It's time they gave back to the little guys who made them wealthy.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  169. Cyberhy

    Of course, those who took advantage of our recent economic "growth" and put our economic situation in jeopardy should, in fact, be contributing more toward national expenses including health care. Look at what the tax rates other in other civilized countries which offer better health coverage.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  170. Shawn

    From : Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    I belive the rich can afford to help pay for the health care reform . Im sure what they pay out for it will come back their way in their taxes anyway so why are they complaining ?? Are this nations rich people really too good to help out the lower class of working people ?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  171. Charlie Weidig

    Jack, the super wealthy in this country have had an 8-year vacation during the "W" years. The tradition of having those who can most afford it pay the lion's share of the taxes is an American (not socialist) tradition that goes back more than 50 years, and it has kept the economy afloat for most of those years. Give me the Million-Dollar income, and I'll gladly pay the increased taxes! Any takers?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  172. Sean from Marin

    Jack, I'm on my way to being one of those Americans and still say "yes, raise my tax rate" because I'm also an employer getting killed by the rising cost of good health care of my employees and their families. Those people "happy" with their insurance clearly do not pay for it!! We are paying more and getting less every single year and will absolutely get to a point very soon where a pay raise OR health care are the chocies.

    So, yes, it hurts my family to pay more than anyone else. But it hurts my business, my employees, their familes and everyone else if we do not fix this thing now. I'm on board. Send me the bill. Especially if you can get the Republicans to stop saying that "they're looking out for American businesses". They are not looking out for mine.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  173. Glenn Friedman

    Yes, it is fair that the wealthy bear much of the cost for health care. Bush's trickle down tax policy has not led to greater prosperity for all.The gap between the wealthy and middle class and poor continues to grow with a greater than ever concentration of wealth. I might have more sympathy for the wealthy if the examples most seen weren't executives in the financial sector whose greed has brought us and the world to this sad state of affairs economically.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  174. dedem

    You mean the job producers of the country...the small business owners? Sure, let them pay for health insurance for the others...they won't remain job producers for very long!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  175. Anonymous

    I don't have anything against the "so called" rich, but it's time for EVERYONE to step up to the plate! During the Bush years, the rich, like most of us who know how to manipulate the tax system, made off like bandits. Now they, should step up to the plate give some back without complaining about. It's time for all of us to do what's best for our country and stop just thinking about ourselves.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  176. Ken in NC

    Jack, I think that it was fair for them to pay us as little as possible to maximize their profits and riches before minimum wage and look at how they fight against an increase in the minimum wage today. What goes around comes around. How about them words "Grass Hopper".

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  177. Ann from CA

    Well, Warren Buffet was just saying that if you are fortunate enough to make millions each year – you are likely making it from people who contribute to the overall economy and spending – the middle class. If you are fortunate enough to make that kind of money, you should pay more taxes- think about giving back. For the last 30 years, pensions, retirement, healthcare benefits were all eliminated – so... who should pay? Of those .3% of people you mentioned – how many are CEO's, Hedge Fund managers and Wall Street leaders that have seen their incomes rise exponentially over the workers that have seen their real incomes decline since 1974. Who is being exploited here?

    I

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  178. eric

    This is typical DC trash. They didn't index the Alt. Min. Tax (AMT) and look at the issue it caused. I have to believe that they are doing this on purpose to generate more revenue down the road. How criminal they are.

    How much more can you tax one group to pay for all the others? Didn't I just read a couple of weeks ago that 45% or so of the tax filers in this country get a complete refund or an Earned Income Tax Credit and get more back than they paid?

    We've used class-warfare long enough in this country. It's time for everyone to kick in.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  179. george

    Yes and no,the figures you just mentioned pertaining to the cost of health care reform could be aquired by dramaticaly increasing taxation upon the OIL companys who give nothing to society at all. nothing.
    not a damn thing. In fact their prophets could pay for this out rite and they would still never feel it financialy.
    george
    chester,ct.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  180. Keith

    NO, it is not fair. I am one who believes that if any government needs more money, everybody should pay. Why take the incentive away to get educated, learn a skill so that you can increase your income and better support your family. The rich work harder and should not be punished for their efforts.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  181. Wendy in So. Cal.

    In the past thirty years the middle class has been under attack from all sides, our incomes have stagnated while the top 5% has seen their income increase in spades. Our family makes less than $150,000 and I am willing to pay more in taxes if needed because we have to do something that benefits the middle class, not just the highest wage earners.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  182. Marjorie Wright

    Dear Jack:
    Yes – yes -and yes, it is fair. The highest tax rate was still 50% after Reagan lowered the rate on the richest. The country was doing just fine before that, but then started to tank. It is sick to have some making millions while so many others are going to soup kitchens.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  183. Brenda

    No, the rich should not pay for everyone's healthcare. Why should half the people get free healthcare when the other half pays for it.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  184. Lyn Miner

    Anyone who makes over $500,000/year and can't maintain a comfortable lifestyle, while paying higher taxes that will help poorer people, needs to take a basic math course! Or maybe a course on how to live on his/her means.

    Those of us who live in less than $1000/month have a hard time feeling sorry for the millionaires who are moaning about taxes.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  185. Mary Jo

    I will tell you what is fair. If I have to pay into Social Security and Medicare on the basis of 100% of my income, so should every other American in this country. Just because you make more money than I do, I do not know why you should simply skate for any portion of your income when I am not allowed to. If we had a sliding scale that would be one thing, but to pay NOTHING on income you make over $100,000 or whatever the ceiling is now is just unfair. It is bad enough that as a self-employed sole proprietor I have to pay 15% into Social Security, both the employer and employee portion, but then I have to pay on 100% of my income. So yes, I think those people making money can either pay a higher percentage into the Social Security/Medicare system and I get to pay a lower percentage or they can pay 100% just like I do.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  186. Ralph Patch

    Yes Jack, they should bear the brunt of the expense to make sure everyone is covered. There is no excuse for 1% of the population having the same amount of money as the remaining 95%.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  187. Cheryl M

    Jack,
    After so many years of the middle class shouldering the burden, I find it hard to feel sorry that the rich may no longer be able to dodge their responsibilities !
    I'm tired of trying to figure out how to make ends meet while some peoples only worry is whether they buy Gucci or Coach !!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  188. RON

    Of course the rich should pay for health care! After all, WE are their slaves. We do their "work" so they can get rich. Without us, slaving for a wage that only provides a roof and food, they need us to be healthy so we can make go to work everyday and make them richer.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  189. isabel

    Hi Jack:

    The United States is the only first-world country that does not offer basic and preventive health care to its citizens. We know that US Senators and Congressmen and women continue to enjoy health care paid for by the rest of us after they retire or leave office. For life! Why should not those of us taxpayers pay for our own health care, and then let the politicians enjoy the same basic standards that we get? Add to this the fact that 90% of the wealth in this country is concentrated into the richest 1% of the population and I'd say as a good small town-country girl, "hell yeah!"

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  190. Miguel

    yes!!!!!!!! they are the ones that play with the market like its their personal slot machine..and the poor are the ones that feel the sting..

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  191. Angel

    The ultra wealthy are rich for a reason. They are smart and savy. You raise their taxes and they will find a way around it. Either through tax loop holes or relocating to a more favorable "tax friendly" country. It is naive to think that the "rich" will just let goverment take what they have worked so hard to make.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  192. Susan

    Of course it's fair. The rich have gotten vastly richer in the last decade, in part thanks to massive tax cuts that have only increased the federal deficit., while the gap betwen the rich and everyone else has grown astronomically. So now Obama wants to help middle and low income Americans pay for their rising health care costs with some of that money. What's wrong with that? And while we're at it, what's wrong with a government option? If it's such a bad deal as the Republicans claim, nobody will take it. It's a choice, remember.

    Yes, Obama has helped get us out of a deep recession-depression, has extended unemployment insurance benefits, and created or saved, if not enough, close to a million jobs.

    Why have you suddenly gone so one-sidedly negative on him Jack? We have Fox tv to do that job, all day and all night.

    Susan from Medford, MA.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  193. Maria Houser Conzemius

    Yes, it's fair! Most Americans have become little more than serfs with stagnant or declining wages and few benefits, not even sick leave, and all to enrich the already obscenely rich. Soak the rich, especially the Wall Street sociopaths who got us in the worst economic mess since the Great Depression. The gap between rich and poor is growing. Give us some of our own productivity back in the form of universal access to health insurance.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  194. Chris

    Yes. Why? Because they can.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  195. Karen S.

    I sincerely do not think that continuing to make the rich pay more is the correct option. The "rich" will soon be the upper middle class as the hike in taxes does not account for inflation. Soon it will be affecting the people stating, "Sure, tax the rich!"

    Capitalism has been a principle economic force of the United States and we are continuing to lose this with President Obama, as we slide toward socialism.

    All of Obama's solutions include continuing to tax the rich: increase income tax, increase tax for health care, etc.

    The rich are the highest consumer spenders and the top 1% of the income tax bracket send the majority of business into the consumer market. Why take away from their spending power just on the mere fact that they have a higher income?

    Everyone should be responsible for their health care costs and not have the costs paid for by only the top percentile of the income tax bracket.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  196. kim

    yes, they should, and they should pay more. with a note attached to it: the president is telling them that, life is like a box of chocolate, and the last president is the couse of what the rich are going to get .

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  197. Myles Lowery, Chicago

    Taxing the rich is the thing to do for sure. Taxes have been much worse in this country, and things were fine. Then Reagan happened and taxes have been crazy since. The average american doesn't have the money to pay for this, but the American population does. We need to look at the incontrovertible evidence and make the laws work for the greater good.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  198. Dan in Seattle

    It's unfortunate that health care costs as much as it does. Why don't we hear from one of the BIG insurances companies stepping forward and say, "Okay folks, here's what we ARE going to". Then purpose dramatic rate cuts and ask Americans to make this successful for ALL by buying from us. We'd buy!!! Gosh. What a thought. . . But no. That won't happen. That means someone MUST pay disapportionately. The read sad part is that a soluation is possible. But we need to work TOGETHER–as in the above.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  199. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – In a word, yes. This merely institutionalizes Judeo-Christian ethics that demand that the rich pay for the welfare of the poor. The proposal does not affect "most" Americans – it affects the lions of industry, Wall street, and hereditary wealth. Nobody who actually worls for a living, except baseball players, brings home an Adjusted Gross Income this big. As for "socialism". I can remember when the marginal income tax rate was 91% on every dollar over $1 million AGI. Even with this proposal, United States taxes are effectively among the lowest in the G-20, while our per capita GDP (mostly because of this handful of hugely paid individuals) is the highest. Get real – if we want to provide care to people who cannot afford it, it must be paid for by the rich – just like every other social service, from buses to the Internet.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  200. X-Man

    Of course it's fair. We spend our lives lining their wallets. They need to be good citizens for a change.

    It's disturbing that this seems like an objective question.

    This is why conservatives voted for Obama, because he has common sense.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  201. Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    Jack,

    When the top 1% have 95% of the wealth, I hate to use a Palinism but, "You betcha!"
    If I was making $800000 to $5 million a year, I would feel it was my duty to pay more since there are so many who have so little. The middle class has all but disappeared according to you talking heads. I've got news for you, they didn't disappear, they are the new poor! I don't care what they call it, whether it's socialism, Obamaism, or Medicaid for the middle class (that is practically gone), something has to be done. Give us the public option, take away their exemption from anti-trust laws, get it done now!

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  202. Tammi

    Yes, someone finally asked the question tried of the rich gettin richer while others suffer. Reminds me of the ten commandments when people were asked to make bricks without straw. Shame on this country!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  203. Ana in Switzerland

    Wealthy people have been paying accountants to find ways to pay little to no taxes for years, it's time for a little back payment.
    Lets not forget that there are billionaires with accounts in places like the isle of man who pay less, yes I said less, taxes than waitresses in America. Not less, in percentage to their income, no less in actual dollar amounts. sock it to them!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  204. Tree Riesener

    It is definitely fair. The rich have often become rich by receiving tax breaks that poor or middle-income people did not have. I'm not going to feel sorry if families earning $800,000 have to pay a little more to help everyone have health care. They should be grateful they are so well-off and that they will still be so after a tax rise. They should be happy to help others, for their souls' sakes. Socialism? Don't be silly! This is just a popular catchword nowadays for any action that smacks of social responsibiity by our elected government.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  205. nancy

    Absolutely, it won't be possible to handle the cost of this with budget cuts. Who is better than the wealthy to pay for this? The middle class have seen their proportion of the American financial system drasticaly decline over the last 20 years.

    Is it not true that the top 1% own 25% of our countries's wealth?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  206. Mary Adler

    The rich wouldn't be rich if the rest of us Americans didn't buy their products that keep corporations making money to pay for their salaries and lifestyle. The least they can do is give back some of what they take from the rest of us via jacked up prices for consumer goods and services.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  207. Rich, Wisconsin

    No, its not fair. On the other hand the people who cant afford health care also cannot afford higher taxes. Do you really think that people who can't afford insurance now can afford "the public option"? I don't. Whether the premium is 400 a month or 200 a month the people who don't have the money just plain don't have the money. I have a feeling the public option wont be so much of an option. In this bill I imagine there is a section that talks about insurance requirements. Like there is for some states where it is illegal to drive without car insurance. If require that everyone has health insurance that is not an "option", and the people who can't afford it now won't be able to afford it later. If this bill passes we will be hitting the accelerator on the road to finacial ruin for America.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  208. Mal St. Laurence / Longmont, Colorado

    The rich are rich because of the exploitation of workers and consumers at all income levels & classes of our society. The flow of wealth has been going uphill and draining the rest of us for long enough.
    Call me Robin Hood, but it's time the 'Rich' ante up. Aside from National Health-Care I'd say there's a Fat-Cat or two that owe me at least one free lunch. Pinch their pocket-books.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  209. John in Hampton, Virginia

    Well Jack, I guess the chickens have come home to roost. You seemed to be offended by the prospect of further moves toward socialism and higher taxes on the rich. Could it be that this health care "fair share" is going to come from your "wallet"? Freedom has no grandchildren. each generation must decide for themselves how much intrusion into their private lives they will allow. Alea Iacta est...the die has been cast.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  210. John from Tillamook OR

    Give me a break Jack. There isn't a wealthy person around who would trade positions with the "normal" wage earners in this country, even if their taxes were raised. Their salaries have gone up at obscene rates that middle America can't even dream of. They can afford it.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  211. Mark

    Jack – I guess as income and wealth is concentrated among fewer people, the tax bill will get concentrated too

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  212. mark nebraska

    Screw the rich!! we the working and middle class have born the blunt of the loss of this economic mess. If it is OK for the upper income groupe to gain a larger piece of the economic pie because of lobbiest and access to the congress , then it is OK for the common folk to get it throught the power of the vote !

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  213. George

    of course its fair. After 8 years of the wealthy getting preferential treatment from Bush, its time for them to pay for fixing the many of the ills of a broken system including health care!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  214. David J. G

    I think it is fair, they made their money in this country, they, out of all people, should be the ones to help, how do you expect your country to improve if you take from the poor? Cut programs that help fellow Americans? Would you kick a person when they're down? It's called patriotism folks, waving flags is not enough, we all gotta pay our taxes, but let's be honest, the rich have money to spare. Either do that or lower the way outta-control military budget after we get out of Afghanistan.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  215. Joe

    Absolutely. Executives salaries have gone from 40 times the average worker in the 60's to 400 times now. I have no problem with them apying the WHOLE bill. They haven't been caring about the average worker so I don't think we should expect them to feel bad for the billionaire.

    Joe from NJ

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  216. Vivek from Germany

    It makes perfect sense. If the rich are not donating anything for any philanthropic organizations, this is a better way to pay part of their earnings for health care of other Americans. If they donate, I believe they don't care about paying a little extra. Why is this made as a big deal when this new tax affects only 1 million people and health care reform could affect millions of people reducing future deficits – thanks to Bush.

    Vivek from Germany

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  217. Henya CA

    Absolutely yes them all redy millionaires and us only talking about a few thousand dollars a yr, and they have allot of other deductions and tax cuts I do not fill sorry for them, if I was making $800.000 a year no problem I will gladly pay.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  218. Victor

    Yes! It is fair because super rich people have been receiving tax cuts since George Bush cut taxes for the rich. Furthermore, rich people control the economy and make the most money just because where they are socially, it is fair for rich people to shoulder the country (social needs, etc.) a little more. Also, rich people have influence over government. They can influence government to enable them to make more money. For example, a pork project.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  219. Faith

    Life isn't fair! Some are blessed to be born into wealth and some are unfortunately severely disadvantaged at birth. Civilized societies need to care for those in need when able to do so.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  220. Steven

    Have you forgotten that these same rich get tax breaks that middle class folks can only dream about? When these perks are factored in the rich are paying a much lower tax rate. Guess it is stll good to be rich in America 🙂

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  221. Carl Morrissey

    Yes it's fair. Also called progressive. Besides the rich will focus on cutting costs, and support policies that will do so when they have more to gain.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  222. Mike in FL

    The health care reform issue is a middle class issue, and hence should be payed for by the middle class. The wealthy rarely buy health insurance because they can afford to pay high medical costs when they arise, and the poor are covered under Medicaid and other basic social services. The reason why healthcare costs so much is because it's a business – the consumer pays retail price while the insurance company middle-men profit from illness and disease. So-called 'health insurance' is nothing but 'wealth insurance,' and the sooner we learn this and move away from an insurance-based healthcare system the better off we'll all be.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  223. Patti

    Yes it's fair. The rich can look at as a charity donation, helping those in their own country. What person making millions wouldn't want to help?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  224. Roger in Richmond, VA

    No it's not fair! We all share an equal responsibility for our own health care and insurance, and that responsibility should be left to each individual and not the federal government. Instead of raising taxes, try reducing the size of federal government and leaving more power to state and local governments who can more adequately provide for the needs of their unique populations. A free American citizen should be able to decide on his own how to care for himself and his family.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  225. Richard

    They sould be taxed. The wealthy have been given alot of tax breaks by the republicans, "trickle down economics". That mean't they were suppost to increase wages, pay for workers health care, modernize equipment, etc. But they kept it and made themselves richer. WE don't need a trickle anymore, it needs to rain. Richard Portland OR

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  226. Bev MacLaren

    Dear Jack:
    I am disappointed in you – and that happens rarely! It is a verifiable statistic that the reach between the rich and poor in the U.S. continues to widen. The top 1% holds the equivalent amount of wealth of the lower 95% or something like that. Do you really think that it is quite okay for the disadvantaged and indeed the middle class not to be able to afford medical insurance while the upper echelons of wealth get richer and richer???? Please! Obviously, you are one of the lucky income earners who will have to pay more tax. By the way, Canada is accused of being socialist, which we are not, but maybe you guys should consider having more concern for those being left behind. Get with it, Jack. I still love you, but.....Bev, Toronto

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  227. Ben Liles

    Not just yes, but hell yes. We the working class
    have been paying for everything for far too long. It is now time for the wealthy and powerful to have to pay for something other than just lobbying for their own interests.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  228. Dave

    The rich wouldn't be rich without exloiting the poor workers who can hardly make a living wage.
    Since the money does not trikle down it must be collected.
    There is nothing fair about having much more than you need while those who work the hardest can hardly pay their rent.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  229. Marlene

    Yes they should pay more! They make more! What's wrong with this country? I'm sure the truly rich are not complaining about this tax! They are not even going to miss it....they can put it on another line of their tax return!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  230. Bennie

    I'm a self employed truck driver and I think most Americans don't want anything from the rich, what people want is good jobs, then we can pay for our own health insurance! Duh

    November 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  231. Anne Briand

    Definitely ! This segment of the population had a free ride under Bush.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  232. Anthony Kegode

    I think it is about time that we all share the costs of providing affordable health care for all. The rich in America do need to contribute more, but I am wondering, If the rich are paying for roughly half the costs of health care over 10 years as you say Jack, who is paying for the other?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  233. Vern

    They thought Reaganomics were bad? Obamanomics reminds of an old Elizabeth Taylor movie "life with Father". The father tries to explain that the store isn't giving away free suits or pug dogs. Apparently he just hadn't met Obama!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  234. Larry Sawallish

    I think the questions is not whether the rich should pay for healthcare reform, rather should the rich pay more taxes? For me the answer is a firm YES!. For far too long the rich have circumvented taxes by hiring the best tax accountants and the best tax attorneys to endow themselves with tax free benefits and perks from their corporate structures. Unfortunately the tax structure has become so complex in the United States it has empowered tax professionals to create the maize of tax free benefits for the rich and thereby allowing these people avoid paying their fair share.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  235. lou

    Large businesses are owned by rich people. If they would offer their employees health care instead of letting the public share in their care when they go to the emergency room, we wouldnt need to reform. Look at walmart...they're employees cost the taxpayers millions in medicaid, food stamps, and social programs because they don't get paid enough. The guys at the top are enjoying record profits. Sounds like an imbalance that can be fixed with having them pay more for health care.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  236. Steve Hays

    Jack,

    The IRS rate for the richest Americans is at virtually its lowest point since the institution of the graduated income tax in about 1915. Currently, the richest pay about 15% on capital gains (the bulk of their income), while middle class workers pay 28% on their salaries.

    Health care isn't free. (Duh!) So whom do you expect to pay for it? The workers who have been "downsized" so the rich can make even better returns on their stock portfolios? Middle class teachers? You bet it's fair to expect more of the super rich. The 1% who own 95% of the pie shouldn't be surprised when people with empty plates demand a bite.

    Steve
    Athens, OH (and formerly of Reno, NV)

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  237. Vlad Stefanovic

    Is it fair to make rich people pay a larger percentage of their income in order to help with the greater wellbeing of their fellow citizens? Only if you think that it isn't so fair that the greater proportion of those wealthy people got that money because daddy felt like being generous, to them.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  238. Keith Pendergrass

    Are you kidding, if this President and his cohorts continue to spend money we don't have there won't be any rich people to pay for anything. We are quickly approaching a country that is bankrupt. This is serious. No the rich should not take the total hit on this. The fact is that the democrats that are trying to pass this bill are the only people in America that it will have absolutely no effect on. May they all lose their next election. Pine Mountain, Georgia

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  239. Daniel in Sacramento

    Is it fair to make the rich pay for so much of the healthcare plan? I'm not sure it's fair to ask that question without also asking these. Is it fair that an American CEO today makes 600 times that of an employee? Is it fair that 80 percent of the nation's wealth is in the hands of less than 2 percent of the nation's people. Is it fair that the middle class, the factory workers, the laborers, the people who built this country, are evaporating as fast as their jobs? Forced below the poverty line by the wealthiest Americans who found it more profitable to outsource American jobs where labor is cheap and healthcare doesn't exist? There are a lot of things that aren't fair and I suppose, by itself, your question should be answered with a "no." But of all the things that aren't fair in our country today, I'd have to say that asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more after 8 years of paying a lot less, well that seems entirely fair to me. And btw, aren't the wealthiest Americans the same folks trying to kill the public option?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  240. Rusty Soots

    Oh heck yeah. The rich benefited more than anyone else with tax cuts during the eight years of the previous administration. It's high time they were required to settle up. This is especially true since they are far less likely to be the ones to have to go without health insurance, unlike lower and middle income folks, and they have greater income to pay any higher premiums in the future. Despite all the bluster that it's socialism, it's not. It's a matter of ensuring that every American has the necessary access to affordable health care rather than continuing with the ridiculous, unsustainable status quo that the GOP and conservatives seem hellbent on maintaining.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  241. Dianna

    Californians are continually that our state ranks as anywhere from 5th to 10th most powerful economy in the world. Yet, the rich cry poor. No, don't raise taxes on us... raise them on the middle class.

    The rich have gotten use to "sweetheart deals" tax deals for their businesses, free booty at every event they go to and even get free meals in restaurants because the owners find profit in the rich being seen eating in their establishments.

    The rich consider themselves above and, thus, better than the rest of us. The richer one is the lower the percentage of income that is taxed.

    What about the "trickle down" arguments? Well, there are only two ways to get rich... inherit money or save money... no one can spend themselves rich.

    Definitely tax the free-riding rich.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  242. Kimberley in CA

    Of course it's fair. Jack, I'm surprised at your tone and reference to socialism. To whom much is given, much is expected.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  243. Harry

    Apparently most people in this country have a very short memory because they and apparently you keep complaining about how taxes for the rich keeps going up although in actual fact tax rate have drooped from a high of 63% in the days before Reagan to the now low rate in the mid 30's(35%). Add to this the drop in capital gains, the many loopholes to get out of paying what they owe and the simple fact that the rich are the only ones whose after inflation incomes have actually went up and you see the bs we have been being fed. Pity the poor rich people, boo hoo hoo. Give me a break and return their rates to the pre Reagan percentages and I still won,t feel sorry for these people!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  244. Annie

    Ok so why are people complaining about a 5.4% tax increase for the rich when we aren't rich?? When you make $500,000 a year, you might want to help your country fight cancer or help a baby be born.... Think about it republicans!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  245. Dee

    They have all the money, right?

    Isn't the statistic something like the top 2% of the people have over 90% of the money or something equally topheavy?

    So why should the rich NOT pay? IMHO, they need to pay for EVERYTHING.

    The rest of us, especially those of us who have not had any income in nearly two years, have no cash to spare. /and I am SICK of the rich always whining!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  246. Elle

    This is a drop in the bucket of the rich and wealthy. They have had the privilege to making huge amounts of money in this country. If they believe enough in the country to earn that much money, then they should believe enough in the country to help pay for health care. After all, they enjoy many of the benefits of be a citizen of this great country.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  247. Geoff in Seattle

    You Betcha! What ... do you have Amnesia Jack? The rich got 8-years of Tax Breaks from George W. Bush! During two Wars , Dot.com collapses, and Real Estate Bubbles bursting ... the rich have continued to do very well for themselves. It's about time they had to pay their fair share instead of the burden falling solely on the Middle Class.. who's jobs are going steadily to India and China (thanks in part to those self-same rich folks)... including my job!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  248. Raymond Bell

    Jack,

    Who composes this tiny percentage of rich people, and how do they make so much money compared to the rest of us? Do you suppose that it might come from us consumers who pay for the services and products that make the rich so rich. Would it be too much to ask to give a percentage back to the common good, so more Americans can have the "right to life"?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  249. Evan

    Now I'm not rich, I don't make over 100k a year. I love to read these comments on how its fair for the rich to subsidize the poor, as if there was no connection between any tax especially on the higher class and how middle to lower class people thrive in our society. The people that make 500k a year are typically the savers in an economy their money is borrowed or invested to create more production, jobs, etc. Yes the rich did well during the last 8 years. That's because overwhelmingly the rich are successful people and successful people do well in any situation. People are acting like that's a bad thing. Basically people want to punish success. Oh and to those who are saying the rich and the banks were bailed out, we are owed our part. You have no idea how badly you would be doing now if the government had let the banks fail.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  250. Anna in Chicago

    Is it fair to bail out rich people again and again when we leave poor people fend for themselves. They should pay more because they get greater benefits. Bankers got free money and now they are getting bonuses for that. My friend lost his job and home and did not get bailed out.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  251. Viktor Hlon

    It's not fair because it gives the impression that rich people gained their money somehow illegally, that's why they should pay for others. But on the other hand it's fair because rich people didn't make millions of dollars by their OWN hands–all those money made by hands of millions, and the least they can get out of it, is a guaranteed health care.

    Kyiv, Ukraine.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  252. Frank

    The rich have a moral obligation to help out in paying more taxes to assure that we have a decent health care system.

    Look at Europe, they are passing us by in every area of standard of living.

    US today is down to # 14 insatndard of living as compared to all other western culture countries and these countries all have a universal health care sytem. In all these countries the wealthy contribute a lot more than those in the US.

    Its tike we change that. Take a look at the scandinavian countries and you will see a huge difference in every aspect of standard of living.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  253. Vivien from NY

    Yes it is fair! The rich have so many ways to hide their money in tax shelters that I cant feel sorry for them. Some even find ways to get Granny on medicaid by moving her wealth to the children. About time we force them to be a little less selfish and think about others. After all you cant take the money to the grave.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  254. Frank Ernst

    The rich shouldn't be asked to subsidize health care for the average citizen. The rich, however, should attempt to affect the reinstatement of tariffs and trade agreements, that when abolished, caused the source of all goods to be shifted to Communist China and other low income nations. Bring back American companies and American jobs and the result will be that our tax revenue will allow us to return to being the financially strong country that we were, and there will not be any need to ask the rich to subsidize anything. Frank Ernst, Cape Coral, FL

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  255. bruce fontaine

    It's fair to make the rich help pay for national health care. In most cases, it's the money from the little guys that made these rich people wealthy. Sometimes it's the national resources of the country that contributed to their business' success. It's the public servants and social fabric "strands" of the nation that create the free market environment that has enabled them to climb to the top of their respective heaps. It's way past time for these guys to do something nice for the little people that helped them get where they are today.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  256. Betsy

    Yes it's fair! Jack why don't you tell us the exact total the Rich received in those Huge Tax Cuts that the Bush Administration gave them. Isn't it time they gave it back?

    President Obama said he would take back the tax cuts, all those billions and he's keeping his word. Good for him, one promise down!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  257. Jeff

    No, Jack I do not believe it is fair to make the rich pay for everything. That being said, I also believe it is not fair for an honest hard-working family, just trying to get by, day by day, to lose everything because someone in the family falls ill. It is a very difficult question, but we all know that something has to be done...and soon.

    Youngstown, OH

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  258. STEPHAN, WASHINGTON DC

    While this issue may indirectly discourage either personal or entrepreneurial success, at the end of the day what's more important? Is it your personal success in excess of what you need to live comfortably or saving the life of your fellow man/woman?

    We would all love to live in excess but if you could see who is living without necessary resources to support that lifestyle while they're barely living you would be heartless to ignore them.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  259. Donald Ward

    Yes its fair. And it would only not be fair if the higher percentage of tax placed upon the rich would make them poor. If they continue to be rich then what difference does it make other than 1 less beach house or 1 less yacht. Wow...try explaining that to the poor, who is living paycheck to paycheck.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  260. JeVonte

    Is it fair to make the rich pay for health care? heck no! But what in this life is fair? I could get on board with some government cutbacks, but to burden less than 1% of the population with this tremendous debt is sad indeed. I love Obama but this would be horrible mistake for his administration. Maybe we should forget about reforming health care and focus on simply reforming our health.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  261. Brian

    Jack,

    It's not that health care is only worth having if someone else pays for it...it's just that the only way for many to even get health care is if someone else pays for it. That's a big difference.

    Brian
    Boise, ID

    November 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  262. terry

    How many times have you heard about the million-airs making millions more every year and find the loop holes to get out of paying any tax on any of it. You bet it is OK to let them pay for it. They should pay for more than just health care too.
    Terry.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  263. Myrna

    The rich have had a pretty easy ride for a long time. While all of our costs have risen–college, health premiums, energy–middle class wages and salaries have been flat or sinking. Those who can pay should pay.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  264. Carol Groves

    Yes, it's fair. the income tax was meant to be a graduated tax with the richest paying in the most. Little tax breaks have made this untrue and given license to rampant greed. The rich should be proud to pay for health care especially when they can still be rich. It won't be a big sacrifice for them.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  265. Joyce Smith

    If they put the taxes up on the rich thats another added amount they won't pay, no need to worry about them getting stuck paying for health care, how do you think they got rich

    November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  266. Anne Bell

    Yes! Yes! And HELL YES! Rich people get rich by over-working and underpaying the poor. Just take a look at CEO compensation! "To whom much is given, much is expected!" Tell your Republican friends to remember the origin of this quote and pony up NOW! Get real, Jack!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  267. Jennifer, Connecticut

    No, I do not think it is "fair"
    The US government should not be in the fair business. Policies should be across the board, period. This is why a flat tax needs to be enacted. This government has gotten extremely creative expanding the original meaning of government. None of this is in the constitution, which they swear to uphold upon entering office.
    Approximately 50% of the population doesn't even pay income tax to the federal government. I think it is destructive in the long run to our country's progress to not have everyone have a stake in it.
    Thank You,
    Jennifer

    November 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  268. Mike Akins

    I believe that many of the rich have gained their wealth by short-changing the working middle class. Compare the increase in investment returns, corporate pay with the massive working class. The wealthy use the power of money to squeeze a grear percentage of the available wealth from the middle class. Because of this yes it is right to tax them appropriately much more.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  269. Jim

    Jack,
    You mentioned that income taxes are indexed for inflation, unlike this new , unindexed tax on the rich. Dear tell, which federal taxes are indexed for inflation? That was ended in the '86 tax "reform" bill by Bob Dole and Co.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  270. Tom

    Of course. Those who can afford to pay more, should be expected to do so. It's outrageous that those who have the ability to help solve Americas healthcare problem (and it most certainly is a problem) feel that they have no responsibilty to do so

    November 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  271. g. vetter

    Not fair to lay this strictly on the rich. Also need a small , say 1%, federal sales tax to pay for heallth care. If all of us are to benefit, all should pay for it.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  272. Martin

    As I understand it, France and Germany have many socialized provisions in their government including medical care for all. They are out of the 'recession and I mean all out of it. We are deeply in it. So, as to socialism when it regards the Armed forces, Medical care for vets and the indigent and elderly goes, I guess the wealthy who do not enter the military and fight for this country of ours should put up something more to justify their lack of patriotism when it comes to war.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  273. Robert in Northern Neck

    They should give back what they have taken–or possibly bled–from society. Would have been highly unlilely that that level of income if got honestly, was not supported by public education, tax breaks, pushing loopholes that avoided earlier tax responsibilities, and so on. Its time to explode the myth that you got rich without using someone else.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  274. Victor@Oceanside-CA

    It is fair. The rich will find way to get their money back by investing in health care IT, etc. Or at least, they make a tiny tiny less on people who pay unreasonable amount for healthcare.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  275. bj brink

    To whom MUCH is given, MUCH is expected !!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  276. john holseth

    as a country we always prospered when the super rich paid their fair share Jon

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  277. Mary England

    I keep hearing that it's not fair to ask the rich to pay more so everyone can have health care, even though they would still live luxuriously, but it's okay to expect the poor who may not even have a roof over their heads or food for their children to pay for insurance coverage they couldn't afford to use. Who was it who said he robbed banks because that is where the money is? Dig deeper into a poor man's pocket and all you'll find is lint or a hole.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  278. Charles

    Jack,

    It is only fair that if you are making over a million dollar you should pay my fair share and contribute to the country allowing me to make that much money, this includes me!, Moi!.

    That is what been a U.S citizen is all about. If and when in trouble overseas, I know that the U.S government will go the extra mile to get me out of arms way and regai my freedom. Europe too has a 40% tax rate for the wealthy, it is only right we share our wealth with others and the unfortunates. Charles

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  279. Kim

    Yes Jack because if the wallstreet rich hadn't stole our tax money we could pay for it ourselves.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  280. shelly

    Jack,

    This is not health insurance reform, this is Robin Hood run amuck. I am not the average republican you hear from. I live in a mobile home, I make less than 20,000 a year, I have no assitants from the government to pay my monthy bills. Also I d o not have any health insurance. I still do not want to see the federal government try to take more money away from people who have been able to make some, I want to see them spend less of all of ours.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  281. Jim in NH

    Damn right it is. The top 0.3% won't even feel it. It couldn't possibly affect them in the least.
    What? Oh no my boy won't get to trade in his '09 beamer for the '10 model or my daughter will just have to make do with a $50,000 wedding instead of the 100k we were planning. And we'll have to take one of our four vacations in the US this year. How appaling! Boo Hoo.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  282. Amanda L

    Absolutely not. Why is it fair to tax those who have it better? Because they went to college for 8-10 years to get these high paying jobs all of a sudden they owe all the people in the country who make less money then they do. Thats socialism plain and simple. I think Darwin put it right when he said Survival of the fittest or in this case the richest (and so there is no confusion i grew up below poverty level and currently make less than 20,000 as a Grad student).

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  283. Don

    NO Jack it isn't fair. If I were rich, I'd pack up and go to Tahiti and wait to see if this country gets it's act together.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  284. Jim, Hewitt, TX

    I consider our family middle class. However, I do not believe that we should always be looking to the wealthy everytime we need money to fund a project. The majority of the rich got that way, not by inheritance, but by hard work and by providing goods and services that people like me could not provide for themselves. What's the government going to do when it has taxed the rich until they are like the rest of us. You can bet the government will begin taxing the rest of us.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  285. Jason Hill

    No, they shouldn't pay fand I am sure they don't even care about reform. If you want health care reform be ready to pay for it with part of your pay check! Don't leach of other people!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  286. Peggy

    It's the same old story of altruism....the sacrifice of some for others. In the case of paying for government run medicine it's, for now, the sacrifice of the rich aka successful for the not so successful. But remember if you don't defend the rights of all Americans then you will be sacrificed next.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  287. Jim

    Hi Jack;
    I am suprised to hear your commentary about the rich paying for the health insurance for the uninsured. Bravo to you for been so clear and bold on this. It is is unfair to them and criminal for Pelosi and the Democrats to punish them for been rich. Those who think the rich should pay for the health care of others are jealous of the rich. I think it is time for those to be affected by this immoral hike to form a gold club and pay to push the Dems out of power with speed, but I won't be qualified. Hopefully the taxers will pay their share and not forget to declare their earnings.

    Jim, Pasadena CA

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  288. Sam Rizzo in Texas

    I would have to say I have no problem letting the rich pay for the Healthcare. Most of the rich don't care about the working class or the poor. If they didn't get tax breaks there wouldn't even be donations given. I have to say that with the ushering in of the Reagan administration, and the behind scenes rulers(Wall Street aka. Goldman Sachs) it is their turn to PAY!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  289. brian

    Jack,
    Since this country started, the rich have gotten special favors from the government. The railroads got free land, broadcasters got free radio spectrum, insurance companies got special exemption from anti-trust laws etc. It's these favors that allowed them to become rich. It's time for the government to collect on debts owed. Universal health care will allow are workers to compete abroad as every other country in the world subsidizes their industries and products by providing health care to their citizens and not set burden of these costs on those companies

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  290. Ritchie

    The rich don't pay! They don't go to fight our wars. They exploit them! The rich will find a way around any tax Obama attempts. In order to get the rich to pay for anything we might have to another American Revolution. Since everyone aspires to be rich (ala Joe the Plumber) The question you inquire is a work in futility. Get real! Corporate Welfare, (Tax Breaks) were made for the rich. It is absurd to think that they will pay anything. Jack, you're a funny guy!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  291. Matt

    Are all you Socialists on here o.k. with losing your jobs? Think the wealthy who put this country to work are going to absorb a huge increase with no repercussions? Think, please.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  292. Joe T

    With a Senate vote of 51 all Republicans the Bush administration H.R. 2 (the Tax Cut bill), which became Public Law 108-27 on 5/28/2003 the taxes were cut more then this for this bracket causing the largest defect of any President living office in 2008 of 1.4 trillion dollars. Yes I thank they should pay.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  293. Mick

    As a person who would be affected by the increase of tax for higher
    income individuals and having recently lost my wife of forty-six years,
    I support the administration's efforts to get the American Citizens the
    help they need for themselves and their loved ones.

    Somewhere and in some sad time I think we have lost our real caring
    for our fellow Americans.

    Now we have a chance to do something for America that is good.

    Mick in Harlingen, Texas

    November 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  294. Jim

    I am surprised how many of you want the wealthy people to pay your way. That will only increase the gap between the poor and the wealthy. Where is your desire to pay your own way in this life. The only thing holding you back is the idea that other successful folks should support your lack of same. Should the wealthy pay for all of your needs that you can't afford? Food? School? Auto? Housing? Gasoline? Where would it end? Socialism is not the answer. Get off your backsides and create your opportunities.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  295. Ken in Kansas

    Good Grief Jacki!!!!
    With all the Bush, Bush, Reagan(BBR) tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, out sourcing of jobs overseas, the TARP bailouts, and Reaganomics in general, why not let them start paying their fair share. Even under Clinton, the rich were never hurting, at any rate like most of us taxpaying Middle class Americans. Gee, Jack, why don't the citizens and our elected officials wake up and smell the coffee?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  296. Rick

    Jack,
    No! I can't believe these mindless people who always want someone else to pay for their things. Bring back jobs to this country! The government keeps taxing businesses until they can't pay and are forced to leave. You can thank the uniouns in this country for that

    November 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  297. stuart Samson

    Well, from the comments I've read, you're not getting a lot of support. I find all this rather amusing. I wonder if Hollywood realized what they were standing up for? As a Physician, I feel that coverage should be available AND affordable to all. My issue has always been that we need to take a more liberal- and by liberal I mean innovative- approach; and any legislation needs to be applicable to the legislators. But I digress.
    Something for nothing is worth every penny. And those for whom it is intended will only become more entitled.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  298. Joseph Kavanaugh

    Jack,
    The rich got rich off the hard working americans of this great land. I feel the rich should shoulder a good percentage of the cost of healthcare reform as payback to those who put them in there castles!

    Postal Joe
    Rock Hill NY

    November 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  299. Dorian

    Wasn't it our "Starve the Beast" conservative president George Bush who wanted to make his tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans permanent? I believe that the middle class deserves a bit of fairness the wealthiest Americans have had for the last 8 years. At the end of the day the fact remains, the rich are rich rarely from hard work or intellect. The wealthy are born into privilege, benefit from connections and nepotism, inheritance and title. Is any of that fair? It's a lot less fair than having to give a little of the tax breaks Bush disingenuously claimed were for All Americans. The wealthiest Americans have controlled politics in this country for generations. I doubt in the end they will pay one dime more than the poorest American. In fact, they probably will manage to get the poor to subsidize their healthcare before the GOP is through destroying this bill.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  300. RJ from Lake,MI

    If the rich eliminate the jobs here necessary to withstain an economy that makes them even more rich than they are now, they will go down with the ship along with the rest of us. I say do tax them more and when a company can show real job growth here in this country then lower their taxes.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  301. Andres

    No. It seems ironically ridiculous to claim "fairness" to take from one class of citizens for the benefit of others. Is it fair to steal property that someone created through ethical, legal, and hard earned effort? Who decides how low or high to set the limits or what ends justify the means?

    November 2, 2009 at 7:47 pm |