June 6th, 2011
05:56 PM ET

Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More than a hundred conservatives in the House sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor Monday setting strict guidelines that need to be met in order to get their vote to support an increase to the debt ceiling. These lawmakers are concerned Boehner and Cantor will not push hard enough for spending cuts when they meet with Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/06/06/art.cantor.boehner.jpg caption="(L to R) House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)."]
Specifically, they're asking for discretionary and mandatory spending cuts that would cut the deficit in half next year. Good luck.

For all the tough talk coming from Republican lawmakers about cutting spending and reducing the deficit, they refuse to give in on one issue - raising taxes, mostly on the rich. Such a move would of course raise revenue at a time when we're facing a $14.3 trillion national debt, but it would also anger wealthy Republican donors. Can't have that.

According to a new Gallup Poll, Americans are split over whether to raise taxes for the rich.

Forty-seven percent of Americans believe the government should redistribute wealth in this country by raising taxes on the wealthiest citizens. Forty-nine percent disagree.

When you break it down by party affiliation, the percentage of Democrats who are for raising taxes on the wealthy is just about equal to the percentage of Republicans against raising taxes.

Seventy-one percent of Democrats support redistributing wealth while 26% are against it. Just 28% of Republicans support a plan to tax more heavily the richest Americans while 69% do not.

When it comes to independents though, it's split. About 43% support redistributing wealth while 53% do not.

Here’s my question to you: Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

A wealth tax is a bad idea, and will simply drive the monetary assets of the rich offshore. Increasing the tax rates for everybody and removing many deductions would help America get back on its feet. But don't forget that reducing spending is even more important.

Ray in Knoxville, Tennessee:
Redistributing the wealth, Jack? Is that what you're calling it now? To answer your question, I do support raising taxes on the rich and undoing the past 30 years of the Republican assault on America.

H.J. in St. Paul, Minnesota:
Of course, it should. But let’s be clear, no one is saying we should redistribute it all. Just enough to recover common sense. They'll still be wealthy. It’s simply not feasible to have an economy grow when you lower the relative value of the average person.

Dave in Seattle, Washington:
Since two-thirds of government spending goes towards defense spending, you should reword your question. I bet the answers would be different if you asked "Should we increase taxes on the rich to help pay for the war in Afghanistan?"

Ray in Georgia:
How do most people get rich? By working hard and applying themselves. Seems like a good formula to me. So-called Rich people provide jobs for those that want to work and better themselves. So in a sense the wealth is being re distributed. I would disagree with government taking more money in Taxes and handing it out in benefits that are not earned.

Curtis in Philadelphia, Pa.:
Yes. Sorry if that's too wordy.

Carol in Northampton, Massachusetts:
Does anybody care? Weiner's picture seems to be more important than the economy. But, to answer your question, the whole tax code needs to be revamped and simplified so that revenues can be fairly maximized.

Cliff in Rego Park, New York:
American wealth has been re-distributed over the past 30 years, which has resulted in the decimation of the middle class. Before you posed the question, you should have asked yourself how many successful one wage earner blue collar families do you know?

Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. diridi

    taxing the rich is not tantamount to redistribution of American wealth. It is just asking them to pay their fair share when we are in trouble caused by GOP thugs., o.k, Don't you know, it is caused by Reagan's trickle down economy, and Bush's Iraq war, ???? When Clinton was president, don't you know we had surplus???? How did this disappear then?????Don't you think, it is a play that these GOP thugs are playing drama to cut spending when we need, now economy is just reeling to good reports, they want to blame Democratic president, and blame on him. Do they have any ethical concept?????Idiotic GOP thugs...that's all i write...

    June 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  2. Jayne

    Funny. I thought I clicked onto a CNN site, not Fox. Lou . . . is that you?

    June 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Tony Ginn

    Jack, redistribution of wealth is not the answer! Increasing taxes on the wealthy and removing loopholes for Corporations and restoring tax levels back to the Clinton era is one way to increase revenues, but that's only the tip of the iceberg, if we are going to address are increasing debt crisis. We need to reduce the deficit by $500 billion dollars per year along with tax reform if we want to head off another financial melt down. Of course, the idiot's in Congress will continue to delay any legislation that will help the economy by 2012. They are only concerned about keeping their seat's instead of helping the American people!

    Tacoma, WA

    June 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  4. Barbara Leavitt

    Only in so that it helps pay down our debt along with all of the loop holes for businesses. Needs to end. Bush tax cuts...........there were fewer jobs created under Bush than in the history of presidents. So that is such a lame story the Republicans are telling and amazing that so many are falling for it. What is wrong with half of this country?

    Henderson Nevada

    June 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  5. bonnie from NJ

    YES YES YES!!! Just go back to the tax rates before the Bush tax cuts (for everyone). It is very apparent that the wealthy have taken full advantage of the country for their own gain and have caused a good amount of the financial stress hurting the country now. Also, penalize corporations who have exported jobs and/or just laid off American workers to increase their profit margin to keep for the top people in the corporation. It is abhorable what these people have done, of course, with the direct cooperation of our wonderful government. Something needs to be done, however, the more they make and contribute to political campaigns the less likely anything will be done. It is time to put an end to the fantasy of "trickle down economics" and taxing the rich kills jobs.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  6. virginia - Atlanta, GA

    Jack, Wealth began to be redistributed in the 80's. Tax rates were supposedly lowered and households lacking a tax adviser discovered they were paying more taxes, but in a different way. Perhaps it is time to for the wealthy – most of whom actually pay very little taxes to pay their share without so many loopholes.

    Do you remember Reagan telling us that only the rich had savings accounts. At that time 401K's, IRA's etc. did not exist, the stock market was difficult to get into without spare funds, and savings accounts were often the only way someone with limited funds could save for the future.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Tom in Desoto, TX

    The rich & Wall St has all the money and Republicans like it that way since they're against any taxes even if it's for education, roads, electricity. Republican are for the rich, regular people can and should go to hell, and be quick about it. I think all taxes should be stopped, then everyone will learn why taxes are necessary for a society to exist.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Jim


    "Redistribution of wealth" is a loaded phrase immediately conjuring up images of wholesale confiscation of property and cries of Socialism. Taxes are levied so the country can pay its bills. Insofar as some of those bills involve protecting the children, the poor, and the elderly from poverty, taxes may be viewed as a partial redistribution of national wealth. This is neither new, nor sinister. It is certainly not Socialism. Taxes should be based on sharing the pain. Those of only modest means should pay little because that's all they can afford. The wealthiest among us should pay significantly more because they can do so without experiencing any undue financial pain or impact to their lifestyle.


    Reno, Nevada

    June 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

    Tampa, Fl The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. This saying has been around for quite a long time, and if we wait just a couple of more years, I am sure the rich will own everything and start fighting among themselves in the name of one can never have enough money.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  10. Greg in Arkansas

    Much of the U.S. wealth has been concentrated into fewer pockets by re-locating jobs to other countries in the name of higher profits. As a result, we have a deficit problem and the approach seems to be to impose cuts on those that need help the most like those workers that have lost their jobs and health insurance.

    The wealthy have enjoyed lower taxes on those profits and have threatened to....NOT....create jobs unless they get to keep their tax cuts.

    I was down-sized from my last job, spent 14 months looking for employment and now work for less money, fewer benefits and higher health insurance costs.

    I would ask the wealthy not to think of it as redistributing their wealth but sharing some of the pain of the "non-rich" workers that built our country....think of "paying your fair share" of taxes as an investment in THIS country and OUR future because, with out us "non-rich" folks to buy your products and services, none of us have a future.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  11. Paul

    From DeepintheHeartofHurstTexas
    I think the current progressive Income tax more than adequately addresses the redistribution of wealth issue.
    The Earned Income Credit is a current form of wealth redistribution.

    The only way to halt the ever increasing class gap will be to remove the cap on social security pension taxes.
    That change will burden the companies to "match" the excessive salaries/compensation. This is similiar to the luxury tax used by the professional sport leagues in order to maitain the league's survival

    June 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  12. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    America's wealth is not being redistributed, they're just being ask to pay their fair share like they did before the bush tax cuts, when we had a surpluse. Back then the rich was enjoying things and living the same as they are now. When Warren Buffett pays less tax than his secretary something is wrong. Even Buffett admitted that he should pay more tax. Jack you should come down here and live and look up with the rest of us poor working saps for a month. I don't think you would be using the word redistribute when talking about the rich paying their tax.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Kevin in CA

    It's not a redistribution, it's a return of what was taken from the middle class in the first place.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Ken from Pinon Hills. California

    Millions of recipients of trickle down economics, are already treading water with no money to help our country, as those who did the trickling.
    If taxing the rich will at last resort save the economically sinking ship, "The United States", let the taxing begin.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  15. lou

    Only the upper income folks have the extra money to do anything about the debt crisis we're in. And let's face it, a lot of these folks actually made money while the rest of us struggle to put gas in the car. So why don't we have a temporary tax increase on the folks at the top, call it a patriot tax, and use all the extra revenue to pay down the debt. Once we hit a target amount, the rate goes back to normal. It may actually encourage some of these guys sitting on capital to put it back into the game to get the economy rolling again, since a stronger economy will help them get back to a lower tax rate.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Ed from Texas

    In February of 2001, President Bush said, "Along with funding our priorities and paying down the debt, my plan returns about one of every four dollars of the surplus to the American taxpayers..."

    I think we can all agree the surplus is gone. The tax cuts should be allowed to expire, for everyone.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Jane (Minnesota)

    I don't like the way you worded your question, Jack, but the short answer is Yes. Let's face it, whether or not people try to deny it, the wealth was re-distributed upward heavily in favor of the elite 1 or 2% The percentage of tax bases on income is at it's lowest point in a long time.. Our economy was nearly tanked in 2008 by greed and upward redistribultion of wealthsuch as this. Wealth is not an unlimited resource like oil and water, there's only so much of it to go around.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  18. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Virtually all of the rich have acheived their wealth from managing the efforts and purchasing power of the working class. This is the definition of Capitalism. Those of the working class who have found themselves financially or medically slipping behind the Middle Class shouldn't be abandoned by society but assisted in renewing their American Dream. Those who have realized the pinnacle of the American Dream should loosen their purse strings and contribute a fairer share to the peaceful prosperity of an entire Nation.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  19. Loren

    Do you think that all of America's wealth is in the hands of the wealthy? I have no issue with people keeping income and wealth they've earned, but when they stolen it by cheating and lying, that's where I draw the line. And the line starts with Goldman Sachs and a number of other banking houses that created this financial crisis through their self-dealing and manipulation of our economy.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  20. Phyllis G Williams

    Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?

    Matthew 6:19-20 says Lay not up treasures on earth,
    but in heaven. Job 1: 21 says “Naked came I out of my mother’s
    womb, and naked shall I return”, so if man cannot obey his
    Creator he is free to hold it up to come to nought insread of
    spreading it for eternal blessing..

    June 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  21. Kevin in CA

    How about collecting taxes from big corporations first, then revert to the tax rates for the rich that were in place a decade ago ... no redistribution necessary.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Terry in Virginia

    The only fair tax is a flat tax for everyone, no exemptions, no exceptions. Trickle-down economics has never worked and I'm tired of my tax dollars trickling up to support corporate welfare and the rich. All I ask for is fair shake but I doubt I'll live long enough to see it as long as our elected representatives are bought and paid for by wealthy special interest groups.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  23. Ken in Seattle

    It isn't so much an issue of redistributing wealth as it is asking the rich to pay their fair share, which they are not doing at the moment. And it isn't just a matter of raising the tax rate for these folks. Many, many of them pay no taxes at all or pay far less than those whose net worth is substantially lower. There is no excuse for these people, not to mention corporations, getting by essentially free of taxation. We not only need to raise the tax rate but close the numerous loop holes from which they, and the corporations, are given an unfair advantage over the rest of us. When the folks working at Wal Mart pay taxes and many of the wealthy, and corporations like GE, pay nothing there is something drastically wrong and unfair with our current system of taxation. The country prospered under the tax policies of the Clinton Administration. Even Allan Greenspan now says we should return to them.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  24. Ed from MD

    Redistributed like a black hole sucking all matter to nobody knows where and all to show for it a wet sucking sound. In other words normal taxation is bad enough but why spare the rich?

    June 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  25. David Rand

    Loaded question:
    The existing system already taxes the rich to supplement the poor.
    Do I think we need to tax the rich more? Maybe a little..but I do think we need to be realistic and avoid becoming an Anti-Business Nation.

    I think that there needs to be a combination of a small increases such as:
    – Go back to Clinton Business tax rates, this helps to close the budget deficit. This has proven to be a bearable level for business, so why not use it.
    – Use a federal fuel tax use to offset the Dept. of Transportation budget
    – Tax tobacco and alcohol due to the long term heath costs
    – Demand that auto makers expedite improved fuel consumption for future vehicles.
    – Open up the Oil fields in Alaska to shut up the Rupublicans
    – Simple common sense changes to improve safety yet open up more oil in the Gulf coast.

    Summary: We need a comprehensive bi-partisan plan that allows both parties to "Win". Businesses should never fear a tax increase becuase we all know that a tax on business is ultimately a tax on the people in a true competitive market place.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  26. Rick, Medina, OH


    It is not so much about redistributing wealth ... it is more about fairness and common sense. As a young man in 1975, fresh out of college, I got a very good job at $13,500 per year. I was taxed then at a higher rate than many of the wealthy today. This is a problem that needs fixing.

    Medina, OH

    June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  27. David

    A better approach would be to develop a strategy to encourage the rich to invest in new private sector businesses in the USA that will create jobs in the USA. Simply taxing the rich will only put more money in pay envelopes of bureaucrats who are already among our best paid employee groups.

    Bureaucrats, by and large, don't create new money – they just spin the old.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  28. Johnny C (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    No Jack, increasing taxing the rich is unfair and only hurts our free enterprise model. Let's use the Robin Hood approach and take back from the government the unwise useage of our tax dollars to redistribute to the poor.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Conor in Chicago

    Yes. See Scandinavia if you think I am a "dirty Commie". They tax their rich and there is no poverty, everyone is extremely educated, and their unemployment rate is next to nothing. Compare that to America in which the elite wealthy maintain a undereducated religiously delusional mass population eager to go war to enrich the investment class at their own expense while congruently allowing that same class to siphon off mass amounts of potential employment to the Third world because they are distracted by mindless entertainments and maybe you can understand why the rest of the world thinks we are nuts and have no business running the world.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  30. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Duh! Since it has already been redistributed by UN-taxing the rich, yes. It is time to share the “pain” the middle class has felt since the days of Saint Ronald. But even if you taxed the wealthy at 80% they still would feel no pain at all. Simply because they have an unfair advantage over everyone else – in that they can buy legislation to benefit themselves – they need to be reined in and the only way to do it is to tax them progressively. When their rates were 90% they felt no pain and did quite well. They still had 50 room mansions, maids, cooks, butlers, chauffeurs and all manner of servants.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  31. Cy Gardner

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!!! So many rich people were, to borrow Gov. Anne Richard's phrase, "Born on third base and swore they hit a triple". We've had a chance to see how this country works when the Republicans get everything that the rich want. When the rich pay no taxes and don't have to obey any laws their sense of noblesse oblige is not enough to lift the economy out of the hole they dug for us. I'm sick of seeing consumers and employees lied to and cheated and treated like criminals just so the rich can lord it over us. Tax the rich? We should EAT THE RICH!!!!
    cy Arlington, VA

    June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  32. Carla

    YES - the wealthy should be taxed HEAVILY, and the burden should be lifted from those of us who have borne it for so long, allowing US to have a little something to show for our labor. I worked for tax attorneys over eleven years. Those who are wealthy pay little or nothing. The rest of us are bled dry. And when we are old and exhausted from decades in service to the wealthy, we are told our Social Security and Medicare - into which we've paid heavily and dutifully - is an "entitlement" that we don't deserve.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  33. Arp

    Redistribution of wealth to tax the rich? Aw, come on, Jack! It's a redistribution of wealth where the poorest among us pay a disproportionate percentage of their income for the bare essentials of life. So it costs a rich guy $120 to fill his gas tank? He won't miss it. If a working stiff gets stuck for the same amount, you bet he'll know the difference. What this country really needs is an overhaul of the whole tax code so that everyone pays their fair share, and everyone includes the super-rich. Don't you agree?

    [Arp, from Brandon, MS]

    June 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  34. Russ in PA

    What nonsense! There are justly rich and unjustly rich. You can tax the unjustly rich – those that make money based on government intervention, support, handouts – what you like. But hands off the justly rich – those that work in a free market.

    Redistributing wealth is nonsense, as it perpetuates dependency of those that receive the goods, which is obviously what many politicians want: a constant stream of dependent voters. How well has the War on Poverty worked? No better than any other war that government wishes to fight.

    Perhaps the government should distribute it's own wealth to those that are dependent, and let them move to Portugal or Greece...

    June 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  35. Cy Gardner

    The distribution of wealth in this country is on a par with Uganda and the Ivory Coast. Things got this bad because the rich bought up most of the media and most of the politicians. Over and over, things that seem immoral and grossly unfair are perfectly legal. Courts let employers lie, cheat and steal. We are no long a country under the rule of law, we are under the rule of money. A very significant portion of the American rich didn't earn a damn thing, they lied, cheated, stole and bribed their way into a fortune at the expense of society. I don't just want their money, I want their heads. Cy Arlington, VA

    June 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  36. Bob Kobs

    It is helping. All the media is with the GOP. By the way, she flubbed a grade four history question.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  37. Donna from Wisconsin

    Redistributing??? I think it is more that they pay their fair share. No one in the media seems to state the facts: Out Federal tax rates are the lowest since Reagan was in office. And corporate taxes are even lower and have been for years. I haven't–nor has anyone else seen that tax breaks create jobs. If that was the case we would have full employment. Please guys–start reporting on that! Republicans just keep repeating the same old stuff. Hear it long enough–well it must be true!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  38. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Logically yes. Even with a slight increase in taxes, the rich would still be, well, rich. And with people like Warren Buffet saying to tax the rich, I think its time to listen. Besides, the budget won't be balanced with cuts alone. That said, we're talking about America. Even though this country ranks low on upward mobility, no one will favor this. The rich won't like it for obvious reasons, and everyone else tends to think they're a winning lotto ticket or a reality show appearance away from fame and fortune.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  39. Brad, Portland, OR

    The way you phrased the question seems to indicate that you don't think the wealthy need to contribute to society. That contributing to society is "redistribution."

    Personally, I believe in Spiderman's motto: "With great power comes great responsibility."

    Or, if you want to go old school, Luke 12:48 says, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."

    June 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  40. Peggy in Iowa

    They don't seem to be paying their shair. Between overseas loopholes, corp rates/none, etc., Just making them pay more & keeping jobs here would benefit greatly. No more Bush tax cuts!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  41. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: For those who are not wealthy-–you will have no complaints---but the wealthy didn't get wealthy by volunteering their wealth to be distributed--that sir is just not going to happen! The rich will continue to get rich--and the poor will continue to be poor!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  42. Gary H. Boyd

    Just when did we give up on capitalism in this country Jack. It's what separates us from the rest of the world. Opportunity is what drives innovation. Those who innovate because of opportunity create things and hire people and make money for doing so. To redistribute the wealth of those who make the whole machine work to those who haven't a clue is the dumbest idea you've come up with yet. You must be running low on intelligent questions pal.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  43. Jane in CA

    The rich should be taxed to finance the government. Unless you are a survivalist living off the land, you will pay some taxes, directly or indirectly. That money may pay for things that benefit you, or not. If taxes paid by the rich support programs that benefit folks poorer than they are, that is not wealth redistribution. The poor still do not have money. They just get some help with buying food and medicine. The rich, on the other hand, have had America's wealth redistributed to them for the last 25 years. They actually have more money now than they did formerly, while the vast majority of Americans are worse off than before. I doubt that we will tax them so much that they wind up shopping at food banks.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  44. David of Alexandria VA

    You mean more so? We now have 10% of the people paying 70% of the income tax and almost half the population that doesn't pay any at all. I get a chuckle out of ludricrous national opinion pols which ask this same question: "We need more tax revenue - who should pay for it, you or someone else." And we are amazed at how most people vote "someone else." And we proclaim victory in the name of democracy that we can stick it to someone else. That's just wrong-headed, Jack.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  45. Sylvia from California

    Yes.... Tax those Hollywood Rich Fat Cat's. Let them put their money where their big liberal mouths are!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  46. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    You're asking the question after the fact.

    "The gap between the top 1% and everyone else has not been this wide since the 1920s." (Virginia L. Downie, Just Thought You Should Know)

    When unions were in their hay day, the middle class got a piece of the pie. The rich now have Republicans legislating union busting for a reason.

    If the burden that is crushing the middle class were redistributed to the levels of the 1950s, America would come back. No middle class – no America.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  47. Bill in New Mexico

    Wealth should be redistributed by taxes, but I also understand the Tea Party. For a couple of decades I hated taxes and voted republican–and I knew better.

    It's ironic. The well-to-do middle class will probably get their wish at stopping taxes to redistribute wealth. A failure to redistribute wealth will mean the end of the middle class.

    Is this what the middle class really wish their grandchildren to inherit?

    Be very careful what you wish for.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  48. Peg in NY

    It is not a complete solution but it is a start.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  49. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Trickle down never got to the rest of us like Reagan said and the people bought, Bush and the current Republicans are selling this nonsense again and look where our economy is today. History shows that the best of times are when the rich pay more and then they work harder, not when their given a gift.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  50. Annie, Atlanta

    As Warren Buffet said a few years back, when his tax liability is 18% and his receptionist's is at 33%, or when hedge fund managers pay 15% while making billions of dollars, or when corporations pay no taxes, there's something wrong. Fix those things that are wrong. And by the way, that whole redistribution of wealth thing sounds like it's taken right out of Palin's playbook. I expected more from someone of your caliber and experience, Jack. Just sayin'.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  51. TomInRochNY

    Why not. The rich got that way mostly by redistributing American wealth through tax cuts that shifted the burden onto middle class America. Oh, and under paying their workers for making them rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  52. David from Herndon, VA

    It has to be across the board sacrifice. The middle class and poor have already been evicerated - you may be able to take a little more at the corners, but you HAVE to ask something of the wealthy if you do.

    This Ryan plan of cutting entitlements while, at the same time, reducing taxes on the rich is just insane. People are already desperate. If you add in a healthy dose of hopelessness, I don't know what's to stop them from getting violent.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  53. Pete in Georgia

    Taxes are POISON to our capitalist free enterprise system. Period.
    Liberals who hate corporations, who never started or owned a business, who never had to meet a payroll, who have ZERO understanding of how jobs are created will never understand or believe this is true.
    NOTHING is more true.
    If tomorrow, corporate America knew that taxes on business's and business owners were to be slashed by 50% of their current rates..................PERMANENTLY......................Corporate America would be reborn like nothing before in history. Companies would come back home from offshore low wage locations and our unemployment would be history..........................and stay below 5%.

    Taxes are indeed POISON.
    Liberal Democrats have no clue to the reality or truth of this.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  54. Eve Lemon

    Absolutely. It is time to quit swindling taxpayers who have been paying for the first-class ride the rich have enjoyed for the past few decades. It is time for voters to throw out the politicians who are on the payrolls of the rich and corporations, but I don't think the average voter has the sense or cajones to do so. These voters would rather be democrats or republicans before Americans. Eve of Texas

    June 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  55. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    After 30 years of wealth redistribution to the rich isn't it about time some of it trickled down?

    June 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  56. Stella-Northern New York

    That would be nice Jack but will never happen with the rampant corruption in Washington. I'd like to see the tax rates for the wealthy and big business restored to the same rates during President Eisenhower's time in office. Not to worry Jack it won't happen. More likely the lobbyists for the rich and powerfull will write a bill eliminating all taxes on themselves. They will then instruct their puppet congressmen to play their usual game of "let's make believe" we have a knockdown and knockout debate,then vote and quietly pass this bill. This game they play so well over and over again has a name. Its called "LET'S SCREW THE MIDDLE CLASS".

    June 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  57. joyce from ohio

    what should be done is stop bush's tax cuts for the wealthy that would help the deficit. they do not need them it does not create jobs, that does not mean your redistributing the wealth.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  58. Steve, NY

    Instead of hammering the rich constantly, CNN should compare the tax rates of other countries for the rich(over a million dollar income per year). This will give us an idea if we are fair in taxing the rich. Remember the rich will move to a lower tax haven country, just like they are moving away from current high tax states.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  59. Jay


    Perhaps not 'redistributed' as such, as I am against just giving things away to those who don't work for it, but maybe an additional tax that is set strictly to pay down the deficit, complete with a clause that requires balanced budgets, and eliminates the tax when the deficit is paid off. And eliminate all of the loopholes while you're at it! (But I know I'm dreamin', no politician has the guts to do something sensible!)

    Jay in Ridgecrest, CA

    June 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  60. Mycroft

    The wealthy need to be taxed accordlng to their wealth. They live in country that uses the poor's children in the military,to protect their wealth and their right to be wealthy. The social security tax should continue at the same rate no matter how much money a person makes. A person now just pay s social security tax on the first 80,000 per year. Our Social Security System would be saved all problems solved, if millionaires making millions a year would have pay social security tax on their total yearly earnings. I think that the Rich Republicans like watching (in general) the poor suffer, it makes them feel that much wealthier and how happy could they be if everyone had enough.Being Wealthy just wouldn't mean as much. I also imagine Rich Republicans are just tickled pink when the economically,intelectually , hatefilled, racists vote for them. If GOP loses the racist voter, they will have trouble winning any election and who know maybe rich will be taxed fairly again and our country will get out of debt.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  61. Thom Richer

    It has reached that point and may be necessary to do so. The wealth distribution has been widened too far and has eliminated the middle class that is absolutely needed to solidify our economy. We are now a nation of rich and poor. The best thing our Congress and White House can do is tax individual taxpayers, universities, hospitals, churches and businesses from the top down equally. It is time to do so. There is no other solution that will stabilize our economy as proven by the lack of action or results after such a long period of decline. This disparity just may be THE reason for our collapse. I also believe it should be put to the voters rather than leaving it up to a handful of greedy, inept and non-productive elected officials. We, citizens, want a fair tax and it is time Washington listens and acts on our behalf. No perks for anyone and same percent of tax on all.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  62. andyz Lynn, MA

    Your question makes a flat tax rate, with no exceptions, seems to be the most attractive solution. As for American wealth, do you still believe that there is any? If you do explain the national debt.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  63. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    The way this question is phrased is dubious and slanted. The wealth has alredy been redistributed from the bottom up. That is how they got rich in the first place. They got the government contracts, loans and grants. Then the rich sent in their lobbyists to write the tax code for the benefit of the corporations and the wealthy. But there must be an ebb and flow to a working economy. They have taken the money out, and now they must put it back. That is not a redistribution, it is the natural order of things.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  64. My V. Nguyen San Jose, California

    Absolutely! America was built by indentured servants, slaves, and the masses of hungry peasant workers from the old world. The reason people left Europe to travel to America was that they were trying to escape the oppressive regime where the aristocracy ruled.

    Today, in America, this aristocracy is made up of the Wall Street financial elite, the Chamber of Commerce, the multi-national corporation, the health care and insurance industries, etc. The source of power this aristocracy possesses is the wealth which they receive in the Bush tax cuts. By taking away this source of wealth, you take away their ability to dictate the policies affecting every American, without resorting to violence like the Arab Spring.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  65. chuck naples,fla

    yes as i thought we learned trickle down economics does not work however, the republicans want to keep over taxing the poor and give the rich less taxes now they are talking doom and gloom again the housing market is still horrible alot of people are now upside down in their loans who did we bail out the banks who wont loan the money heres what you do...
    1)give every tax payer that made under 30,0000 a year a stimlus pre paid credit card for 4,000 dollars
    2)for every american made product they purchase give them a tax credit
    4) have the auto companys offer up to 3,000 cash back on their new autos plus a cash for clunker of 3,500 for a total of 6,500 down on a new car that gets over 30 miles to gallon
    5)give a stimlus check to companys that hire new workers or a tax break

    June 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  66. Max S. in utah

    I think that everyone should be taxed equally. A flat tax would be fair, and would make sure that those who earn millions and pay no taxes due to loopholes, pay their fair share of the tax bill. No exemptions for being poor either, just straight up, everyone commits to pay something.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  67. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    American wealth has been re-distributed over the past 30 years, which has resulted in the decimation of the middle class. Before you posed the question, you should have asked yourself how many successful one wage earner blue collar families do you know ?

    June 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  68. tom winn

    the nation HAS to cut it's spending and reduce it's outstanding debt. with $.40 of every dollar in the budget borrowed, just cutting spending will not balance the budget, and absolutely will not reduce the debt.

    the rich can withstand the shock of higher taxation easier than the middle class, whose back is already against the wall. the wealthy has benefited more, and can now expect to pay more.

    then there is that $1M "reward/bonus warren buffitt has outstanding. $1M to whoever proves they pay more taxes, as a percentage of total income, than their secretary/PA/whatever. many years–no takers.

    what nation is it that bases it's traffic fines (maybe more) on a percentage of income, sweden? i read that a rich man paid a speeding fine of $400,000! i bet he slowed down for at least a week after that. if it wasn't for the knowledge that they had to pay more in taxes, they wouldn't miss the money. example, what DID bill/melinda gates do with their income tax "rebate" we all received a couple of years ago? mine went to pay federal income taxes which were due, i don't have to check on it.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  69. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Yes it is time to eliminate the income tax for working people, and just tax the rich wall street speculators who have destroyed this country, and the politicians who they own. A 1% tax on the 700 million derivatives market would provide 7 trillion dollars in revenue for the u.s. treasury which is 3 trillion dollars more than we now collect from income taxes. The best stimulative program for small business and working people would be to eliminate the income tax at the expense of wall street brokers and hedge fund managers who build nothing, create no jobs, and invest only in their own self greedy interest.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  70. Joe CE

    At present 5% control 90% of the income. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer and the middle class is disappearing. Taxes provide the only opportunity for adjustment. It is in the enlightened self-intrest of the rich to share a little more..

    June 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  71. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    A wealth tax is a bad idea, and will simply drive the monetary assets of the rich offshore.
    Increasing the tax rates for everybody and removing many deductions would help America get back on its feet.
    But don't forget that reducing spending is even more important.
    Frankly, it seems futile to even bother with these types of discussions. Congress and the President won't do anything until after the 2012 election anyway.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  72. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    Of course it should. But lets be clear, no one is saying we should redistribute it all. Just enough to recover common sense. They'll still be wealthy. Its simply not feasible to have an economy grow when you lower the relative value of the average person.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  73. Steve, Clifton, VA


    These are the type questions that divide America!! American Wealth is just as it sounds..."American Wealth". Just as all of America used to send all Americans, both wealthy and not so wealthy, to war to fight for this country in war against a common enemy, America is still a Country "Undivided ". . We are One Nation..Under God which stands united for Liberty and Justice for ALL and all contribute and sacrifice for this principle in both blood and treasury.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  74. Tim in New York

    Since the Bush tax cuts is where the super rich had gotten this "much needed" break, let's start there. The American people were sold this bill of goods, with claims that it would help the economy, and would create jobs. Since that time, the economy has tanked, and we've lost millions of jobs. Even when it became apparent that the economy was being destroyed, there was a fairly large portion of our public that bought into the notion that taxing the ultra rich would somehow cripple "Joe The Plumber"'s ability to feed his family. Considering that his name wasn't "Joe" and he wasn't actually a plumber, I'm not sure that he was ever a symbol for anything other than our collective stupidity. So here's my question for you, Mr. Cafferty – Would we be smart enough to actually hold on to any re-distributed wealth, or would the ultra rich simply find another way to take it from us?

    June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  75. Paul P.

    Yes, it should. But its not so much simply taking money from the rich, but what you do with it that really matters. The country has a problem applying resources because we cannot seem to agree on solutions to basic problems. Alot more can be done, raising taxes is not the only answer, but its an important piece of the puzzle that simply cannot be ignored.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  76. Murf, Everett, Wash

    Yes, sounds great, but in what State of Denial do we begin this titanic task? ... And, what exactly is American Wealth? Realistically speaking (and please excuse me for introducing such a shivering concept), wouldn't it make more sense to redistribute the debt chairs before we sail into that inevitable credit-cruching iceberg in our path.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  77. Dennis north carolina

    Every one should pay their fair share of taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  78. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Tax rates used to be high enough to stop the rich from paying themselves huge bonuses by cutting worker salaries. We will never go back to those days. The way to actually redistribute wealth is to allow union pensions to hold larger shares of where their employees work. If we are serious about redistribution, personal accounts in Social Security will also hold those shares. That is how to redistribute wealth, not just income.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  79. Ray in Knoxville

    Redistributing the wealth, Jack? Is that what you're calling it now? You must be spending time with Sarah, Michele, Rick and the rest of the real Insane Clown Posse. To answer your question, I do support raising taxes on the rich and undoing the past 30 years of the Republican assault on America.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  80. Dave

    Since two thirds of government spending goes towards defense spending, you should reword your question. I bet the anwers would be different if you asked "Should we increase taxes on the rich to help pay for the war in Afghanistan?"

    June 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  81. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    Wow-does Gallup do many OTHER push-polls? "Should the government distribute the wealth" is right out of the RW/ Frank Luntz talking points. If the question were worded honestly, the numbers would be about 80% in favor of raising taxes on the top 2% o help the economy.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  82. Mark in Oklahoma City

    Jack, when I see Mr. or Mrs. Obama standing on a street corner in Washington "redistributing" their wealth by handing out cash to passersby, then talk to me about hiking taxes for the wealthy. Let the President practice what he preaches.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  83. Ray E. (Georgia)

    How do most people get rich? By working hard and applying themselves. Seems like a good formula to me.So called Rich people provide jobs for those that want to work and better themselves. So in a sense the wealth is being re distributed. I would disagree with government taking more money in Taxes and handing it out in benifits that is not earned. Some do need welfare and most do not have a problem with that.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  84. Donald in New Mexico

    The rich can afford to help those who's backs their fortunes were made off of. The rich have never been richer. Their fat wallets have never been stretched as much as now. We are in a slow recovery from the decimation of our economy by the greed that is now the American way. The rich should show a little gratitude for the infrastructure and labor that they used to get rich. Rich corporations have coffers that are overflowing with cash, and they aren't hiring or spending to help our economy. Attention Republicans - Trickle Down doesn't trickle, it sits in the bank. Until the rich "get it " , the government needs to force them to get off the piles of money they are hoarding. The tax rate for the top 3% should rise dramatically while our economy is hurting. I suggest a 65% tax rate, with no loopholes, on the rich individuals and corporations. Windfall profit tax sounds right.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  85. richard a. winkler

    The rich are not paying their fair share. Their rate is only 35%. It should be raised at least 10%.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  86. Lori - PA


    I don't see how raising taxes for the rich will help bring down the debt. Here's what I think will help:

    1. Stop giving the oil companies a tax break. With billions in profit, they don't need it anymore;

    2. Bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. We can't afford to pay for either war anymore;

    3. Say no when other countries ask for aid. I know it sounds harsh, and I hate even having to say that, but our government needs to focus on our own problems; and

    4. Stop with the finger pointing and blame. It doesn't accomplish anything. That's why government is STILL just talking about spending cuts rather than passing legislation.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  87. Ralph Spyer

    If the American people want to redistribute the wealth of the nation ,then change the name of the country from U.S.A.to USSR. Why work?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  88. pat in michigan

    To me is is so simple .Everyone pays ten percent taxes on all their income.No deductions.no depreciation .no corporate breaks. 10% period.
    Next. Cut All funding to everything by 10%Everyprogram.All of them. republican ,democratic.teaparty .
    Last .no new programs .period.no Obamacare .no carriers.no nukes and no shrimp on the treadmill.
    One last thing. I know this sounds crazy.No Foreign oil. use our own .

    June 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  89. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes! The wealthy have gotten more spoiled since the Bush tax cuts. In my home area Homeless Shelters are being closed while the upper crust gets fatter. In 1989 when my Father-in-law passed away our family had to pay 50% inheritance tax on his estate. We're living!! Either put the tax back on the wealthy or give my family the 50% the government took in the early '90s. I feel cheated. They've got the money–let them pay up rather than having frozen dead bodies around town next winter because these poor people have no where to go.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  90. CurtJ

    What good does it do with the question when the corporate media is owned by people with the same idealogy as the ones who manipulated us into bankruptcy to enable the takeover of our government by the 1% of Americans who are neo conservatives who own our American government politicians and officials in all three branches of our government. No more United States of America. Hello United Multi National Corporations of America. You and Wolf Blitzer are nothing but political pundits for your neo con masters. Treason actually.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Gary in Pa

    Yeah, we should tax the rich, especially the news anchors, reporters on CNN, MSNBC, CBS and ABC. Their taxes should be increased to 95% of their salary. Then we should raise taxes on the "hollywood crowd", they have plenty of money and spend it foolishly. I'm unemployed, I could use a new car, vacation in Aruba, season tickets for the Eagles. All at the expense of the rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  92. NM in TX

    The top 6% of Americans pay only 64% of the taxes but own 96% of the wealth.
    Most corporations pay no taxes and some get billions of dollars in corporate welfare payments from the IRS.
    Yes it is time for the rich to just pay their fair share. Increases are necessary to restore fairness to our tax system

    June 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  93. JENNA

    Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?


    I don't see why the rich can't experience the same level of tax pain that I and others pay.

    It's not like the tax breaks for the wealthy created any jobs as they promised.

    The GOP still doesn't get it. We can't just CUT our way out of the financial mess that THEY left this nation in.


    It is going to take as many YEARS to FIX THIS as it took to CAUSE THIS.

    Roseville CA

    June 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  94. Mr. D

    The budget fiasco sounds like a government owned butcher shop- cut off the fat so the meat weighs less but charge those that can afford it more per pound. What a country.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  95. Nancy, Tennessee

    There is a way to make the taxes fair for the wealthy and save our economy at the same time. Leave the tax rate as is and remove all the tax loopholes. Everyone would pay their fair share and the tax lawyers would need a new jot. Sounds like a win win situation.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  96. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I don't know the answer to that question but I can say we have enough poor people and we don't need to add on any more.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  97. Vicki in FL

    Remember the "good old days" of the 1950's that everyone thinks of fondly? Married filing Jointly paid 91% of their income over $400,000. Single and Married filing Separately paid 91% of income over $200,000, and Head of Household paid 91% of income over $300,000. The US had no debt, no trade in-balance, a strong economy and a workforce that didn't need to look for jobs – people employers were looking for THEM! Why can't the GOP take a page from Eisenhower's book instead of Reagan's? It isn't "redistribution of wealth" unless that's how you choose to perceive it.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  98. Dan Matre

    The most worrying aspect of the Weiner incident is that this person is both twisted and stupid! How many more like him are running our country?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  99. John Blythe

    We are trapped Jack! The National Inflation Association has shown that even if people making $250,000 or more were taxed 100% of their income, it would still not balance the federal budget or repay our massive debt. Even if the US took the profits of every single fortune 500 company in America, which is estimated to the tune of $400 billion, that would only fund the government for a few months. China has officially divested 97% of its holdings in US Treasury Bills, so other nations don't want to absorb the US debt in devalued dollars when the Federal Reserve's borrowing rate is 1.5%., and the Fed can't raise the rate, because our economy would start tanking. We're already suffering from inflation, contrary to what the Fed wants reports. In short, we're screwed!

    – John
    Lake Isabella, California

    June 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  100. Les Tallahassee, FL

    It is not redistribution. It is paying their fair share. When Republican Ike was president the wealthy paid 90% in income taxes. Wha happened?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  101. Randy

    NO! There are still a few regular folks out here that can afford a night out at mcdonalds. After all, hasn't the country done sooo well since tax cuts and deregulation have been implemented in the 80's?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  102. Scott in Bellingham

    The “rich” already are having their wealth redistributed to the poor, except of course those who use legal loopholes to avoid taxes. People earning $35K or less are only paying about 3% of revenue. Those earning more than $35K are paying 97% of revenue.

    OK, let’s soak the rich for even more, UNLESS they demonstrate that they are investing their money into new jobs for Americans. The Republican notion is to protect the “rich” from tax increases so they can use their money for jobs. Fine. But make the “rich” actually prove that is what they are doing.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  103. Diane - Virginia

    The problem with this question is always – what is the defination of rich? Rich is in the eye of the beholder. Some people think rich is people who drive a BMW or send their kids to colleage. Other's think it's people with tow or more homes. Who is the person who will decide what the cut-off is between rich and poor? For those of you who want to tax the rich more, I ask how willing will you be to pay more taxes if it turns out you qualify as one of the "rich"?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  104. KIM V.

    We should tax the wealthiest 1% because they get so many tax write offs that the middle and lower income do not. The issue is not redistribution of wealth, rather fiar taxation.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  105. Charles of Oregon

    Hey! Jack! Remember when Steve Forbes was promising that a flat tax of 17% would help the good ol' USA avoid deficits? Meaning if everyone paid 17% of their income there'd be no deficits, no need for drastic federal budget cuts. It's TRUE. The rich, including corporations, are getting away with not paying their fair share– for instance, as recently reported, General Electric paid no tax on their profits. So, how should the 60+% of us who make less than $250,000/year feel when we learn that the rich either pay no taxes, or a smaller percentage in taxes than we do?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  106. Karl in Flint

    We have always redistributed wealth by taxation. Historically, the wealthy got the tax breaks and the middle class paid more to make up the difference. Now that there is no real middle class left it’s time to reverse the current. The best way to do that is a flat tax, term limits and public only financing of election campaigns. Let the wealthy start supporting the country that made them rich instead of buying politicians to keep them that way.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  107. Denny from Tacoma

    Many oi the rich, the politicians, big business, and the Republicans have been ripping off and back-stabbing the heart of this country for too many years!! You don't get rich by spending money to support an economy, unless it is a means to make more money. Tax the hell out of them for a change. Maybe they will move to another country like Spain as many of the wealthy in South America, e.g., Ecuador do.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  108. Weldon from Fredericton New Brunswick

    Why shouldn't they tax the rich!!!! They became wealthy by ripping off the every day working class.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  109. Dariel, Santa Rosa, CA.

    “Redistribute the wealth” is not the right term.

    There was a time when regulations and safeguards were in place, not only to protect the middle class, but also to protect ALL of America from financial unbalance and disaster. New rules and deregulation, implemented by both parties starting with Pres. Reagan, to Bill Clintons' NAFTA and the Bush tax cuts have made the money flow in one direction.

    If I could buy a few law makers, I'm sure that I could manipulate the cash flow in my direction.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  110. Joe

    Si Senior!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  111. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    Tax the wealthiest Americans? No, go after the corporations, not the individuals. I believe I read somewhere that over 40% of our nations' corporations pay ZERO income taxes. There isn't a single corporation in America that should be able to away with that. Unfathomable and unconsionable are words that come to mind.

    We could save a bundle by just taxing every single person and entity 10%, take right out of either pay or income, eliminate the IRS and its rididulously onerous rules that, for the most part, not any two CPA's at the IRS can agree on the interpretation of their own rules let alone the American individual.

    Either tax everyone and every entity (including non-profits) or we'll have this deficit debacle and debt embarassment for 50 more years.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  112. Jim, San Antonio

    The Bush tax cuts did in effect redistribute wealth: from the middle class to the rich! Terminating those tax cuts will put things more in historical balance.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  113. AB

    Yes, the government should redistribute American wealth via taxing the very wealthy who do not pay their fair share of taxes every year. It is the only right and fair thing to do. It is also the most practical way to deal with our ballooning budget deficit. Wealthy people use public services as do all other social groups and should pay for them. Our progressive tax system is predicated on the principle and practice of maximizing taxation on those who earn more money to the point of excess.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  114. Brian

    More like Re-Redistribution of the wealth after the Bush Tax Cuts concentrated wealth in the hands of the rich.

    We simply need to go back to the Clinton era tax rates.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  115. stephen

    don't so much tax the wealthy to redistribute wealth as boost our infrastructure (education, roads, train tracks, ports, electrical grid, primary health care) that way the wealthy will benefit from the increased taxes in their businesses if they are in the US and if their business isn't in the US they get nothing, its a good incentive not to export jobs.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  116. Conor in Chicago

    Let's keep this simple: Who are the only people to prosper since Reagan? That's right, the wealthy. Now the economy is screwed, just like us "Dirty Commie Liberals" told you it would, just like it did before the Great Depression, and you told me to love Jesus and everything would be ok. Time to start paying taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  117. Joe

    Do we ever think the top 10 percent of wealthy Americans will suffer if we raise the lowest tax rate in modern history? In the meantime, Americans are dying for lack of proper support services.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    June 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  118. dave in nashville

    We've had a MINIMUM WAGE for what, 50 years and absolutely no one could survive on it. Let's try a MAXIMUM WAGE and see if the other side can live on that. It's not socialism, it's just the same experiment in reverse, see how they like it you know?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  119. Dave in CT

    2% of the population ("the wealthy) pay 45% of the country's tax burden. I don't consider myself wealthy but fall into the top 2%. How is paying 45% of of the tax bill not paying my fair share? It appears to me that I pay much more than my share. Oh and really, I am wealthy? I live in a 1,700 SF house, drive a Honda, save for my kid's college fund and a save little something for retirement. I also take one modest vacation every year. Oh yeah, I am rolling in it!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  120. babu

    tax all the rich now!!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  121. Chris Friend, Houston

    Jack, who benefits the most from American capitalism? Who has more wealth protected by our military? Look at tax rates and GDP growth historically and you will find that high marginal tax rates do not inhibit GDP growth. They also enabled us to reduce our debt as a percentage of GDP from World War II to 1980. When the marginal tax rate of 66% was cut to under 50%. Our debt as a percentage of GDP started growing after that.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  122. Gary in WI

    What is a fair number to you? Should, say, the top 10% of wage earners pay 50% of the taxes? How about 60%?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  123. James Delles

    I want to ask, with the top 10% controlling such a huge amount of the wealth in this country, are we going to stop it before they get to 100% and we become a fiefdom?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  124. Scipio

    Calling raising taxes on the rich as wealth redistrubution is just a way to get Americans to be against it. Is Cafferty trying to get a job with FOX, or is CNN trying to be FOX news lite?

    Ask it in another way and most Americans say "yes raise taxes on the rich" BTW: Any nation that has taxes already has income redistrubtion. No nation has everybody exactly 100% out of their tax dollars.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  125. Frank

    What a biased question!!! Why dont you start off with some facts, and please allow me some rounding here. According to the IRS the top 1% of income earners, income over $410,000 pay 40% of all Federal Income Tax, top 5%, income over $160,000 pay 60%, top 10% income over $113,000 pay 71% and the bottom 50% of income earners do NOT pay Federal Income Tax.

    I would like someone to define what "their fair share " is?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

    Yes, I thank we should take and flip all the money in the U.S.! Make the poorest be the richest and make the richest be the poorest. The middle class will stay the same. It is like the Bible says, "THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST" and I guess if your are in the middle here then your will be in the middle in Heaven!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  127. pj in new york

    Tax rates for wealth Americans are well below those for middle class individuals and families. This is because payroll taxes only apply on first $106,000 of income, because sales taxes and energy taxes fall heavily on lower and middle income families, and because the wealthy find a way to make a huge part of their income as capital gains or dividends which are taxed at only 15%, which is well below the tax applied to normal income. The fat cat private equity investors and hedge fund managers who make billions or hundreds of millions manage to get capital gains non-payroll income for the work they do which is a massive tax break. This is not just about redistribution, but is rather about fairness. How do we justify having the average Joe paying a higher portion of income in taxes than billionaires?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  128. Ken in NC

    Yes Jack but "Not my Wealth". The debt of this nation is not the problem. The problem is the solution and the solution is that everyone has good ideas. The only bad idea is "the solution that will effect me".

    June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  129. Conor in Chicago

    Start appropriotley taxing the rich or the republic fails. Period. There is no other argument here. Either we have the rich pay their fair share or a Soviet Style revolution WILL COME.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  130. Todd

    "Their fair share" I am continuously horrified by how uninformed the American public seems to be about the tax distribution in this country. Go do some actual research; see what proportions of incomes pay what proportions of taxes. SO much of the rhetoric surrounding this issue seems to be based on a general negative attitude toward the wealthy. "They don't need the money" "They'll still be rich" "Guess they'll have to cut their golden toilet budget for this year." What country are you people living in? What happened to earning what you get and keeping what you earn? Here's a riddle for you: why should taxpayers pay ANY more in taxes when the federal government can't seem to eek by on $4 trillion? Doesn't all this "they can afford to pay more" just translate into "What do I care? As long as >I< don't have to pay any more." It's time for Americans to start demanding some responsibility from their GOVERNMENT and stop allowing them to spend with abandon and just turn to "the rich" with their hand out every time the well runs dry.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  131. Mikey

    With the top 400 richest Americans now owning more collective wealth than the entire bottom 150 million, I'd say there's ALREADY been a redistribution of wealth!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  132. joe

    The rich are already taxed. The top one percent earns 18 percent of wealth but pays 28 percent of taxes. Meanwhile half of all households pay no federal income tax. The problem isn't that the rich are undertaxed; it's that the middle class and poor are underpaid.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  133. Jill

    The cheaper way to redistribute wealth is for those who want more of it to work harder, get an education and/or skills and go for it! I'm all for individual accoutability accounting- you want more, you figure out a (legal) way to get it. Make a plan, execute it, persist, make sacrifices, this is how most of the wealthy came to be wealthy. Unlike the failed methods of socialism and communism, this way works every time! Then when you've "made it", turn around and help someone else to achieve the same goals, as so many wealthy people do.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  134. Stephanie in Los Angeles

    This is not a redistribution of wealth, this is simply returning to the tax rates that were in place under President Clinton. We should also do away with the mortgage exemption for mortgages over 415K and the mortgage deduction for second homes. Let's try and be a little more fair in this country. The middle class and the poor are really getting killed in this downturn and we will not be able to survive unless something is done. I have been unemployed off and on for more than 2.5 years and I am tired of listening to the republicans talk about taking more away from the middle class and the poor. Enough already!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  135. Louise in North Carolina

    I'm generally not for tax increases, but I don't see how we can reduce the deficit substantially without tax increases. In the past 2 year, government spending has seen no limits. Now we all must pay the price. I would agree to tax increases ONLY if they are coupled with real spending cuts. If congress can't decide what to cut, jut cut everything by 15% across the board. I don't think there's any government program that couldn't cut its budget that much just by cutting down fraud and waste.
    It's time to make some hard decisions but I don't see any leadership from the white house on this issue. Guess we'll just kick the can down the road again until after November 2012.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  136. Redistribution

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Unfortunately, the wealthiest have the ability to lobby and get results from the legislature and those below, do not. Redistribution no. Fair and equitable tax policy YES!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  137. Vic

    Raising taxes is not the solution, dicipline is. There is so much waste and unecessary spending in Government that blows the mind !! I am a CEO of a company, and if our budget was full of fat as that of the Government's, I can assur you our company would have gone out of business a long time ago. The day congress and the goverment recognize that there is a limit to tax revenue and they start using their brains a little bit, that will be the day that I and the rest of the nation will feel that we have started down the right path and start the recovery phase of our deficit. I can assure you with the current mind set at the government, every penny that comes in as revenue will be spent at 150% of the revenue.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  138. Charles

    Stop wasting tax payers money such as foreign aid, two lower taxes for everyone; lower taxes for businesses that stay in America; build manufacturing plants in America to employ individuals in America.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  139. Ken, Vail, AZ

    Why is it considered "redistribution of wealth" when taxes are increased on the wealthy but not when taxes are cut for the wealthiest? With all the tax loop-holes, those at the top of the income ladder don't pay the highest rates anyway; they get away with paying the lower Capital Gains rate.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  140. Michael James

    Did you know that the progressivity of America's tax structure is the greatest in the world. By that I mean the rich pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes – state, Federal, local – than any other group in the world. Of course socialist leftists don't want to guarantee outcomes, not the opportunity to achieve it. Consequently, the populist demogogic appeal, just like Communist Russia and Mao China – "Get the Rich!". What idiots! Doesn't the radical left understand or know anything about history. That way does NOT work. Never has and never will. The failure in such a system falls disproportionately on the poor. But that's NOT the radical progressive left's true goal – rather it is to CONTROL the poor, the weak, the aged. That simple.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  141. Robert Lovell

    Its buzz words like REDISTRIBUTE that muddle the true question in taxation. If we citizens could either vote on how our taxes are spent, or If congress issued a FAIR TAX policy, closing lopholes, offshore accounts etc., then maybe this annual pot calling the kettle black debate would stop. I have long suggested an annual televised economic summit of the best minds, maybe 12-15 people, 'NO politicians', and let them discuss the pros and cons of everyday and long term issues and policies our country faces. Then let the politicians inact those recommendations, or not. Common sence says, see a Dr. when your sick, shouldn't we apply the same logic, and see economists when we need help during these tough economic times?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  142. Matt


    If you know someone who is always strapped for cash because they spend more than they earn each year in spite of a healthy income.

    Would you:

    A. Lend them money

    B. Tell them to learn to live within their means.

    If you answered A. I have some land I would like to sell you in Florida.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  143. Mike in SA

    The federal government already redistributes over half a trillion dollars a year funded almost exclusively by the rich. This isn't about redistributing wealth, that's already being done on a massive scale. It's about class warfare.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  144. dholland

    Who determines who the "rich" are? Somebody making $250,000 a year? Perhaps somebody earning $100,000 a year? Somebody making $50,000 a year? Maybe somebody who collects AFDC, food stamps and subsidized housing?? Those clamoring for taxing the "rich" might first want to find out who the "rich" are. Flat consumption tax with no loopholes. What is wrong with that?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  145. aaron

    the money should be given to the social class with the most people which is the middle class if politicians were smart they would give the money to the people where they would get the most votes

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  146. Kyle in Ohio

    YES! Why is it fair that the top 10% of the U.S.'s population owns 80% of the wealth? Why should people have to struggle to eat one day while others purchase a ferrari? The rich should distribute their billions of dollars to the bottom 90% who has only 20% of the money. Whether its done through taxes or some other means it needs to be done.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  147. joseph mcguire

    You have phrased the question in a very misleading way. Warren Buffet has the lowest tax rate in his office. ( He did a TV show interview on this issue). Whenever the rich want to lessen their share of responsibility they hire the appropriate flack, (in this case you), to shout "wealth redistribution", or socialism. Ultimately the burden falls on the middle class and the poorest because they have the fewest defenses. When they are milked dry and the rich are dependent on their own resources it all collapses. A sad ever repeating story.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  148. Fred Dunn

    Jack..... that is Communism! But..... the rich should be rewarded for investments deemed to help the economy and taxed for those that don't, but redistributing the wealth has been proven to be a losing proposition, the rich will wind up with the money and the poor will lose it! The business of America is business...American business.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  149. Derrick in DC

    It is funny how many people on here believe raising taxes will fix everything. America is not just bleeding jobs because of cheap labor. A bigger driving force are our tax rates. The US has the second highest tax rate for corporations in the developed world. To top this off, our companies have to deal with state & local taxes. This is even including these so called "loop holes" that many on here want taken away from the nasty corporations. No one on here seems to realize that the R&D credit is considered a loop hole, where the US has one of the worst R&D credit systems in the world (least rewarding). Try foreign permanent reinvestment. This was set up to make US companies more competitive. Take this away along with other so called loop holes and raise the rates, and every major corporation will head for Ireland with its low rate and great treaty system. Who will we tax then? Cut welfare and unemployment funding for anyone that has received benefits for more than 12 months. Hire real management in the government to cut spending. Dump pensions going forward and contribute to 401(k) plans. These are real ways to fix the deficit. Also should point out that the top 10% of wealthy Americans employ a majority of us. They pay more taxes, they hire fewer people.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  150. Pete

    SHOULD American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?! The question implies that we're not already doing just that.

    The top 5% of income earners already pay over half of the income tax in this country. 47% of American households pay no income tax at all. That is wealth redistribution on a massive scale.

    The question you mean to ask is whether MORE American wealth should be redistributed by imposing even MORE taxes on the wealthy. Since tax takers outnumber tax payers so overwhelmingly, it is safe to say that the takers will continue to use the IRS as muscle to take as much as they want.

    Who is John Galt?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  151. Mark-Anthony

    You cannot get water to run up hill without changing the laws of physics, the same with wealth. The Pareto Rule is a natural law, the top 20% will produce and control 80% of the wealth no matter what you do. So why not focus on making the 20% that is left big enough to relatively satisfy the lower 80% instead of attacking the top 20% so there is less for everyone.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  152. Tom in AZ

    Unfortunately, it will take a combination of severe spending cuts and tax increases on everyone, not just the wealthy, to get us out of this mess. The whole is that deep.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  153. Gregg (Plainfield, NJ)

    Anytime taxes were cut disproportionately for the higher income earners (for example, by Ronald Reagan), wealth was re-distributed from the middle class to the affluent. I didn't hear any complaints then.

    The National Debt has gone up for the past 30 years, "Trickle Down" , Voodoo Economics HAS NOT WORKED! It's time to change it back and maybe we'll only own China a few Hundred Billion instead of Trillions !

    June 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  154. Gigi Oregon

    Anyone who does not support the United States in taxes, is not a true citizen. They are robbers and thieves and UN American. If you love this country it is a honor and a duty to support financially your country... The reason we have slip in dignity around the world is the knowledge that the rich have burden the backs of the poor and middle class with their greed. To have the country many say we have, it takes every person sharing in the responsibility of the finances required to run a great country.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  155. Kyle in Ohio

    Sounds like socialism or communism (as they were originally drawn up, not portrayed by dictators) wouldn't be so bad, would it?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  156. Tom in Memphis

    No, we should continue to overtax the poor and redistribute *their* money to the wealthy. That is, after all, the American way.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  157. Tom Chicago

    Really wealthy people have no problem paying taxes. You know what they call a rich guy who whines about taxes? Not very rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  158. Susan Williams

    Jack, I object to your term "redistribution of wealth'. Given what the high income earners take out of society in a variety of ways, closing tax loopholes and increasing rates is NOT redeistribution of wealth.

    Remember the great old '50's? I know you do ~ under Republican President Eisenhower, when top rates were 90%? THAT is redistribution of wealth.

    I vote for the good old Clinton days. Notice how job creation just tanked once the Bush tax cuts were in place? We need trickle up not trickle down . . .

    June 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  159. Greg, Portland, OR.

    Hey Jack, I believe that there shouldn't be this argument over whether or not its fair to the wealthiest of Americans to be taxed greater than they are currently. Its in the wealthy's best interest to contribute more financially to society, they should be proud of their substantial contributions to our education and healthcare and proud that their dollars go to feed the families who at this point in time cannot provide adequately for themselves. There was once a time in this world where the principled point of wealth was to allow for more projects that were in everyones benefit (opening a school, funding a scholarship, building a church) now it seems to simply be a race to see who can achieve the highest number. The U.S. needs to become competitive again, and the rich can chip in and fund the next generations degree's. I could sure use some help!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  160. Deborah Seibert,. Co

    I left the democratic party over this issue when McGovern ran for president. It is class envy, pure and simple. Everyone should pay at the same rate. People who make more money would automatically pay more. If you want to exempt the first 20 or 30K. Ok. After that, everybody pays AT THE SAME RATE. Rich people do NOT use more services than anyone else. By the way, I am not one of the rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  161. Use Your Mind

    Two Points. 1) I bet no one posting on this article has any idea what percent of Federal Taxes are paid by the "rich." 5% of the people pay 40% of the tax. How much is "fair.
    2) Why does Cafferty and the rest of the media always drop the rest of the story. There is an economic reason to not raise taxes on those with the capital that drive the economy. Keep the capital in production in the private sector. That is how real jobs are produced. Not by building more highways with illegal laborers.
    And one more, 3) You are veiling the real question – should we move to more socialism by redistributing wealth? That is what you are really asking.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  162. Steve in Portland

    Steve Forbes had the right idea – 15% flat tax across the board – nobody rides for free. How about running those numbers for us Jack?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  163. aske

    The way the question is presented is highly biased.

    To spin this 180 degrees, the same question can be posed as:
    "Should poor children starve to death due to not taxing ultra-rich".

    Unfortunately both politicians and media (from left and right) enjoy hyperboles so much in order to get answers/reaction that they need.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  164. Evan

    I love it when the republicans scream that we cannot raise taxes on the richest americans to redistribute wealth. as if lowering tax during the Bush years for the richest americans wasn't about redistribution? Of course it was. this argument is intellectually dishonest and frankly unpatriotic in these tough times.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  165. Jack

    The end of a Democracy begins when the poor majority taxes the rich minority .......

    June 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  166. Jim R

    I find it sad that most of the people here say tax the rich because they don't pay their fair share. Isn't ironic that the Rich pay over 75% of the taxes collected but somehow they still don't pay their "Fair Share"? When are people going to start taking responsibility for themselves and quit relying on the Government to cover their butts?

    Are there Loopholes for the rich? Yes there are. But you don't hear about the loopholes for the Entitlement babies, because they are the downtrodden who would rather take a handout than a job, that's OK?

    The American dream has been turned into a nightmare. And if we keep going the way we are, America WILL be the newest Third World Country!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  167. Ken, Vail, AZ

    Of course republicans will block any efforts to raise taxes or agree to any tax reforms that will increase revenue. Their primary objective is to destroy the federal government by "starving the beast" as Reagan described it. Even if spending cuts resulted in $1 Trillion of savings, republicans would argue that those savings should go to the wealthiest in the form of tax cuts. That's the argument used by George Bush to eliminate the surpluses gained by President Clinton.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  168. Danny, Setauket NY

    Jack, the first solution is not just hiking up taxes on the rich. What we need to do is knock out the subsidies for the companies (not just the oil ones), make sure that the 47% of people who paid no income tax actually pay, and make sure that businesses that paid 0 dollars in taxes last year actually pay this year.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  169. Geoffrey in Lowell MA

    The fact is, all governments redistribute wealth. Even the Barons of the middle ages did. The question is whether they distribute it up or down or for the common good or the good of the few. We are distributing up, for the privileged. Time to distribute for the common good. The solution is not putting old folks in an early paupers grave.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  170. Jack

    Wow ... do any of you believe that going to school and working hard to better yourself means you DESERVE to have more money? I firmly believe it does. I'm not in the $250K+ club, but I'm getting closer and closer because I bust my butt on a regular basis. The rich already pay for the majority of things like medicare and many other 'handouts'. The tax bracket system ensures that the more you make, the higher percentage you pay.

    Now I do agree there are too many loopholes for some of the richest (and they need to be closed), but to say the rich OWE it to the country is ludicrous. Where is the incentive to work hard if everything is handed to you in a socialist fashion.

    I know many people work hard that don't make a lot, but I firmly believe that you can move yourself up the ladder if you try and make the right decisions. Let's not penalize those that are doing this.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  171. Darla

    I would like to know how much money goes out in tax refunds for people who didn't earn anything? It's one thing to over pay and get back what you paid extra and another to get something for nothing. i read a lot of the rich paying their fair share, how about everyone who receives services and benefits for Fed, state and city taxes but contribute nothing? When will they pay their fair share too?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  172. Mike

    Ok, can we please stop with using the inflammatory phrasing?

    Making the tax burden proportional to a citizen's relative wealth is NOT the same thing as "redistributing" the wealth. That would be taking money from rich people and giving it to poorer people.

    This is making it so that the top few percent of the US population, who control the vast majority of the wealth in the US, are contributing to the federal budget proportionately to their wealth. As it stands, the people best able to afford it are getting the best breaks. The most onerous tax burden, in relation to their standard of living, is on the middle class.

    Talking about "redistributing the wealth" makes it sound Marxist, rather than implementing a fair tax code.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  173. Dave

    Unbelievable!! Here's a fact: over 50% of the taxpayers in this country pay $0 taxes. That's right I said it .... It's the big elephent in the room of the "progressive" tax system. All of you so called poor people get all of your money refunded to you or credited to you at tax time, meanwhile the rest of the hardworking and educated people of America that you are trying to increase taxes on, pay a much higher burden. I for one am tired of subsidizing the lazy and uneducated non paying taxpayer of America. I earned it, I should keep it. You didn't earn your entitlement programs yet you sure fight hard to keep that too. Cut them all off of my payroll and we won't have a debt problem!!!!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  174. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Wealth in this country has been distributed upwards for the last 10 years-so either pay higher taxes or distribute downwards-DON'T KILL THE MIDDLE CLASS..

    June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  175. cal

    Now that we have robin hood for our leader. steal from the rich and give to the poor. Change all the laws that stop a man or women from making money. If every one is for a fair tax go to the flat tax. every one pay accord taxs. some more then others. 2% for the lower income people. and 10% for the higher makers. no more large refunds for the poor who do not work or large refunds for any working class person . corparation should pay a tax on all there income about 12% then do not let our goverment spend more the we give them in taxs.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  176. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    Just about everybody pays taxes so the question of how much they pay or the definition of "redistribution of wealth" is very subjective and opinions will vary from person to person. My moral question about this issue is that should people like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Charlie Sheen be getting unnecessary tax cuts on borrowed money, that raise the deficit, that they have not asked for, that they do not need, and that are not creating jobs when there are so many poor people on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security who truly need those programs in order to just stay alive? I really hope that people will seriously think about and answer this moral question.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  177. RM

    Why should the wealthy pay more? they are already paying more than the fair share since half of the folks out there don't even pay federal tax!
    10% of the top guys pay over 60% of the taxes. That includes a lot of hard working self employed people who work 15 hours a day sometimes 7 days a week and make it big just by working hard!
    Don't just think it is all the white collar stock broker kind of guys who make money...there are plenty of blue collar jobs which can bring over $100 K a year...

    June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  178. jean2009

    The rich reap more benefits from our economy than the average working Joe. What is wrong with them helping out by kicking a few more cents on every dollar over what most people would consider a wonderful wage?

    Luke 12:48 "To whom much has been given much is expected."

    June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  179. Leon Childs

    Its a sad day when we would as a people would rather buy a painting to hang on our wall for a million dolars, then to help our brothers and sisters. And when we call them out on it, we are redistributing wealth.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  180. Rob

    Two issues with this plan:
    1- There is a huge difference between having a high income and being wealthy. The truly wealthy (servants, personal drivers, etc.) don't show an income and are not affected by raising income taxes. The high earners are so few, there is little to be gained by raising their tax rate other than to discourage drive and success. (Kill the american dream)
    2- Exactly who determines what a "fair share" is? Including state taxes, most of the high earners are paying around 40% of their income, and the "loopholes" or deductions that the lower earners enjoy are very limited. Many of you need to do your homework on the tax laws and what it means to be wealthy. Also remember that with inflation, the tax increases for the wealthy today will be yours tomorrow.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  181. Kevin

    "Such a move would of course raise revenue at a time when we're facing a $14.3 trillion national debt."

    Sorry Jack. Raising income tax rates does not guarantee a rise in income tax revenue. History has proved this. Take some Econ classes.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  182. Mike

    That question should read, should we undo the brazen re-distibution of wealth that took place under Bush? And where were those now concerned about re-distribtion when it took place under Bush?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  183. Jilli

    Why not? The wealth has been redistributed disproportionately to the wealthy for the last 30 years – how about we just reverse that trend and make it fair.

    How about the corporations and individuals just pay their fair share – it seems the working class are the only ones playing by the rules.

    Enough is enough!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  184. jimmy23

    How about asking the 47% of America that wants increase taxes on the already over-taxed "wealthy" (by Obama's standards: wealthy = >150K/yr) to start paying taxes themselves? Or better yet, insteady of trying to bail out the government for chronic overspending and drastic mismanagement of the budget, cut government spending. Cut government programs and force the mooches of society to be productive. If you find yourself making exuses for people who could work, but don't, you are part of the problem. The issue is not the amount of money the US treasury is taking in... it's the amount of money the government is spending.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  185. David in Tampa

    We should redistribute the wealth by paying working people more and senior management less. In the last fifteen years we have had a redistribution of wealth from the middle class and poor to the wealthy. Isn't it about time working people, what there is left, got a fair deal instead of the raw deal we normally get.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  186. carlos

    If you're talking about a re-redistribution of wealth, then I'm all for it. We've seen years of redistribution up the wealthy side (so much for trickle down economics). Under this guise, the middle class has been soaked for years.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  187. buck cameron

    Redistribute wealth? Exactly how did the wealthy get that way? I don't any sweat on there brows! Take the mega-gazzillionaire Waltons. Collecting dividends isn't productive work. How many sweat shop workers in Asia and minimum wage workers in the US does it take to make their money for them? How did the "best people" on Wall Street earn their 7 figure bonuses while the rest of us lost tons of money?

    June 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  188. Cary

    Why isn't the split 90/10? Yes the rich are against raising taxes on them but why are so many middle class Americans? Redistributing wealth has been code for Communism. Asking the richest 10% to pay more taxes when their personal wealth has gone through the roof while most other wadges have been flat or decreasing isn't redistributing wealth. Cutting Medicaid is making the poor pay instead of the rich. Dropping Medicare is obscene after a Republican created it to take the pressure off the insurance companies. The rich can aford it the rest can't do the math.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  189. Ian from MN

    It's not simply arbitrary redistribution, it's requiring the people who benefit the most from living in America to shoulder the most burdon for keeping America going. That's the only logical thing to do. We've had the lowest tax rates on the super rich in 60 years for almost 10 full years now, and they're not creating jobs for us. Under Clinton when taxes were higher jobs were every where and we had a surplus. It seems pretty apparent raising taxes a miniscule amount is not going to kill jobs or hurt the economy. It will help us pay down our national debt and restore confidence in America again.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  190. Marcelo - Los Angeles

    Taxing the rich at higher level is not wealth redistribution, it is fairness redistribution. Period.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  191. Tampa, Florida

    Taxes are the RENT we pay to live in this wonderful country.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  192. Julnor

    It's amazing to read so many people claiming that the rich should pay their fair share when about 50% of people pay no income tax.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  193. Brian (From Chicago)

    Here's the skinny of it Jack. It depends on who you ask, and what kind of country we want to be. I will answer your question with a question:

    Jack's Q: Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?

    Brian"s Q: Should the American Debt be balanced on the backs of the middle class and the poor, while the rich get tax breaks?

    A: It depends how you phrase the question Jack. But the man holding all the cards usually wins.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  194. Jennifer (California)

    The so-called wealthy already pay the majority of taxes in this country. I fail to see how that is slithering out of their tax burden.

    The tax rates do not need to be raised. Subsidies need to be slashed (for everything, oil AND ethanol included). The tax code needs to be seriously re-worked.

    The best and fairest tax code would be an abolishment of the IRS & income tax, and the institution of a national sales tax. It's impossible to get any fairer than that. The richer you are, the more you buy – the more taxes you pay. Less wealthy individuals buy less, they pay less in taxes. AND it gives us tax dollars from *everyone* in this country, including the illegal immigrants.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  195. Joe

    Jack....Don't try to say that independents are split when it comes to redistributing. Really?

    Your state that 47% of Americans don't agree with redistributing wealth and 49% do. Fair enough....with a standard margin of error of 3-4%, this is split.

    But 43% – 53% not in favor of redistributing wealth is not split, even with the margin of error.

    Stop your bias!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  196. James in Denver

    I am shocked at the responses. 47% of Americans pay no taxes and receive all the benefits of living in our country. How can you say that the rich (who by the way pay the majority of taxes in our country) do not pay their fair share? They already pay the share of the 47% of Americans who don't pay taxes! The majority worked hard for their wealth, played within the rules, created jobs for other Americans so to infer that they are all criminals is absurd. Remember though that the richest counties in America are not around Wall St....they are around Washington DC. They are lining their pockets and their friends pockets with our tax money. Hold them accountable and don't let them blame it all on the rich. Realistically taxes will go up...on everyone....but you all are blaming your current problems on the wrong people.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  197. Pioneer

    The money in this country has floated to the top throught the Reganomics for the last 30 years. If you want to distribute the money to the working people, raise the minimum wage and get the money that way. If you tax the rich it will just go to make another class of poor people.
    No matter how you slice it, the rich have all of the money and power now

    June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |

    Look. All of you poor people really need to quit hating on the rich. Do you really think that rich people "bribed their way to the top" or never actually "created any wealth, just inherited it"? What a joke. You want to make some more cash? GET SOME. America is based on the concept that you can right now as you are reading this, come up with an idea to make some money and implement it in the real world. Complain all you want but the rich are rich because they earned it.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  199. Ed

    The class warfare rhetoric in these comments is unbelievable! I'm right at the threshold of what Obama calls "wealthy" – a quarter million a year before income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes and property taxes, which collectively take 37% of my hard-earned money. I work my rear off for it, 50+ hour weeks every week for over 20 years. "Redistributing wealth" implies there is only a finite amount of money in the world and the only way for some people to have more is for others to have less. If that's really what the majority of people in this country believe, we're sinking fast. Almost half the people in this country pay no income taxes and are takers from the rest of us. Well, most of "rich" us givers have talents we can bring to countries where hard work is rewarded, not punished. Thank about that and now who would pay for your government handout?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  200. Nate

    I make about $400K a year working 90 hours a week. I was born poor and made it on my own, skipping vacations, driving cars with no heat, etc. Now I pay roughly 50% of my income in taxes. Yet I'm told that I'm stealing from the poor. Here's some advice from someone who's been in your shoes.... How about you get off your butt, get your GED, go to college, and get a real job. Oh wait, that would require effort and looking in the mirror and realizing that you're the problem. Welfare breeds dependency. Have we made any progress on the war on poverty yet?? Half of this country pays NO federal income tax. Tax the rich? How much is enough????

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  201. Gerald

    Taxes should be increased for the wealthy and for profitable corporations that don't pay much in taxes so that they all pay a fair share while the average American and small business are struggling.
    Billions of dollars would be generated for the government and the economy. However, the fundamental problem is with captialism and the "free market". When you have a system that puts money before people, the individual before the group, disdains regulation and rewards greed, we will always have these issues.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  202. Pat in Mass

    The reason our country amassed such a huge deficit is because Bush redistributed the income in our country in favor of the wealthy, by giving them huge tax cuts at a time we were fighting two wars. Look around, we are becoming the land of the haves and the have-nots. The only way our country is going to pull out of this mess is to make the wealthy pay their fair share. Cutting benefits to those in need will only make things worse.
    Things have become very lob-sided in this country, in favor of the rich, and I absolutely oppose any deficit package that doesn't include an increase in taxes on the wealthy (ie above $250K/year) and closing corporate loopholes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  203. Sara

    Anything that may help lessen the burden on the lower and middle class is what we need (even if that means getting rid of tax cuts for the rich). The service industry is 2/3 of the economy and anything that might help getting the largest portion of the population spending money in the largest segment of the economy is what we need. Seems like a no brainer.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  204. Tony 14-0

    OK. Let's get this straight. How many of you think that if the government takes in more revenue (increases taxes) that they will re-distribute it efficiently to the poor.? Come on now. What happened with the Social Security lockbox? Let's have some more of that. I'll tell you one thing, if taxes go up – you will see charitable donations go down. And those charities are a helluva lot better at attending to the poor.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  205. cc

    I think rich and poor should have equal tax hikes until we dig out of this hole we have in.
    The nation as a whole needs to bear the burden....

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  206. Kathie

    No reason why the rich cannot pay higher taxes. Lose the tax loopholes for the rich, cut defense spending, close miltary bases around the world (what country has a base in ours?), stop the endless unwinable wars, bring our troops home would also help.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  207. Ed

    The class warfare rhetoric in these comments is unbelievable! I'm right at the threshold of what Obama calls "wealthy" – a quarter million a year before income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes and property taxes, which collectively take 37% of my hard-earned money. I work my rear off for it, 50+ hour weeks every week for over 20 years. "Redistributing wealth" implies there is only a finite amount of money in the world and the only way for some people to have more is for others to have less. If that's really what the majority of people in this country believe, we're sinking fast. Almost half the people in this country pay no income taxes and are takers from the rest of us. Well, most of us "rich" givers have talents we can bring to countries where hard work is rewarded, not punished. Think about that and now who would pay for your government handout?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  208. Shane, Dallas

    Flat tax is the right solution. 10% for every American everywhere. Simultaneously start cutting entitlement spending. Then after we get back on top and have some breathing room, start pulling back on the percentages. We CANNOT tax ourselves to prosperity!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  209. marco from Tualatin, OR

    Taxing the rich is the only way to end the war on the middle class that started with financial deregulation.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  210. brooker in san diego

    If it's wealth distribution how come the gap between the poor and the rich is at an all time high??

    June 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  211. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    What a refreshing idea! Taxing those with all the money, and who made their money by not being taxed like the rest of us poor suckers!

    If you can get it done I say, Jack Cafferty for KING!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  212. Gary Christenson

    Jack, if asking the rich to pay a larger share because they have a larger share is redistribution of wealth, as you say, then so is allowing the Koch brothers, who own the governors, to write laws that suppress labor and, thus, wealth. Please get back on track.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  213. Lewis Lewwis

    Fair share? Twice what the average person pays in tax seems more than fair to me............ and you twits think they should pay more.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  214. Meted

    Americans want a better chance at achieving both economic and social success.

    They understand that money that the ladder to success includes good public schools, good health care, hard work, and a well-managed services from their local government.

    Except for the hard work, all the rest cost money and there is not enough money to fund these programs without taxing the wealthy considerably more than the middle-class.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  215. SLR

    Redistribution of wealth? I thought it was investing in America.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  216. Michael

    If you want to see what wealth redistribution looks like just look at what has happened to incomes in the last thirty years. Most have seen their incomes stagnate or fall while a few percent of the population have taken our supposedly representative government captive and received all of the benefits of our economic growth.

    The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few not only undermines our democracy, but our economic security as well. As fewer households have meaningful disposable income, the economy becomes more and more dependant on fewer and fewer participants who's wealth exists more and more in the form of securities, making us all more vulnerable to fluctuations in capital markets that bear less and less resemblance to the economy most of us experience.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  217. Jasper McCreedy

    Is this really about taxing the rich more, so they can pay their fair share? I believe the more accurate statement would be to eliminate all of the tax loopholes that only the rich seem able to exploit. Eliminate all of the tax writeoffs and deductions, for everyone. You want fair? Let's make it far. Everyone pays an equal percentage of their income. That's IT. No games, no manipulating the numbers. Just cut to the quick and pay up, no questions and no exceptions. Why is this made out to be so much harder than it is? Go with glat rate tax, no exceptions. Done.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  218. dan h

    Of course we should be more fair in the taxation of those who can afford it. Yes, make them pay their fair share, raise their taxes! But the other thing that absolutely none of the useless cretins in congress refuse to address is our bloated military budget, the trillions spent in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya...why is it okay to cut benefits for the elderly and borrow money from China to pay for these boondoggles just so the ultra rich can stay that way?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  219. Jim

    why not allow the American people to keep all their money. We can just disolve the Government and let people do as they please. In just a few years we will resemble Afghanistan and everyone will be happy.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  220. Dan from Portland, OR

    That's a very simple question to a complicated answer Jack.

    It's not about taxing them more and distributing their wealth. We need to get them to pay their share, which through loopholes an deductions they don't! Consider this: 400 people in the U.S. have as much wealth as another 150,000,000 Americans combined!!!!!!!! They want to squabble over what to them would amount to pocket change, when it would mean funding for programs like WIC and Medicaid? It's disgraceful. We are a country blinded by greed and unwittingly controlled by corporate interests.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  221. George in PA

    Jack, can you say "Socialism"??? Personaly I prefer either a flat tax or a usage tax.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  222. Katlaya

    Florida is rapidly becoming a welfare state thanks to the criminal governor and the economy. There are NO jobs here that pay over minimum wage and that's IF you can find that. People have lost their homes, no one has a credit rating high enough to even get a car to sleep in. No one is paying taxes now because the middle class is gone and there is no one paying them. Tax the wealthy their fair share? Gee.... let me think on that, Jack.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  223. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Jack have you ever worked for someone who was poor? People have the wrong idea entirely. America's wealth is not a single pie of finite proportion. Wealth grows. It is created by the private sector, and a lot of time, by the rich. Through ingenuity and free markets we can create new pies. We are the first society to actually create wealth for our citizens. Think of all the wealth a single company like APPLE has created. It's not created off the backs of the poor but by the minds of the most innovative in our society. We need to absolutely scale down government. Remove roadblocks, redtape and all the waste currently created and subsidized by our parasitic federal and state governments. "Redistibuting wealth" is a destructive force that rewards all the wrong behaviors and puts us on the path to the Soviet Union or Zimbabwe.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  224. Ken in NY

    I'm tired of people saying the "rich" should pay their fair share, when tax rates are not flat. What's fair? I would rather see a flat tax – that would be fair! Flat tax eliminates loop holes, so better for everyone.

    If no flat tax, federal rates should NEVER use fixed dollar values, but a factor against the cost of living. 250K might be living like a king in most of the country, but not in NY.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  225. Diane

    Why not try this novel idea? Let's redistribute the wealth of this country by taxing everyone at the same rate with no loopholes, no deductions. Period. A flat 10%-14% of every dollar made is fair and equitable distribution of wealth. The less you make, the less you pay. The more you make, the more you pay. All of those screaming for higher taxes on the rich are probably the 46% of Americans who pay NO income tax.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  226. Jamie

    Hummm let me think about this, should we ask the rich to pay more in taxes or should we condemn the poor to less food, heat, and medicine...why is this even a question exactly?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  227. steve - virginia beach

    First, there's a big difference between raising taxes and redistributing wealth. Big difference. I agree with Warren Buffet... the uber wealthy are paying an effective tax rate of about 16%. They can afford to have their effective tax rate raised 3 or 4%. But... only in combination with true fiscal responsibility. And I'll never support siezing and redistributing wealth. That's an unacceptable substitute for self-reliance and responsible governance.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  228. Julnor

    The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  229. jimmiek in Texas

    Redistribute Wealth.... hmmmm.. let's see.... would that be funding our military? Making payrole on capital hill.. now there is a redistribution for ya... funding the road and airport systems.... the ports.... borders... FBI.... CIA... and so on.. Social Security is funded by the lowest level earners....up to a certain amount and then you don't pay any more...

    No. no .. this is not about redistribution of wealth... this is a catch phrase invented by the REPs to sway public opinion, as if the Dems don't do it too...

    What we want is for everyone (and organization) to pay their fair share of the cost of government... It is about how much government we want...

    Cut the size of it... Sure....but also those most able to contribute ... SHOULD.....

    The Bush tax cuts after all were the result of making a promise to give the people back their money (the surplus that Clinton built up)... The tax cuts were initially presented as "rebaits"..... well! the surplus is gone... Its time for the rich to pay their fair share again...

    June 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  230. Jeff

    Redistribution through taxation? The very way the question is worded belies the bias underlying the question. Ask if all should pay according to the benefits derived. Ask if you use the rented tool more than the neighbor, should you pay more in rental fees. One way it sounds communist, the other way it just makes good business sense.
    What answer did you want from your question?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  231. John Atkins

    Yes. The only balanced Federal budgets came during the Eisenhower administrations (highest was 90% marginal tax rate) and the Clinton administration. Move the rates back up to Clinton levels, less a little because of inflation. The wealthy would actually benefit, a strong dollar would result and foreign good would cost less; a boon with those with cash.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  232. Tony B

    In the mid-2000's the tax revenue received (under Bush) was actually higher than in the Clinton years, even though the tax rates were lower. The issue isn't raising revenue, it is reducing spending. The reason we don't have a surplus anymore is because tax revenue increases could not keep up with the spending increases.

    If my family spends more than we earn, we can't just increase our family income magically. We actually have to live within our means. Sure, our neighbors probably make more than we do, but I can't force them to give me more money to pay my bills, nor do I consider them "greedy" for wanting to keep what they rightfully earned. Taxing others isn't the solution, governing in a fiscally responsible manner is the only way out of this mess.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  233. Brandon

    Wealth in this country has been ALREADY redistributed. The last ten years we have seen the wealth rising to the top and everyone underneath getting squashed. Cut out the loopholes and put dividend taxes on par with working taxes. That would make things at least even.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  234. Bryan in Virginia

    The answer is to roll back tax rates immediately to the Clinton rates; spending cuts to get us the rest of the way. Then reform the tax code, eliminate corporate taxes, eliminate deductions so people pay purely based on their income while lowering the rates drastically and get the gov't out of the business of incentivizing social behavior via the tax code.

    if they could get the tax code cleaned up I would love if they then changed the rules so it required a 2/3 or 3/4 majority to tinker with it.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  235. Chet Stronski

    I am fortunate not to be poor, but I certainly am not rich. When I hear the call for rich people to pay their fair, I wonder what is meant by fair share. The top 5 percent of the wage earners already pay two-thirds of the taxes. Whereas, the lower 50 percent of the wage earners barely pay taxes. I could support a surtax that stipulates the added revenues can only be used for debt reduction.
    However, I am far more concerned about the day when entitlement users outnumber the taxpayers.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  236. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    American wealth IS being redistributed. This is how the government has attained such a massive bureacracy. If it could only double in size think of how much faster and better we will be serviced, in the oval office and in your twitter !

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  237. Michael Johnston

    The problem we face today is that when everything is considered the rich in this country already pay more into the system then anyone else. They pay more into the system and use less resourses. While I do believe that some tax increases are needed (acrossed the board), I would much rather see wastefull spending stopped. This goes for both parties! We can not continue to live in an entitlement state, at some point we need to grab out bootstraps and go work at McDonalds if needs be instead of not working for 99 weeks. Anyone who takes public monies from welfare to Federal student loans needs to be drug tested. We need to fix the system we have close the loopoles. We need to focus on our trade imbalance with China.... UGH so many other things we need to worry about instead of who's taxed more. Let's run the country like a business where we get value, and service for our dollars ( for example to send someone to space cost the us 63 million, we've contraced with the russians to do it for 52 million, however if we used a private company we could spend 1/3 less. WE NEED to fix spending and taxes will take care of themselves.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  238. Donovan in Nevada

    It is not fair to redistribute wealth in this way. It seems that we should cancel all money and debt globally and get an exchange for a new global currency which is backed by gold and can not be traded for another country's currency. This sounds like the new world order I realize, but there does not seem to be a Pareto optimal solution here. We should also have global accountancy standards, SEC and banking regs. We are finally in a global climate and we need to embrace it. It is ridiculous that people are still starving and dying from not having water. It is not necessary. Wealth is just digits in a computer, the whole game is nonsense.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  239. Nick San Diego

    Jack, the question should be. Should we go back to to the tax rates before Reagan lowered them from 50% or back to the 1950"s when they were 80-90% for upper incomes

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  240. Michael

    Tax the rich has not worked around the world why would it work here? The Dems love more revenue to spend to cover their entitlement spending, which is simlar to buying votes. Are we going to become a entitlement nation or a nation that rewards success and hard work?

    The Dems need to get of the scare tactics and start focusing on the deficit and other pressing issues. Obama talks a good story but has yet to deliver this nation from economic conditions caused by BOTH parties.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  241. Kaden

    Why don't we learn from history...ever? When the division between classes becomes too great, an empire will fall. Some semblance of balance has to be restored or we'll simply collapse from within and it will restore the balance in a far more destructive way. Unravel the ridiculous tax code and tax fairly. Oh, and if we're going to be helping people that cannot find work, which is a great safety net, maybe there is a way for some of that raw energy to be harnessed toward civil projects that drain government resources while the populous finds ways to innovate or are finally offered jobs. You receive unemployment assistance, you help maintain the city in some way. I would totally work toward something if I needed unemployment. And no task is above me, despite my very extensive education and career.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  242. david in tampa

    it looks like the republicans and richest americans feel "entitled" to their wealth, the wealth they made by taking advantage of capitalism in this country, without the US Government paying the way for capitalism to wrk in this counrty, these richest americans would never have had the chance to accumulate the wealth they now hord..and by asking them to pay a larger percentage of their earnings to compensate for the expense the US Government takes on to keep the capitism flowing in this country seems fair to me...but its backwards in this country and the wrking class or what use to be middle class, the amercians tht wrk for the wealthiest among us for minimum wage or not much more...seem to be taken advantage of by not just the employers who fight to keep wages and benifits down, also by republicans who seem to look at most americans as a labor pool to be taxed, used and abused by whoever is hiring... they want to give the richest people more tax breaks so they keep more money made off the blood of american fighting wars to keep us free/or some minumum wage wrker doing the dirty wrk and will someone please start saying "TAX BREAKS DO NOT EQUAL MORE JOBS" and its never did and republicans are telling us all lie when they keep saying it...thats about getting re-elected...so........someone needs to start pointing out this is NOT wealth redistribution..its the right thing to do and these richest people should want to give back to keep their american way of life...they have the american dream

    June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  243. Matt New Jersey

    All the bickering, the politics, the greed...everyone is out for themselves. There is no unity in the United States, except for war and terrorism, where the citizens attentions are drawn to, while the magicians take more $$. It's just a damn shame. Good luck middle class, we'll miss you.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  244. chrisseattle

    The first step in this is address the fact that seniors are strangling this country. First, social security and medicare should ONLY go to those who need it. My father pays his golf course dues with his. He can afford his own insurance. Next, increase mandatory IRA and qualified pan distributions for plans over a certain size . They werer designed to be retirement SPENDING vehicles not estate planning items

    June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  245. Jessica, Sparta, NJ

    Jack, Of course we should tax the ultra rich at a higher rate. When Regan started his Voodoo Economics and trickle down economics the money did trickle down, right into the uber riches pockets and there it has stayed for decades even as other presidents tried the whole trickle down theory for themselves. The money needs to be back in circulation so us poor working slobs can earn it back again. They have gotten super rich while we have gotten screwed, time to rebalanced the economy so it is fairer to us all otherwise the country is doomed.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  246. Roland, Boulder, CO

    It is a shame the Democrats and Republicans have created such class warfare. There is nothing wrong with a progressive tax system. The real problems we need to address are loopholes (i.e. tax breaks/credits) that allow some to avoid their share and government programs that only encourage more reliance on the government and have drifted away from their mandate of providing a safety net for those truly in need. Look at history people. The highest tax rates keep going up and the number of people supported by the government is skyrocketing. At some point, the truly rich will take their money elsewhere and we will have to raise taxes on the average joe to support the increasing number of kids who had no incentive to even finish high school. Wake up people.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  247. John - Fort Worth, Texas

    In all the talk about rasing taxes on those making over $250,000 per year I have never seen anywhere an illustration of what that would mean for that individual.

    First of all, the $250k threshold is AFTER all business and personal decductions – which can run into many thousands of dollars for a business and even for a salaried individual (mortgage interest, etc.).

    The proposal is to raise the tax by 3 percentage points. On $250,000 that is $7,200 a year or $600 a month. So for a person who may gross $25k or even $30k a MONTH, they get tagged an extra $600. So does Buffy not get to buy a pair of shoes at Nordtrums?? Do we keep the Mercedes another 6 months before trading it??

    And what kind of job do you create for $7,200 a year?? Part-time gerdener??

    Following the Republican logic, if the rich paid NO taxes we would all have jobs!! What utter bullshit!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  248. adem, oakland

    No. It should be redistributed, just like they did in Iraq, by awarding the uncontested cost plus deals, to Blackwater, Halliburton, CIFA, KPMG, CH2M, RTI, ExxonMobile, and BP. Oh, how about the bailouts? The reverse bank robbery.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  249. Will

    "Such a move [raising taxes on the rich] would of course raise revenue at a time when we're facing a $14.3 trillion national debt, but it would also anger wealthy Republican donors. Can't have that".......

    Why can't we have that? Because if we tax the rich more, they'll spend less, depress consumption, invest less, employ fewer workers? And that would hurt a stifled economy? Cafferty, I agree.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  250. David

    Concerning the statements around the wealthy not paying their fair share... What about the ~40% of Americans not paying any taxes? Many of whom are the same benefiting from social programs all while having enough money for liquor, cigs, cable TV, cell phones, and other luxury items. I am not rich, but saying the weathy is not paying their share is insane. They are paying more than they consume of govt programs. I would say they are not the fix, but it's the 40% of Americans not paying anything... while looking at the rich and other tax payers for more.

    We can focus the attention on the top 2-3% of the population, but the 40% not paying anything is the only cure. Got to tax everyone and people need to look at themselves when it comes to saying "need to pay their fair share".

    Dave Iowa

    June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  251. Heather, Farm Country, Ohio

    I thought my taxes were already being redistributed to the poor and I'm not even rich! My family makes $75k a year. My nephew makes $25k a year. He is refunded ALL of the tax money he pays in, while I am not. So while I pay taxes, he does not – he just gives the government an interest free loan for the year.

    I think we should look at the tax loopholes that are out there for large corporations – or tax them more when they send our jobs overseas to people who barely speak English. I am also a big fan of the flat tax – then every one pays in their equal share: rich, poor, illegal immigrant.....

    Maybe this budget fiasco wouldn't happen if we had statesmen, not politicians who are more worried about protecting their special interest projects than trying to improve the way of life for the people they're supposed to represent.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  252. jac from MN

    Something that no one ever mentions is that if you were to tax the top rate at twice its current rate, you wouldn't even raise 1 trillion. Tax our way out of this mess is not the only solution, and may not be even a good one.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  253. tom Carey

    Why not just take all their money, they are no good anyway, While you are at it remove all republicans from office, no need for them without rich people around. Dems and Repubs keep the rest of us in check by having us fight about the rediculus. Repubs – vote for health care and throw grandma off a cliff, Dems – fix medicare and throw grandma off a cliff. They are laughing at and getting rich off of us. Also both parties get money from the same people. They play us like fools because no matter which party we belong to we all care and beleive the lies hoping for truth. I have no answers, hoping for change and honesty from the next generation, I'm 56 and don't see any truth from this governing generation

    June 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  254. ben stockton, calif

    our problems would be less by less yes by taxing the rich, but we could do a a lot more like fixing the immigration problem, qiut giving foreign aid to many countries that don`t even like us. cutting down our massive defense budget, a fair trade agreement with china, welfare reform. there are a lot of other issues that could be looked at but the lobbyists and donations to the politicians keep us out of the process . who is going to listen to a donor who gives thousands to his representative in comparison to a small donor who contributes a much smaller sum.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  255. Nate

    Jack, the problem isn't taxing the rich, but it is the tax system itself. The system allows for so many loopholes and tax shelters that increased taxes will cause even more exploitation of these loopholes. Raising taxes for the rich is a bandaid to the greater problem of fairly taxing all income in the first place.
    -Nate, NC

    June 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  256. John from Dallas

    Sounds like a ( Democratic ) plan to me.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  257. Philabias

    JAck Obama declared war of the top 5% and they reinvested abroad and have refused to invest in america while obama is in office. if you really want to see 30% unemployment just keep pushing the job creaters. We may not like it but they own the barrel they have us over. if they refuse to invest here.well lets just say our near future will make the great depression look like the good ole days

    June 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  258. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    I have no love for the very rich. However, taxing them will not, in of itself, help reduce the deficit any significant amount. What is needed is a combination of tax increases on the wealthier Americans, closing all loopholes, eliminating all deductions, tax credits, incentives and subsidies, as well as stop borrowing from the SS trust fund, raise the income limit for SS deductions, raise the retirement age 2 years every five years, institute means testing for both SS and Medicare, cut our military spending by 20% immediately with additional 10% per year reductions for the next two years.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  259. Walter

    I reject the notion that taxing the wealthy at a higher rate than the middle class or poor is "redistribution of wealth". The wealthy benefit more from the infrastructure provided by the government than do the middle class or the poor, thus it is only fair that they pay a higher tax rate on the income they are able to generate through the utilization of that infrastructure.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  260. Martin Wielgus

    As long as Congress continues to give huge tax breaks to their buddies, I say YES! It's time to tax the wealthiest who are raping the economic system, pulling in millions of dollars a year while destroying anything they touch. Make them pay.

    Martinsburg, WV

    June 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  261. Willie Kay

    Mr. Cafferty the question is suggesting that we take away people's wealth unjustly. The issue is simple, we are running on hard times and people are struggling to survive. I feel it is only responsible and patriotic that those who are not struggling by no means pay a little more to alleviate some of the pain the majority of Americans are feeling.

    Back to you Mr. Cafferty, do you really believe the higher taxes being proposed will really be tantamount to wealth redistribution? The question are pitting one group of Americans against another. This question should not be a subject of discussion.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  262. ken

    how about we just behead them and take all their wealth instead? Cause if they dont start sharing soon that is what will happen. Remember all the revolutions where the wealthy were killed off or chased out by the poor. The greedy who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  263. Thomas CA

    Im 100% in favor of raising taxes for both the rich and the middle class. It wouldnt be necisary if the rich would pay their low wage employees their fair share. Most low wage jobs provide the services and sell the products that make their bosses rich. If the executives were willing to take a relatively small cut in their pay inorder to raise the wages of those who make them rich no only would it improve the economy but the resulting tax revenue increase whould be staggering.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  264. Rick

    Yes, Jack we need to start taxing the rich more so we can redistribute–starting with YOU. Hand it over.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  265. Teresa Carr

    I wouldn't call it redistribution of wealth, but rather making the top 1% in this country pay their fair share or at least the same percentage of gross income in taxes that this lowly nurse pays.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  266. Robert Gimbi Jr.

    Don't make any changes, thats what all politicians do, if it doesn't benefit them. The USA will fail due to lame idiots running our government, but when the little guy fails, it will eventually trickle up to the wealthy. Doing business as usual , just doesn't work anymore.
    Too Bad no one understands this.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  267. Emily DeHuff

    The phrasing of your question enrages me. The effect of the Bush tax cuts and other Republican economic policies has been to redistribute wealth TO the very rich. What we Democrats are proposing is to return that stolen wealth to its rightful owners - the people who produced it - namely, the working people of America.

    Emily DeHuff
    Newport OR

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  268. Joe

    Doesn't the constitution mention that "all men are created equal"? We should all pay the same amount regardless of whether one is richer or poorer than the other.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  269. Daniel Osorno

    Does a bear do his business in the woods?

    The fact is that everyone is so scared that even rich people are holding on to every penny they can hold on to. Very Ironic how this country is called "The United States of America " and we are not United at all. Survival of the fitest if you ask me.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  270. Jim Campbell, St. Paul, MN

    The Internal Revenue Code begins with the proposition that there shall be a tax on all income from whatever source derived. That seems simple. Why does it take several thousand pages of rules and regulations to put that simple proposition into effect? The Code has been used for social "imperatives" since first adopted over 90 years ago. What is the "imperative" of sparing the rich from paying fair taxes on their income from whatever source derived?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  271. Ajay

    Taxing the rich is termed "Redistribution of wealth" what do you call Taxing the middle and lower class?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  272. Joe from NC

    The government has to learn how to live within its means. By raising taxes will not make the government more responsible in the way it spends money. The government has to change its spending habits.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  273. Nick D. Neighbour

    YES! YES! and YES AGAIN!!
    Nick. N.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  274. Ernest Gorena

    No! But I think that the IRS should have a volunteer program for anyone that wants to give extra money. Have you been sending an additional ten or fifteen percent???

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  275. Loretta Pitts

    No taxes should be raised. The USA should learn to live w/n its means. Of course Dems want to redistribute the wealth, that is easier than working. The more you raise taxes the more they will spend. There is no end to it.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  276. Robert Weintraub

    Yes. The rich control everything, including Congress because of their money. 99% of the wealth created in the last 25 years (since Reagan) has gone to 1% of the population. That has to change!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  277. Jeff In Minnesota

    I don't agree with redistribution of wealth, however, I do think that people that are better off than others need to pay their fair share. When Warren Buffet says that he should be paying more in taxes, I have to take him at his word. But while 2% of the population are the wealthiest, if we took all of their wealth in taxes, we wouldn't make a dent in the current deficit let alone all of the debt we've racked up. In addition to getting the wealthy to pay their fair share, we will also need to get the middle class to pony up some money as well. In addition to increasing revenue, we need to be adults and admit that entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. need to be changed so that they are sustainable. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  278. Scott Seal

    Absolutely not. All Americans are entitled to the same protection under the law, and that includes the protection of their property (in this case, their money). Everybody is entitled to the same protections: not just the rich, or just the poor.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  279. Gary Goodwin

    Jack.Yes the rich should pay more taxes.What was it called when the rich got huge tax breaks the last 10 years.It should have been called redistributing wealth from the middle class to the wealthy but it wasn't!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  280. Don in Oklahoma City

    Can someone please tell me how returning the tax rates that were temporarily lowered by Bush back to their original levels from the Clinton years be called "raising taxes" or "redistributing wealth"? It was a TEMPORARY lowering, that's why it had an expiration date.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  281. Tom White

    Taxing the rich additionally is redistributing the wealth. All need to pay into the system. Currently 45% of all tax revenues come from the top 15 of earners while 37% of tax eligible Americans do not pay anything.
    Go to the FairTax check out FairTax.org

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  282. Chuck

    Yes. Venezuela is a current example of the rich taking it all for themselves. Fair taxation is essential to survival of this democracy.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  283. Dan

    Jack my problem is if you make $150,000 you join the rank of 95% that pays what this countrey runs on...How about evryone paying their share not just the rich. My brotherr makes $60,000 has 5 kids and get more back than he pays in and you think thats fair?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  284. George F, Southgate, Michigan

    No Jack unless you believe like me that the redistribution of wealth has been taken place over the past 40 years from the middle class, to government programs for the poor and more importantly the rich thru tax breaks.
    The struggle will always be between the interests of the middle class and the interests of the rich.
    The middle class doesn't mind paying taxes for services and to help those less fortunate than themselves. (Because most are one paycheck from possibly becoming poor)
    But the rich don't want to pay for government services because they pay for their own services and what to give thru philanthrophy or charity instead of government programs.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  285. Jon

    Living in a society with shared resources (like roads, airports, schools, an army) dictates that we collect taxes and redistribute wealth for the good of us ALL.
    America was free and prosperous, and the middle class vibrant, during the Eisenhower years when income taxes were much higher than they are today.
    Let us bring back an America in which sharing and sacrifice are patriotic.
    San Francisco

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  286. Don

    Yes tax the rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  287. Teresa

    Come on, Jack. People making huge sums of money often do it on the backs of the poor in the first place. Let's ask the correct question, should the rich be made to pay their fair share? The answer to this is a resounding YES! Raise their taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  288. Mike

    Don't we already tax the rich more? I'm one of those forgotten middle class wage earners we hear so much about and I paid next to nothing in income tax. Thank goodness I don't get any of their supposed tax breaks or I don't think I could afford my mortgage.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  289. Debbie

    jack, PLEASE stop even using the term "redistribute the wealth" which reeks of socialism. i just want everyone to pay their fair share. why should the rich pay less than the poor? make a little, pay a little. make a lot, pay a lot. very simple. flat tax would simplify everything, get rid of the IRS and stimulate the economy. simple enough, no?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  290. lee

    This issue is not about Republicans & Democrats. Plain and simple we need to raise more money. When the rich paid more taxes we had jobs and they did just fine and they will do fine again if they pay more taxes. Time for them to pay more taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  291. Drew

    We've been redistributing wealth for the last 40 years. To the already wealthy. Who were supposed to "trickle down" the benefits. We're still waiting.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  292. Calvin

    The rich depend on the rule of law and stability of the economy.

    Paying a little more for taxes to help pay off our looming debt and securing our future is the responsible thing to do... and many VERY wealthy people have admitted this.

    Afterall, what can you buy with 100 million that you can't buy with 95 million?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  293. Jim

    Absolutely not. All Americans should pay the same flat percentage tax. By taxing the rich higher you are punishing success. Is that a moral value of this country? Let me ask you another question: have you ever gotten a job from a poor man? The wealthy are the job creators and job investors in our country.

    (PS: I make $27,000 a year)

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  294. richard db

    Tax the rich – or eat them!
    Their wealth does NOT trickle down!
    It goes overseas, eg., nike and Phil Knight refusing to pay USofA workers because they can find cheap labor (human beings) elsewhere, as well as, lax environmental policies.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  295. Scott Davis

    Taxing the rich and the freeloading corporations is the only way we'll ever get out of the hole Bush put us in. America's wealth has already been redistributed to the top 1%. It's time to turn this mess around.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  296. David

    Tax'em! They have most of the money, they should pay the taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  297. Dee

    Why is making wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes and closing loopholes defined as a redistribution of wealth? These are the types of extreme terms we need to stay away from! Big business is not being asked to go above and beyond or do anything extraordinary-just pay your share!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  298. Marc

    I'm all about raising taxes if the money is used to bring down the deficit. Problem is the bozo in the WH has no plan to do that. He wants to spend, spend and spend some more. Then what are you folks going to be asking for? More money from the Rich. About changing the playing field and stop giving money to folks that pay zero taxes. Last I checked its between 49-51% depending who you believe. Most of the folks on this chat that calls for higher taxes fall into the category mentioned above. Need the gravy train to keep feeding me. Last I checked poor people don't sign my paycheck so I'm fine with my rich boss to keep his share of the pie instead of letting Democrats and Republican spend it for him.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  299. Diane

    Since when is paying their fair share considered redistrubuting the wealth....Why is it that the middle class always gets the shaft??? I will be very disappointed if the Democrats give in to the big pockets of the Republicans.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  300. Brian Boyarko

    Jack, the rich have been "redistributing the wealth" from the middle class to millionaires and billionaires for decades. There is a cost for their opulence, and as long as there are people suffering from lack of employment, health care, and basic human necessities, it's time for them to pay up.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  301. Tammy Baumgartel

    Great way to frame that question Jack. "Redistribution of wealth" is a disingenuous, extreme republican framing of what most of us just consider everyone paying their fair share. In terms of percentage of income, I pay more in taxes than GE. THAT is an inverse redistribution of wealth that is the reality we are currently living with.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  302. Jim S from Milford, MI

    You too, Jack??? You're using that republican propaganda term "redistribution of wealth" in the context of increasing taxes on the rich? What about the redistribution of wealth that is happening in Michigan by reducing taxes on businesses, and increasing taxes on senior citizens? No matter what you do to the tax code, by that definition, it is "redistribution of wealth" ... but that is a polarizing red herring term. Ask a non-slanted question, Jack, and maybe you will get a reasonable distribution of response.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  303. Larry Liesner

    I would have said definitely "NO" a few years ago but now I am wondering if capitalism really works. You know, the capitalism that actually creates a middle class. But now because of the increasing spread between the haves and the have nots i have to vote "YES".

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  304. Greg Forest

    I hear a lot about the rich taking their money and fleeing the country and its not a bad idea. Just legislate that any country that welcomes them cannot do business with the U.S. These tax havens might think twice about locking themselves out of the world's largest market. And of course the expat wealthy would also be disbarred from equity positions on U.S. shores. I hope the door whacks 'em on the butt as they leave and they enjoy their new lives in beautiful Dubai.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  305. Michael J. Liccar, CPA

    The concept of redistribution of wealth is contrary to everything upon which this nation was founded, which is the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is foreign to the true American spirit.

    Under our Constitution, the government's main purpose is the protection of the individual and their property. Our government was not intended to establish the sort of utopian socialist society proposed by Karl Marx and Willian Jennings Bryan over 100 years ago.

    A "fair share" doesn't mean a system where nearly 50% of the citizenry pay no income taxes at all and the remainder shoulder their burden.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  306. Jesse Nochese

    Of course the wealth should be re-distributed, that's why it is.
    The wealthiest percentile contribute the overwhelming majority of
    taxable income collected by state and federal government. This is
    one matter that isn't divided by party affiliation, it's a simple fact.
    The rich pay the most and the poor receive the most. And isn't that
    how it should stay?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  307. Dan H


    Taxing the rich would take the burden off of the so called middle class that has been abused for so long. Here is a great idea lower the middle classes tax percentage and increase the richest one percent. The money given back to the middle class will but put back into the economy in some form.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  308. Sherry Cooper

    Jack, Definitely we should tax the wealthy at a higher rate but better yet why not tax investment capital gains income higher and lower or remove tax liability from those companies that increase hiring by a certain percentage....win win situation on revenues!!! Sherry in San Tan Valley AZ

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  309. Don

    Jack, I think everyone should work to solve this problem. I feel the rich, who pay more than 50% of all taxes should be asked to give exactly the same as what Public Unions are willing to give back to help the budget crisis. Your snide comment about Rich Contributors to the Republican party makes about as much sense as you not saying that the Unions fund the Democratic party.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  310. Jim D.

    No. I think we need to cut more school budgets, shut down more school programs, layoff more police officers and fire fighters, and sell more of our landfill space to Canada. We just haven't given the "trickle down" effect enough time, it just needs another two decades and it's sure to work!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  311. Tom in Jacksonville, North Carolina

    Jack, since half of the countrys wage earners do not even pay taxes, I do not believe taxing the rich would have much effect. You cannot call yourself a taxpayer when your tax refund exceeds what you paid into the IRS. The most you should be able to do is zero out your tax liability. Those who believe that the rich dont pay any taxes are without a clue as to how the system works. Just spend a season prepairing taxes and see where your money is going. The only fair and correct fix is a flat tax system. every single person earning wages and those receiving welfare should be taxed on what they receive, by the way welfare should have a cap. The Constution clearly states "promote the general welfare" not provide general welfare.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  312. Stu from Wisconsin

    Redistribute the wealth? What have the Republicans doing since 1980? Their goal is to return to the good old days... the days before the Great Depression. And they have virtually achieved this goal by using such words as "freedom", "individualism" and "democracy." What do you call a society when big business and the wealthy 2% control our country? A plutocracy... not a democracy!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  313. Fred

    Through tax policies we have already redistributed the wealth and the winners have been the wealthiest of this nation. Under higher taxes on both the rich and middles classes we built one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, nation in the world. Under a tax policy of Eisenhower the richest we taxed up to 90% and yet they built mansions and business and we did a road system that was, maybe not today, best in the world and which aided in our movements to lesser populated cities and towns and transportation of goods and services.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  314. Linda

    Why not everyone pay their fair share!! I'm sick of paying for people that sit on their butts and feed off of my hard work!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  315. Gary Duffett

    I got my money the old fashioned way "I EARNED IT" -– served in the Military, then worked my butt off for the next -45- years – these lazy do nothings, can do the same.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  316. scott smith

    I saw the poll results this evening and it seems skewed. Part of that same poll should ask if you are Republican, would increasing the taxes affect you? Maybe you'll start to see why they disagree with raising the taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  317. Burbank from CA

    I think the rich need to pay a larger share of taxes but I also don't think we need to raise taxes at all. What we need to do is send the job and welfare stealing illegal aliens home and completely stop all foreign aid until we are solvent again and also get out of all these wars! The middle class in this country is expected to support both the rich and the poor and the rest of the entire world too! Enough! Enough! Enough!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  318. Mike in Puerto Rico

    No, don't focus on the wealthy. It's time for a flat tax for all of us. We should all pay the same, whatever the figure. For example, the wealthy and the rest of us pay 10%, whether we make 10 million dollars or $10,000.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  319. Bob, in Florida

    Redistributing the weath by taxing the rich IS A LIE. PLAIN AND SIMPLE IT IS A LIE. We have been redistributing the wealth TO THE RICH for 20 years. The middle class and poor have gotten poorer and poorer for the past 20 years.

    The Congress has BEEN CUTTING taxes on the rich for more than 10 years. The rich SHOULD BE paying more in taxes.

    It IS NOT like the government will tax the rich and send check to the middle class and poor. Most likely, if taxes were raised on the rich, the money would go to paying the debt we owe. Hardly a redistribution of wealth by ANY DEFINITION.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  320. Bill York, Corvallis Oregon

    It is pretty clear where you stand, Jack. The constant reference to "redistribution of wealth" is a dead give away. Bet you'd get different responses if you phrased it "based upon the ability to pay".

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  321. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    To quote Adrian Rogers 1931 "You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else...You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." Wake up! This mess was created by creating a massive overreaching ravenous government. According to the government the recent round of QE added 700k jobs (if you believe any government stat on job creation) at the cost of almost $600 million. That's 850K per job. Most of the new jobs are low paying jobs such as McDonalds jobs, which are needed, but not likely going to spur the economy to new heights. They are destroying our wealth and our children's wealth. Each American man, woman and child now owes over $45,000 to the American government to cover our national debt. Where does it stop?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  322. Joe Koechler

    The question is phrased as redistribution of wealth. If anyone would like to respond "no" perhaps they would like to change the current income tax system. It is a progressive tax system – which by definition taxes higher incomes more than lower incomes. Do I hear a resounding "yes" to the so-called Fair Tax, which would also redistribute wealth by putting more of the burden on middle income earners.

    Joe – Ormond Beach, Florida

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  323. JoeF

    Why is this about redistributing wealth? The rich should pay higher taxes to help with the deficit, not to fulfill some social agenda. Mr. Cafferty, you do this issue a disservice when you frame it as wealth distribution which causes a knee jerk reaction from the left and the right. This is an issue that deserves thought and not posturing.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  324. Jimmy

    Isn't it true that the gap between the top 5% (the rich) and the rest of the working people just keeps getting wider and wider. I've had some nice raises over the last 10 years in January and then in February that raise went right into my Health Care Premium.

    It seems that there's A LOT of greed in this country and I think it's going to come back and bite us all in the rear end. Does anybody really beleive that wages have kept up with the cost of living increases over the years.

    If redistributing the wealth means to narrow that gap then let's try to narrow that gap by raising some taxes. We can't keep give tax cuts to the wealthy and then ship jobs overseas and not take care of our workers. Who will have any money to buy the amount of goods to keep our industries going.

    Something has to be done that minimizes the greed.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  325. JVogler

    AT it's core, government is, has been, and always will be a form of wealth redistribution. That is how government accomplishes it's goals. The only real question is can you tackle the deficit and debt with cutting spending alone. I think not. Revenues must be increased in an overall attempt to solve the problem. That increase can help close the budget deficit and/or could be used for debt service and reduction. Just think what would happen if we actually started to buy back some of our obligations?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  326. Thomas K. Cole

    Federal taxes are lower now than they were under King George 1st., and 2nd, even Big Ronald. Those getting the benefits are sure not hiring people out of the goodness of their heart. Also, taxes have always raised to pay for past wars, and we are in at least 2. Our federal debt is going up. Let's try going back to the Clinton taxes when we had a surplus.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  327. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I don't see this as a redistribution, I see this as finally those with the greatest wealth will finally not have me pay for the services they receive from the U.S. Government.

    Cantor and Boehner probably should get off of the LSD and face the reality that spending cuts alone will never be enough to get rid of this deficit, but then they've been tripping out since the the early 2000's.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  328. larry gorman

    I take issue with the wording of your question. Did you think Bush and the Republicans were"redistributing the wealth" when they passed the massive tax cuts for the rich which caused this huge deficit inthe first place? Just asking.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  329. Tony From CT

    I started my own company last year. It has gone amazingly well. In exchange for my success and contributions to helping this horrible economy the Democrats want to disproportionately tax me because I’m turning my dream into a reality. If entrepreneurs like me are forced to give up a big portion of our earnings we won’t reinvest that money in our companies and it seems to me that without entrepreneurs like me this economy is doomed to remain abysmal. And this may shock you Jack, but I’m a Democrat who voted for Obama. I won’t make that mistake again.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  330. Kevin

    I suppose by redistributing the wealth you mean primarily Social Security followed by Medicare. I have to say, I fully support these programs, and as their costs increase over time, they should increasingly be bourne by those most able to pay. I also support payments for the unemployed, aid to families with dependent children, and aid to small farmers and businesses. If you're implying that paying our troops or funding scientific research and universities is redistributing wealth, you may be off your nut, but not out of tune with American sentiment.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  331. Daniel

    Absolutely not. No more tax money for the worst administrator ever: the government. But we do have to start thinking about distributing wealth in an eficient way: by forcing companies to pay better salaries to working americans. Profit sharing should be mandatory in this country.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  332. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    Number one, your poll results are wrong. Last time I saw a poll over 50% of Republicans wanted to raise taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers, and the Democrats and Independents were commensurately higher.

    Number two, under the Eisenhower administration the top marginal tax rate was 90% if memory serves, and under Reagan, double what it is now. This is kind of like CEOs who used to make 200 times what the workers made, and now it is closer to 2000.

    Number three, it is not re-distributing wealth, and the way in which you asked it pre-disposes people to be against it. Don't let your large salary effect your questions

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  333. Tim Daniels

    The rich get richer off the backs of the working class. They need to be the ones that pay for the fiscal imbalance that exists.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  334. Wayne

    Redistribute Wealth??? Get real, there are many hard working rich that should enjoy their wealth...they earned it. How about closing the loopholes that only the wealthy have access to. Level the playing field. Everybody should pay, if the rich pay nothing, change the rules either so everybody pays nothing or make it so that it's fair by closing the tax code loopholes that allow the rich to pay their fair share. Guess some just don't want to play fair...

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  335. George Barber

    Jack: Even Warren Buffet is shocked he pays so little tax compared to his secretary. Anyhow if they don't raise the debt ceiling the trouble will really start for average Americans when interest rates will increase to whatever level will entice investors to buy American Bonds.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  336. Lukas

    Redistribution of wealth via taxes does not work in Europe, it does not work in the US. More taxes means more centralized power with the government. History has shown that more centralization will eventually lead to more wars, either through an internal revolution of the people or more international warfare. Irresponsible governance is letting generation Y down by allowing generation X spend money they don't have. We must start demanding again that the government's balance-sheet breaks even. Let's refrain from using the word fair, what's considered fair today might be ridiculous tomorrow. Independent of your religious, political or personal beliefs, you do not spend or give away something you don't own. Let's stop the government of doing so. Let's make the hard decisions (cuts) today, for a financially sustainable and more peaceful future tomorrow.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  337. steve - virginia beach

    There's a subculture among our youth that rejects education, resulting in a 30% k-12 dropout rate and dooming themselves to a lifetime of neediness. Should we sieze the rewards of hard work and accomplishment to support those who embraced premeditated failure? NO!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  338. Bettyann

    This is a no brainer, YES, the wealth should be re-distributed, what is this world thinking? Are we in debt or not? Do we want to be yet another product of China? So they don't get quite as much money, welcome to the real world.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  339. Dan NYC

    The way I'm taxed, I guess I'm considered rich. I have a small business that employs 20 people and I give back more than half of what I make in taxes. My business survives on smaller and smaller margins and my potential to go out of business increases with every tax hike.

    I understand the middle class desire to heavily tax the wealthy, but if done without common sense, they will, in my case, put 21 more families on the unemployment lines that THEY support with their tax dollars.

    If you really want to go after the rich, please look at corporate america where executives routinely are paid multi-million dollar "golden parachute" severance agreements even when they've failed their company and stockholders. Or look at the ridiculous bonuses paid to wall street execs even in times like these.

    Answers to are problems are not coming from extremists on either side of the political parties. We need to come together as one nation, get some common sense, truth and education into the conversation and come to an agreement that makes sense for all.

    If we don't, we'll just be cutting our own throats!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  340. Scott

    For those supporting taxing the rich more "because they need to pay thier fair share" have any of you even looked at thecurrent tax structure in the US. It's called a progressive tax structure... as income goes up so does the tax rate. the rich are already paying their share.

    In fact, if you believe as I do, they are paying MORE than their share. The richest folks pay 33% more tax on each dollar than I do. Why should they now pay even more? Turn around on look at how many pay nothing. They are also the ones consuming the most dollars.

    So the rich pay the most and recieve the least benefit, the poor pay nothing and consume the greatest benefit. that doesn't sound right to me....

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  341. JimmyNelson

    well Jack, the rich have been taxing the poor for many years. i think its about time we got some of it back.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  342. Brandon in Alaska

    This problem is rooted in our differing philosophical views. People are rightfully hesitant to spend money when they disagree with where that money is going. I'm sure some people would dislike paying taxes to fund abortions just as much as I would dislike paying taxes to build a church.

    These views will never change. The solution, I believe, is to prioritize spending to fund programs/organizations which are essential and less controversial first, then work back towards more controversial spending.

    Two quick ideas in case any congressmen are reading:

    1. Eliminate the overhead of govermnent employees paying taxes. Seems wasteful to me, being that they are paid by the same entity to whom they write their check in April...

    2. Eliminate the "spend it or lose it" method of budgeting. The very essence of that scheme makes horrible economic sense (to me).

    June 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  343. desi mora

    If everyone needs to make an effort to get the US out of the current situation why should only the poor and the middle class take the hit while the fat cats multi-millionaries do not have to put a little grain of sand. First it will not make them go broke like it will happens to the poor and the elderly. Second they are seating on Billions of Dollars in foreign accounts and refuse to invest any here, so take some of that money to cover the current situation and improve the job situation in the country and raise the boat for everyone else and they will benefit even more in the long run than if we allow the situation to get even worse.
    Finally leave Afghanistan and save several billions this year alone.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  344. Bill

    No new taxes! Live within your means like everyone else. I would like to see a complete change in the way taxes are done in this country. We should have a national sales tax instead of an income tax. That way good things like working, saving and frugality are encouraged. Bad things, like excessive consumption, would be discouraged.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  345. John Painter Jr.


    That's a no brainer. The really rich have slithered by without picking up their fair share of the tax burden for far too long. Of course, the GOP opposes it. Big loopholes for the rich translate into gold eggs that roll into Republican campaign coffers. So why shouldn't they oppose a tax increase that would pluck their flock of golden geese.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  346. Ross

    Raising taxes as a benefit to raising revenues supposes that all things remain the same. However, if you apply Newton's 3rd law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, people will change their behavior to avoid these additional hardships. People complain about businesses moving jobs overseas, this situation will not be helped by causing business owners and job creators to spend more money.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  347. George in Riverside

    There is a bias built into the question. That bias is in the word "redistribute." It is better to think of taxes as the cost of civilization. Those who benefit most from civilization should pay the cost accordingly.

    A slightly higher tax rate on the very wealthy will not cause anywhere near as much economic pain as it does on the clearly "not wealthy," but at the same time, it provides the protections that prevent rampant crime and keeps the infrastructure that the wealthy depend on to maintain their wealth strong.

    The Republicans seem to think that we can be a strong country without taxing anyone. They should heed the words of Ben Franklin. "Nothing is certain but death and taxes."

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  348. Judy Lutzenberger

    How about returning to the tax rates in effect during the Eisenhower years? Republicans always wax nostalgic for the "good old days." Maybe we shoud jog their memories a bit.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  349. Chris Carson


    This is all about balance. The tax cuts over the past decade have been of great benefit to those who didn't need it, and as Warren Buffett has famously said, didn't want it. If tax cuts lead to improved economic times and more jobs than I'm missing something. That said, those who claim that there's nothing wrong with Social Security and/or Medicare are living an Alice in Wonderland existence and need to stop their pursuit of an endless 'free lunch."

    Bottom line, I'd rather have the tax rates, and the overall economic condition, from the Clinton years – much as Greenspan and others have recommended.


    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  350. Rose

    When did taxes become a redistribution of wealth? Responsibility dictates that if much has been given to you, much is expected from you. People have become way to greedy and selfish to see paying their fair share of taxes as a patriotic duty for the prosperity they've received in our great land.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  351. Jay

    This country helped them get rich. Why not payback time? It's the patriotic thing to do. Oops ... maybe they're not patriotic...

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  352. Joe

    A simpler approach to this issue is to instate a VAT on everything. Make it high enough to compensate for the abolishment of the federal tax system. This also solves the problem of taxing Internet purchases.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  353. Henry Alter

    The use of the term "redistribtution of wealth" is a unfortunate . It's a Republican mantra. Put the question fairly! Asking people who earn more to pay more is not redistribution, it is a matter of fairness. The wealthiest 1% of Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90% cited NYTimes /federal Reserve

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  354. Bryan (New York)

    A flat tax is a requisite part of a fair society. Everyone should pay the same percentage of their pay to the government. If we want to help the poor who earn very little, the government shouldn't redistribute wealth to them, but instead not tax some level of income that is below a certain level. This will reward the poor for working by letting them keep more of their hard earned money. This system would be better than giving people handouts while they perform no service for society. Everyone should be treated equal under the law. For an individual to feel they have the right to take another person's money to satisfy their own moral responsibilities is reprehensible.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  355. Mike L - Tucson, AZ

    How ridiculous to call it wealth redistribution. If a millionaire's tax rate goes up a couple of percentage points, I won't be getting a check with the windfall. It's just a matter of getting a little more revenue from those who can best afford to pay, just like we've been doing with a progressive tax structure all along.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  356. Reuben

    Yes. Tax the rich at a higher rate. 35% for them will hurt less than 10% for most middle-class Americans. People become rich in the USA because we have a system that allows people to go from rags to riches, but it's getting harder to do that all the time. The system that allowed that is now in serious trouble. Raising the tax rate on the wealthy will be a good way to not only help reduce the deficit, but to restore some faith in the American system to those of us who just can't get ahead no matter what. A look at history will show what happens to nations in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's called armed revolution.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  357. John

    I will tell you that I run a company that employs 40 people. If you raise my taxes, if you raise their taxes, that's just fewer jobs that we can manage because we have to raise their pay to offset the higher taxes. So essentially your taking money that could be used to employ people and giving it to the drooling democrat socialists who are running the country and think they know how to spend our money better than we do. Democrats just don't get it - they think that they are SO much more intelligent than the rest of the idiots in the country, they know what is good for you, so they are going to tell you how they will spend your money. Poof. There goes another job.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  358. Michael Levine

    Don’t call it “redistributing wealth”! That is a republican term. Call it paying your fair share. For example, why should I have to pay social security taxes on 100% of my income while someone making 1,000,000 only pays it on less than 10% of their income? Is that fair? And why should retired millionaires be collecting social security anyway? It is called “social security” which is a safety net not another check to bank. Millionaires for starters should not be collecting social security if they don’t need it to live on. Here is an idea… how about everybody pays social security taxes on ALL their income and just lower the contribution rate to 3.0%? Now wouldn’t that be fair? I’ve worked hard all my life, never collected unemployment, and truly believe the rich (i.e. W-2 income over $250,000) pay way too little…sorry. Any W-2 income over $500,000 should be taxed at 50%.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  359. JMorgan


    A good start would be reseting tax levels and spending to Pre-Bush era levels, follow that up by fixing the tax system, close loopholes, and even better yet flatten out and simplify the tax code, follow that by a constitutional amendment that says any new spending must be matched with either a tax increase, or a cut from another program of equal value.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  360. PatC

    According to your report 47% say yes tax the rich to redistribute the wealth. Wouldn't that be the 47% who are currently not paying taxes and already receiving that redistribution? Sounds like they want a raise on the backs of people who have to work 60 to 70 hours a week to be in the category of the rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  361. Larry Stahl

    We must raise taxes (on the highest income brackets to pay for our wars in afghanistan and Iraq.

    There is no rationale for our involvement in Afghanistan (or there wasn't until our allies got involved), Get out now and take the money saved to pay down our deficit, We ar not now nor supposed to be the world's policemen.

    Larry Stahl

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  362. Jimmy

    Isn't it true that the gap between the top 5% (the rich) and the rest of the working people just keeps getting wider and wider. I've had some nice raises over the last 10 years in January and then in February that raise went right into my Health Care Premium.

    It seems that there's A LOT of greed in this country and I think it's going to come back and bite us all.. Does anybody really beleive that wages have kept up with the cost of living increases over the years.

    If redistributing the wealth means to narrow that gap then let's try to narrow that gap by raising some taxes. We can't keep give tax cuts to the wealthy and then ship jobs overseas and not take care of our workers. Who will have any money to buy the amount of goods to keep our industries going.

    Something has to be done that minimizes the greed before the greed minimizes America.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  363. Stephen Castner

    America is the land of opportinity. After you work hard and succeed, you are penalized by discriminatory taxation to support those who have not worked as hard. What sort of reinforcement of the American ideal is that?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  364. Bud Pratt of Florida


    Wealth is being redistributed right now, and has been for years, in a mighty uphill flood, from the middle class to the wealthy.

    With the demand side of the economy strapped, and wealth piling up at the top, and government going broke from historically low revenue, what better idea?

    Of course we should Jack! What are we, imbeciles, more interested in congressional scandals than good sense?

    Don’t answer that.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  365. Brad way

    Why do we call it a redistribution of wealth when the rich are asked to kick in their fair share, but not when Wall Street cleans out our retirements? Tax cuts didn't bring jobs as promised, so, yeah, why not try bringing down the deficit, maybe that will do the trick.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  366. David Aldridge

    The wealthy are already taxed aggressively. We should not raise taxes on them or anyone else.
    Our government should and must change the way they do business and reign government back so it lives within our means.
    We currently have a third world government working furiously to turn us into a third world country.
    The traditional mindset of Washington is such that they will spend every dime they can extract from us and more. If all citizens ponied up enough cash to pay off our debt, (an impossibility) our government would begin working furiously to spend us right back to where we are today.
    China currently understands markets than do the posturing egotists in our government.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  367. Mike from Ocala, Fl.

    We are all for cutting the deficit. But a lot of us are also for taxing the wealthy. If we raise certain taxes we would not have to cut benefits and entitlements to both social security & Medicare. While the people are making the big dollars that is the time to tax it not wait until your income is cut in half then have the Government cut your benefits. I know before I retired I would have gladly paid more for social security so that my retirement pension was not reduced.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  368. Rebecca Johnson

    If the filthy rich, greedy Republicans who got us in this mess in the first place by shipping all the jobs out of the country so they could make even more money would "give" money back to the US ( the country that allow them to be so prosperous) then we could pay off our debts and the country could be prosperous for all of Amercia like the Democrats left it under Clinton.
    Their short sighted behavior is unbeliveable. How did they think that America could survive with no jobs, no manufacturing products, and nothing to export to bring in money. Or was that their plan to completly demolish this country, Wake up America, If you put them back in office they will distroy this country.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  369. Pat

    Since Rep. Eric Cantor says there won't be any disaster relief money without cuts somewhere else (like aid to kids, education and the poor), maybe we could just ask the billionaires to make donations to the states and cities and families ravaged by floods and tornadoes. Not a tax - just a "good neighbor" fund to help rebuild. The GOP could even pretend they have hearts and support this!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  370. Frances Cappelletti

    It is not redistribution of wealth to make the wealthy pay their fair share. which they do not, If they did the rich would not be getting richer while the hard working middle class is getting poorer.

    Trickle down does not work and never has.

    Tax the rich! Make this a more fairer and better country.


    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  371. Randy

    Since ,01% of the population owns 50% of the equity of the US they should pay 50% of the taxes just like shareholder do in a corporation. Any idiot should know that.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  372. Keith

    Jack, President Obama only paid 26% of his income in taxes and got total of 12k in refunds. And the current rate is 35% and President Obama's definition of rich is 250k plus and his family claimed 1.7m in taxes. Why don't we fix the loopholes and tax deductions within the taxcode first, then discuss taxing the rich. If GE don't have to pay taxes earning 15billion dollars due to our taxcode, how can we raise taxes on rich when these loopholes exist?????

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  373. Kevin Downey

    With all the GOP blah-blah-blah about their possession of the patriotism card, wouldn't you think they'd take their neo-blinders off, and allow the top to incur a tax hike? The top 400 Americans have the equivalent wealth of the bottom 125 million of us.!! How many houses, Lears, yachts and the like are enough when your American "neighbors" are losing their jobs, their homes, their families, their dignity... Shame on them! In the name of patriotism, raise their damn taxes!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  374. TP

    When will we also look at the welfare programs and realize that more than half are just money pits. They are abused and do not improve the quality of life for most of the people receiving them. The problem with the US is that more than 50% of the people think they "deserve" things and that the rich should pay for it. You shouldn't be on food stamps, have a cell phone, flat screen tv with 250 cable channels and an xbox. That is a joke. The wealthy may have a lot of money, but the majority of them worked very hard to get that money. Many are small business owners that took a risk and worked 70-80 hours a week to get a business off the ground. They should be rewarded, not sued and taxed to pay for all the freeloaders...

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  375. William Marvell

    You've allowed the argument to be corrupted by the Republican right. Paying taxes is not the same as redistributing the wealth. The wealthy gain more benefits from a secure, stable government than the poor. Sort of like flying, Coach class or First class. Which do you prefer?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  376. lee from pennsylvania

    Jack, if i were among the rich i would certainly give more taxes. i have paid my taxes no matter what. Yes, they should be taxed more. If i was among the rich i would not mind it as it probably would not even make a dent their fortune. i am a widow, only on social security, i cannot do what those so called rich people can do. I am glad to be an American and i will always pay my just amount of taxes. The rich are richer and they want to be come richer,. Shame on them, when so many people do without.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  377. Dustin in Miami

    This is a class war, with the Republicans selling out to the wealthy. It is not income redistribution. It is paying your fair share. A person making $75,000/yr will be hurt by a 30% tax rate while someone making $1,000,000 will not. The rich invest their money and the only trickle down is the BS that the Repubs throw out to cover their greed. Remember, it was the wealthy who brought this economy to it's knees and then profited from the bailout. Why are we going to lose money when GM posts a profit? Why are we subsidizing oil companies who are making record profits. When was the last time a rich person called you and asked if you need a loan? Wake up America, the middle class is being sold out to the corporations!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  378. Middle-Class Hanger-on

    I don't understand the focus on the rich. There really aren't enough of them to solve the problem.
    The problem is spending, not revenue. Government has to rein in the growth of spending.
    Then, some genius has to put together a flat tax solution for revenue. Yoe spend money, you pay a tax. The more money you spend, the more revenue comes in. That will take care of class differentials on wealth redistribution.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  379. Bob, Holt MI

    Hey Jack.....How about asking Wolf what the tax rate percentage he would be comfortable with giving to the Govt, since he makes the big bucks @CNN anyway, unlike you.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  380. Virginia

    Nearly half of households don't pay any income tax. More than half of households think any increases should be put on the rich. Well, Duh.

    The Republicans are wrong. The Democrats are wrong. The debt and deficit problem is a national emergency, and everybody should participate. I think all rates should be increased, for example, go back to the Clinton rates.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  381. Zolicon

    YES & NO:
    Yes the Rich should have to Pay Taxes.In fact they should be held to the same standards as the rest of the Working Class.
    As it is with the Lower Working Class You are Place in different Tax brackets.
    The More You make the higher You are Placed up in the those Tax Brackets.
    The Taxes You Pay.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  382. eric

    We should 'selectively' tax the rich. I suggest a 99% tax on every single con artist that got rich off our latest financial meltdown. The remaining 1% could go to the prisons that would face expansion when these creeps were put where the sun doesn't shine. Deficit erased immediately...
    Fat chance, eh?"

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  383. patty washington

    Redistributing the wealth, seriously? All the money has been redistributed already to the top 1% of the population. Now, it's time to make the rich pay their fair share and pay for those wars that were unfunded because Bush gave them tax cuts at the time of going to war. We're heading toward third world status as a country with the top 1% holding all of our country's money. America can't be the great country it use to be with a strong middle class and democracy if the rich continue to not pay their fair share. Even under Reagan, the rich paid more taxes than they do now, and we're fighting wars we can't afford. America's citizens are experienceing the greatest unemployment since the depression. So, yes, it's more than time for the rich to pay more taxes!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  384. mbaDad

    There is not one "quick fix", it will take time and effort.

    – Despite everyone complaining about taxes, we are actually at very low total levels. We need tax reform, simplifying the code, closing loopholes, and perhaps modest raises (clinton levels?).

    – We have to get military spending under control, back to levels before 911. Quality, not quantity.

    – Obviously the biggest parts of the budget are social security and medicare. I have no idea how to fix these, but there has to be some good ideas out there.

    This is not democrats vs republicans, finger pointing does not help. This is about getting to work and doing their jobs, there is room for compromise on exact levels. Sadly I'm afraid most are worried more about the upcoming election than what state the country will be in for their kids and grandkids.

    mbadad (moderate conservative)

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  385. Gregory P Smith

    The question itself is biased and is not worthy of being answered. In fact you are not asking a question so much as stating your opinion of a progressive tax structure that funds our government in an equitable way, by asking those with means to contribute a portion of their wealth to the goal of providing for the common defense, and promoting the general welfare of the country; asking them to be patriotic Americans not seeking their welfare alone, but the welfare of the nation. To say that it is about "wealth distribution" and "soaking the rich" is to poison the conversation from the outset, and actually sir, you should be ashamed of yourself for doing so.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  386. Don in NY

    Taxes should go back to Clinton years, but more importantly, stop subsidizing industries like insurance, banking & oil! Quarter million dollars annual income and up should have immediate tax correction to Clinton era levels. Then cut down on troops in Afghanistan.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  387. cruizin

    "Redistribution of Wealth" is a phrase that raises all sorts of red flags and makes one think of socialism. Someone who works hard all of their life should not be expected to give more to supplement others just because they happen to be fortunate to fall above some subjective income level. Everyone should be expected to pay the same percentage of their income...this obviously means that those that are wealthier would pay more. What DOES need to be fixed is the current tax code that provides advantages to those with the money to employ accountants to find all sorts of loopholes to lower the amount of taxes paid. If you eliminate tax credits, deductions, etc. everyone is on the same playing field. Maybe we should go back and revisit the idea of a flat tax.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  388. Demos

    How can a poor citizen possibly get ahead in the present context? The rich have to contribute as the poverty level is insurmountable today.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  389. Frank

    I just returned from Newport RI, & I saw the rich throwing there cash away & flaunting their wealth in peoples faces. If they have the wealth to throw away on expensive cars, yachts, sail boats & billion dollar mansions. They can be like everyone else & pay there fair share of taxes. Just because you have wealth does that mean you are better than everyone else. Also what happened in Greece?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  390. Karla

    Yes. Us middle-class folks can't afford accountants who know how to cheat the tax system. Removing tax cuts for the rich is not redistributing wealth, it's leveling the playing field.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  391. qanerd

    "We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle"
    Winston Churchill (not exactly an idiot)

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  392. Fiona

    Define "rich." According to Obama, I fall into that category. I assure you that I pay more than my fair share of taxes. What we need to do is tax the SUPER-rich...the Gateses, the Buffets, the Elisons, the Winfreys...and so on. Those people have such complicated financial setups that they end up paying very little in taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  393. Joe

    A fool is a person who believes they are entirely "self made". The rich are rich because they were able to use the resources of society to their advantage. They used our roads, our courts, our police, our fire fighters, our schools, our government offices, our people, and our talent. They of course should be rewarded, but they should also pay their fair share back to society, to make room for the next generation of capitalists, inventors, and entrepreneur.

    Otherwise, the cycle of wealth grinds to a halt. A core, critical function of government is to redistribute some wealth, and to prevent any one entity from getting too powerful. Should these checks and balances be lacking, expect corruption to rule the day, and the economy to fall apart. We see this happening today, and it's no coincidence that even though more wealth is controlled by the top 1% than at any time in our history, the economy is stagnating! More of the same is not the "cure" – it's the problem.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  394. judy symcox

    Rich maybe.... WHO decides rich...somebody in Tulsa or San Francisco ???
    Rich in Tulsa is VERY different than rich in San Francisco ! ! !

    Tulsa might be rich with $60K income and $150K house.
    Greater SanFran Bay Area a $100K income can't qualify for a ordinary $600k house.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  395. ron miller


    The question is loaded. We get to see how many people in America are wealth envious. NO we should not tax the rich and redistribute the wealth. That in itself is UN-American. That is Communism. Taxes are a punishment in the sense of just taxing the rich. The line in our Nation Anthem says "land of the free"...NOT land of what we allow you to have.. The folks in America that believe in this should look at themselves in the mirror, and ask a simple question.... Is my life the way it is because of the rich EARNING and keeping what they EARNED..or because of the choices I have made to put me in this spot. Not only that the magic number seems to be $250,000. What if in 10 years that amount has dropped to $50,000. That is what I make and by no means am I rich... AND I DONT WANT A DIME OF SOMEELSES MONEY I DID'NT EARN..

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  396. Carrie in Birmingham

    Of course, to much is given , much is expected! We need to take the tax rates back to where they were under Reagan or before. In times of economic woes why should the middle class be the only ones to suffer under the burdens . I know a few moderatley wealthy people and they still travel , buy new cars and send their kids to private schools and tend to not even notice the recession , and some have domistic help .
    I have family members out of work , no insurance and drive broken down cars and some work 2 jobs to make ends meet. The middle class is just going backwards! Something really unfair with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  397. Gary

    You know, the wealthy would pay more for debt reduction, but they know that is not where it goes. Congress will spend it. They always do. In Illinois, they increased taxes 66% on everyone. The budget proposed then – higher spending and hiring more state employees. Its what politicians do, class warfare gets them more money. Pet programs buy votes. Instead, simply put – just give us both – repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, but pass a Constitutional Amendment that the budget must be balanced. This way the wealth is not being redistributed with higher taxes (which is wrong), but being used to pay for our past sins so our children don't have to.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  398. MandL

    The poor folks don't hate the rich! Who doesn't want to be rich? Give me a break.

    It's not the poor against the wealthy folks. Everyone has to realize that the wealthy ARE wealthy because of the middle class, who have been paving their way to riches via infastructure payments, lowered salaries, taxes etc. etc.

    The rich would most certainly not be rich if it weren't for the middle class (the serfs, if you will). It's a no brainer that the billionaires should pay their share. However, the Republicans want to give them even more tax breaks while undermining Medicare and Social Security.

    If you vote republican you will get what you deserve!

    M of MandL

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  399. Linda in Arizona

    As usual your language is prejudicial. It's not about "redistributing wealth", it's about raising revenue, and getting the economy going again. Don't know if you noticed, but we're sinking quickly back into recession, which will probably result in a Depression this time. Money in the hands of the wealthy does not benefit the economy because most of it is used for investments and sent overseas, not spent on American goods and services as money in the hands of the working classes is always spent. If the rich had any decency they would WANT to pay more, and some actually do feel that way. Republicans are unpatriotic to the point of treason when they insist on endangering the economy by stubbornly refusing to cooperate in saving it from total collapse. They should be ashamed, but they are bought and owned. They lost any sense of shame long ago.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  400. Joe Parko

    The term “redistribute wealth” is pejorative. Having the rich pay more in taxes is based on fairness in that the wealthy use the largest percentage per capita of our nation’s public goods such as roads for shipping goods, courts for settling corporate law issues, and police protection for their multiple properties. This is not “redistributing wealth.” It is simply making people pay their fair share for what they use.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  401. Business Person

    I am supposed to be one of those wealthy people. All the money I make is in my small business. I only withdraw enough money to pay my taxes. The rest of the money is used for payroll, operation bills, etc.
    I do not like to borrow money from the bank. I employ over 300 people. I pay 40% in taxes. I have no deductions other than a small amount of interest of my home mortgage. I work 60+ hrs weekly in my business. I take all the risks and have all the worries. I pay 75% of my employees health insurance plus countless other benefits. If my taxes go up some more, I will close shop and 300+ people will be unemployed. Redistribution of Wealth?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  402. Robert

    Of course! I make a 6-figure income and a tax increase would effect me. But hell, I can afford it. I make enough money to cover higher taxes. Warren Buffet doesn't have a problem with it and he would have to be more taxed than me. It will obviously help the country, it did back during the Clinton White House, and if it helps the country I'm all for it. The problem is that people make it political and that is what hurts the country. We are Americans and we help others who are less fortunate but that doesn't hold any merit if we can't help ourselves.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  403. Bill Penny

    Conservatives rail against "wealth redistribution", with the implication that the money would go from the top to the bottom. But their continued belief in the lie that is Trickle-Down economics proves that when wealth is redistributed from the bottom to the top they are all for it. Wealth has been redistributed upward for the last 30 years. Where is their outrage for that?

    Lake Oswego, OR

    June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  404. Arran Webb

    Forget the real rich you can't get them. Tax the upper middle class whatever that is. $200K-1.5M per year income. Tax these cheats.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  405. George in Riverside

    Redistribution is a loaded phrase.
    Try thinking of it this way. If you attend a baseball game, you can have the cheap seats far from home plate, or you can have the expensive box seats. The rich can afford the box seats, and they take them.
    In economic life, the rich are in the box seats, and it is fair that they pay a box seat price.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  406. Jamie

    Affluent people should pay their fair share. Instead, their money is "hidden" and "invested". The middle-class pays and pays and is never able to get their heads above water. It's shameful that a country depends on one sector to pay for everything. This dependence on one class cannot be sustained and will be the ruin of a once great nation.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  407. Joe in Herndon, VA

    Yes. All Americans should be taxed according to their means. We've seen the "Trickle-down" theory proved false, seen billions removed from the U.S. to Swiss bank accounts and off-shore banks to avoid U.S. laws. Huge con-jobs, false promotions, mammoth ponzi schemes, and bank manipulations provide forced re-distribution of wealth to the rich and powerful. Even our trillion dollar wars appear to be as much of a re-distribution scheme for the benefit of very specific war-profiteering corporations. What's the return on investment for the $2.5 trillion or so thrown at Iraq and Afghanistan? Progressive taxes certainly seem like a mild adjustment in this time of helping our country survive and move forward. I am willing to pay taxes for all in our country to have a chance to move forward. How does that trickle down work again?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  408. Chris

    Nobody is asking for redistribution of wealth. That term is an example of the extreme language that is all to often part of today's political landscape. The fact of the matter is that the Bush tax cuts, 9-11, 2 wars, and the prescription drug program all were part of digging the economic hole our country is now in. I am not at all for "redistribution of wealth," but re-instating the Bush tax cuts would be a great start. No new taxes, but re-instating previous tax rates, and making sure even the wealthy pay their fair share. This idea that the wealthy won't invest in companies and therefore new jobs will not be created is bunk. Pure bunk.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  409. Mo Colorado Springs, CO

    What I want to know is what do the 1% that makes 99% of all the money do with the extra cash. I mean it's not like they need it right? I say go ahead and tax em.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  410. John Dinius

    With 50% of the population currently paying NO income tax, there are already too many people with no "skin in the game." And OF COURSE that 50% wants to see ever-higher taxes on the rich and ever-higher public spending. From their point of view, it's like getting something for nothing. No wonder it sounds good to them.

    Unfortunately, there aren't enough rich people to balance the budget by soaking (only) the rich. We will all have to pay higher taxes and accept reduced federal spending if we are ever to get the budget under control.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  411. Jim


    The best way to "re distribute wealth" is to cut taxes for all tax payers....and give the poor a chance to participate by improving ways to lend them a hand....not just give them a handout.

    We are far smarter to address excessive Govt that simply is failing the American people than to merely address "moving money around".....

    The whole system is a non-functioning mess.

    West of Chicago, in Illinois

    (But not an Obama fan )

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  412. Dennis

    Pay their fair share!?! Seriously?!!? The rich are already paying 35% of their income!! Meanwhile, the bottom 50% pay...zero. So, tell me again, what is fair? Paying no taxes is fair? Sitting on your butt, not looking for a job and collecting welfare because it's "easier" than working is your idea of fair? Please.

    Tax revenue is NOT the problem. It's spending beyond our means. We're handing out money left and right to every tom, dick and harry that wants a welfare check or free handout from the government.

    We have plenty of money. What we have is too many entitlement programs. Get rid of the free hand outs people might actually get off their butts and work.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  413. quentin combs

    I thought the money was already redistributed and that middle america is just trying to get some of it back. Redistrbuting the sacrifice would be a better explanation.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  414. Jerryof Florida

    Call it whatever you want...i still say yes!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  415. Mark Wojtowicz

    Outside of a few grinches, the notion that rich Americans are not willing to pay a few percent points more in taxes to help the less fortunate is wrong. The American rich are the largest givers to charity in the world to support the less fortunate. However, once the money goes to DC, there is no longer any control if the less fortunate are being helped. Simply, the rich want to be sure that their extra cash is not going to waste their money. Unfortunately, a pitiful $40B budget cut (out of $12T) is the main reason why the rich are fighting back. In Washington, higher taxes on the rich are the best source for new pet projects. Because in the eyes of politicians, all parking lots needs paving.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  416. Dave, Schenectady NY

    No Jack. The government spends too much. If we gave them more, they'd spend that AND continue to put us into debt. I'm not wealthy, but I realize increasing taxes on others won't solve the problem. It's time to cut unnecessary spending.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  417. JOHN

    Jack, its the Republicans who redistributed the wealth when they implemented the Republican tax cuts 10 years ago. This has broken the backs of the American middle class and has done nothing for anyone in our country EXCEPT the rich. How dare you call bring the tax codes back into fair alignment "redistributing the wealth". Either you are a jerk or an idiot. Regardless, this is the last time I read your column. You have become the CNN answer to appealing to the FOX crowd.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  418. Steve D

    There is a very real wealth gap in this country. About 24% of all wealth is concentrated in the top 2%... around what it was in 1928 just before the Great Depression.

    However, government taxation of the rich is NOT the answer.

    Big government has proved over and over again... it is the worst possible steward of our money ever!

    The federal government has drained literally every trust fund it manages, spends almost 1 1/2 times more than it takes in and currently spends close to 24% of the entire GDP!

    Taxing the rich at 100% cannot even close the deficit gap, let alone create any jobs.

    How much more does government need?

    What is really needed are government policies that encourage the wealthy to invest their wealth in job creation in the private sector.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  419. Rardo

    Leona Helms said it best Jack...."only poor people pay taxes".

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  420. Frederick Boyd

    Oh my goodness ... NO! That would be too much like doing the right thing, which would be the moral equivalent as an ecoli epidemic to right wing conservatives.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  421. Tony

    Simple answer. FLAT Tax Make Everybody pay (Rich and Poor) It gets rid of all the loopholes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  422. Lee

    It doesn't work. After a certain tax % it becomes very profitable to hire enough accountants and tax lawyers to ensure you do not pay so much in taxes. So it can be counter productive. We do need to get rid of the many tax breaks and try to eventually conform to a flat tax like system that is more fair and more transparent.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  423. mark

    why do you frame the question as 'redistrbution of wealth'? this insinuates a biased pretense. if thats the case, wealth has been redistributed TO the rich for quite some time. this is about 'fair' distribution of wealth. since the rich wont do it themselves they have to be forced. 'trickle down economics' has been proven time and againNOT to work because its based upon the assumption of integrity which the rich have shown they lack. the rich have been REWARDED for their success by getting rich while the rest of us are left on an unlevel playing field with their lobbyists as the referees.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  424. acb

    You folks are kidding, right? You actually do realize that if a person makes $50,000 a year and pays 10% in taxes they are paying $5,000 a year, and if someone makes $500,000 a year and pays 10% in taxes they pay $50,000 a year? You do understand that $5,000 is less than $50,000, right? Further more, the IRS breakdown clearly shows that the upper 5% wage earners in this country already pay way more than their share of the tax burden. I mean, all of you really do understand this and you are just kidding...right?

    Please don't make the "percentage of income" comment either; good luck taking a percent to the bank or the grocery store.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  425. Mike in Austin Texas

    Well Jack for the last 30 years since Reagan cut the top rates, the wealth was "redestributed" upward. Nobody calls it redistribution when it's flowing upward, but when the wealthy don't want to let go of any of their supersized profits to go toward paying taxes to help this nation or it's people, then it's call "redistributing wealth". I really can't stand a group that has everything, yet still wants to play the victim.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  426. dave pierce upstate new york

    jack, i paid taxes on every dollar i earned for 40 plus years. i didnt have a choice. i see nothing wrong with everyone doing the same regardless if you make 10000 dollars or one billion dollars. why should they have a cutoff of $106,800? also if the people would understand that funds like social security are suppose to be dedicated funds and they, politicians, should leave them alone. they are not there to balance budgets. so yes, the rich should be taxed more. thank you for this opportunity to have a voice and opinion on this question. keep up the good work. i enjoy your comments every night.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  427. Jay A.


    In short yes. The mere fact that you have to ask such as question, is a slander to the idea that we live in a democracy. Our government is quickly becoming a plutocracy, where our citizens are ruled by the wealthy: a government of, by and for the wealthy.

    Jay A.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  428. r flynn

    of course – why let hedge fund managers take in 10b at a lower rate than we pay ( supported by schummer d/ny ) they should pay clinton /reagan tax rates and the wealthy
    should pay a just amount to support a society which keeps them secure and safe most wealthy of good heart agree to share – its the bastards who want it all – to die with

    June 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  429. Nancy Grimes

    Hi Jack...when oil companies and other businesses–and their top management–are making more money now than they ever have and the regular person on the street is struggling to make ends meet, I believe yes, the wealthy should be taxed: 1) they have had the power and money to lobby in congress to have business taxes lowered, 2) the wealthier, more politically astute business get the choicest Government war contracts; and 3) wealthy business has taken American jobs and redistributed them overseas, lining their pockets yet leaving very slim picken's here in America. What are we common folks to think? I have no qualms about saying the wealthy should be taxed to balance America's ballooning debt. Disgusted in Winterport, Maine

    June 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  430. Bob

    "Fair share," diridi? Half of all Americans pay ZERO federal income tax, while the highest brackets pay 35%! How is that "fair?" How about everybody, everywhere pay the same 35%?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  431. John C. - Den. Co.

    Jack I strongly agree. If not only to redistribute the wealth but also so they pay up their fair share. In the 1930s and 40s under FDR the tax rate for the wealthy was about 90%. Today its 34%. Seems like a lot but 90% off of one million dollars is still $100,000. So they would still be living a comfortable life that way. A person only needs maybe 50k a year to live. Also you see a lot of these conservatives, being Christians, say its no ones business what someone does with their money. But what they forget is that money doesn't belong to them, it belongs to God. "sell all you have, give to the poor and follow me" or "you cannot serve God and mammon". And mammon is of course money. So whats the problem with alowing their money to be taxed and/or put into social programs?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  432. Duncan Idaho

    I would support an increase in capital gains tax rate. Most of the uber-rich derive big chunks of annual income from capital gains. Perhaps have higher tax on the gains and a lower benefit on the losses. I would keep the current tax rates for wages/ordinary income.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  433. Paul Chouinard

    "Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?" is a leading question. The current tax structure already redistributes wealth upward. In 2010 the Social Security tax stopped on incomes over $106,800. Clearly this is a regressive tax that falls heaviest on people earning $106,800 per year or less. When people die, their heirs get the inherited property with a stepped up basis. This mechanism passes huge amounts of wealth forward from one generation to the next. You probably have already figured this out. Warren Buffet, the second richest man in America and a man who knows a thing or two about business, understands that the rich should be paying more in taxes and has said so. Alan Greenspan, hardly a left leaning liberal, said on Meet the Press that tax cuts do not pay for themselves. The notion that Democratic proposals to let the Bush tax cuts expire will hurt investment is simply not true, but one which the Republicans believe that if they say it enough, people will believe it.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  434. Dana Dodson

    It is hard to believe that the wealthiest Americans are not willing to pay their fair-share especially since our country is is so much trouble. The trouble/malfeasance started 12 years ago with Enron. And since that episode there is this attitude of "entitlement." We have a huge majority of folks in our country now who feel that "rule-of-law" does not apply to them and the only "politics" that they are interested in is what benefits them. I had very high hopes that Obama and the Democratic Party could make a difference.
    One thing about rich folks...they vote...always.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  435. paul

    Re-distrubution of wealth by taxation is not included in the powers of the federal gevernment (Congress, Cabinet, or Court) defined in the many founding documents for our country (Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, US Constitution. and Bill of Rights, not to mention the commentary that comes from the Federalist Papers). Let's get our federal government both back within the realms it was meant to be and lower taxes for everyone.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  436. michael in colorado

    i am so tired of the "rich don't pay their fair share" argument. It is simple, the top 10% of wage earners already pay more than 85% of all income tax. The bottom 47% pay no taxes. So let's be clear, it is the middle and lower class who are not paying their fair share. I for one am willing to pay more as long as every pays more. The wealthy create the jobs and employ the rest of us. As long as we continue to ask that they pay more and more so we can pay less and less this country will continue to deteriorate. The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other peoples' money.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  437. Don, Toledo Ohio


    The entire tax system was designed for the rich. The average time card punching American cannot afford the tax breaks that the rich are aloud. So by all means, tax the rich. However, that will never happen because the rich can afford to pay off the people that will cast a vote.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  438. Pat (California)

    No, I don't believe in redistribution of wealth. The so called wealthy are the source of income for all. They are the ones creating jobs and keeping the economy moving. It is not government programs that hand out tax payers money in order to keep the populace reliant on it for survival. Haven't we seen enough proof of this with all the failed stimulus programs? Where are all the jobs? If the government would stay out of our pockets we would be a lot better off.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  439. dtruth007

    redistribution of wealth will only hurt us more, people wud stop being creative,hardworkin,responsible 4 their financies. we wud soon become lazy n more dependable on big government which in my opinion wud b worst dan europe in d dark ages. LEAVE D RICH ALONE,remember most rich people worked hard 2 acquire wealth n its unfair they shud b taxed more.its beta we allow d rich 2 give their wealth out of thier own free will or choose 2 pay more in taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  440. Tony in Kansas


    I'm really tired of people using the term redistribution of wealth. In 2008 middle class America bailed out the punch drunk financial wizards who nearly brought our country to its knees.

    That was a "redistribution of wealth" that was obviously the Patriotic thing to do.

    But when it comes to helping restore the financial independence of our middle class society well now it's a "redistribution of wealth" that is obviously socialism.

    Seriously? I say tax the hell out of them.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  441. john

    no one is calling on increases in taxes on the wealthy. They are calling for increases in taxes on the upper middle class. The wealthy will be left alone. Doctors and lawyers are not wealthy. I'm sorry, but they aren't. They may make a lot more than the average Joe, but they still have retirement concerns, student loans, mortgages, college costs for kids, etc. Plus, if they make $250,000 in Washington, DC, it is like making $50,000 in Pittsburgh, PA. The whole conversation is a red herring. In no way does increasing the tax rate on people earning more than $250,000 taxing the rich more. The rich pay tax on dividends and capital gains.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  442. Nick

    Call it what you want the simple fact is tax revenue is at one of the lowest points in history. Traditionally the US government has raised between 17 and 23% of GDP in taxes, however for the past several years it's instead rested around 15%. Increasing revenues to reach that 20% mark would almost fix the debt issue overnight.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  443. Tony P. from Oakland, Ca.

    Yes, Jack.
    Those making over 250k per year should now have their taxes increase to pre Bush levels. We must not forget, those making under the $250k per year bracket ($10k-$250k per year) had their taxes increased by Bush in 2001; until Obama decreased taxes in 2010-2011 for that lower tax bracket. We obviously can see a deficit has exploded during that time period. If we have to ascribe a reason between the two tax "recipes" of cause, it most certainly will not be the slight decrease in taxes for those making under $250k per year.
    in regards to polling of the popularity on the idea of raising taxes for those making over $250k per year, we can only ascertain the polling is flawed based on the polling parallel that has always existed between Medicare cuts, and tax increases for those making over $250k per year.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  444. Doug in Blaine

    The republican rhetoric runs true to form, break the unions, grab the money from the lobbyists and convince the public to stick the tax burden on the middle class. The comment about 43% of Americans not paying taxes refers to the children of the families that DO PAY TAXES! How sad to hear such uneducated responses.
    The wealthiest one percent of the nation pay little or no taxes at all. For an example, check out how much tax was paid by the top forty richest corporations, answer, "0" No wonder they don't want to raise taxes on the rich, it boils down to "Criminal Greed", pure and simple.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  445. G. Wilson


    Everyone should have to carry some of the water up the hill. Sure the rich should pay more and they do. Have your viewers see who pays what percentage of the Income tax. Use the IRS data, inform your public.

    The super rich, say earners over a million a year, should even pay more. However, there are not enough rich to pay for everything. We all need to help carry the water up the hill.

    Income redistribution but the means of higher taxes on just the rich will not create any jobs. The President and all the members of Congress need to get away from the press for a few months and come up with a simple unified tax and spending plan. None of them appear, on either side of the isle, willing to do the hard work needed and take the heat.

    This is one more reason to stop re-electing people.


    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  446. chris duff

    I am not sure what their problem is. We are in a hole and need to cut spending and raise taxes. Compromise! I think we need both, and both have their good points. But then we have to fix what got us in this hole.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  447. Tony

    Simple answer. Flat Tax rate. Everybody should pay Rich or Poor.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  448. dk27

    republicans are responsible for running up most of this debt, now they wanna push cuts to slow down the economy so that pres. obama is on the defensive in 2012.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  449. Bridgette

    No they most certainly should not pour more money into a system that has mismanaged this income for decades They are paying the lion's share of the taxes as it is. The idea that those who earn more are obligated to pay a greater percentage of their earnings is childish and naive. That sounds more like a punishment for their hard work.. The real question should be: Should wealthy Americans pay a higher percentage of their income in order to fund the incompetence and wasteful spending by the government? We need intelligence and experience in government, not political delusions. Until Americans stop electing politicians with no real world experience, the country will remain in peril, regardless of who pays what amount in taxes.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  450. David from so cali

    Taxes are not meant to redistrubute wealth, but to provide funding for the government to complete its neccessary function. A larger proportion of this funding will inevitably have to come from those with higher incomes to make ends meet, particularly in a society with a large income gap between rich and poor and also with a high population. The tax system needs reworking BADLY, and this reworking should entitle those on the lower end of the spectrum paying their fair share to run the country (whose finances, of course, are also in need of a major overhaul).

    This problem of the economy cannot be fixed with taxes alone. It also cannot be fixed without them. Its all a balance.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  451. JimGreenm Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack, the larger question is: What kind of America do we Americans want for ourselves—for instance in the 1840’s we decided collectively that we wanted our children educated—the part of that response to your question—when someone gets filthy rich off the American people, do they then have a responsibility to help build a good and decent society—for the benefit of all? The ethical answer is a resounding: YES

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  452. Liza

    Distributing wealth is the wrong choice of words. It's just paying taxes and having to sacrifce their fair share for our country like lower-middle class folk like me are doing. How can this country possible function merely off the backs of middle class working people? Why should billioinares and milliones and big oil get huge tax breaks? It doesn't make sense and I'm still seeking an answer as to why this is the way it is. Someone please enlighten me. Where's my big tax break? I want mine.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  453. John581

    Right now we have in this country a redistribution of wealth that goes from the poor to the rich. This is also called regressive redistribution. It is very important to clarify this. If we don't like redistribution of wealth we need to ensure that this regressive redistribution is also eliminated. What democrats want is to minimize the redistribution of wealth; however, republicans like to keep the regressive redistribution. You decide who is right and who is wrong !!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  454. Mike Guastini

    The greatest redistribution of wealth in the history of the world began in 1980. It's called "Supply Side Economics".

    Like a toothpaste tube, this right wing redistribution, has squeezed the wealth of the nation, generated by productive middle class wage earners, upwards into the mouths the least productive segment of the American economy.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  455. Kevin

    I'm not normally in favor of hiking taxes on the wealthy because it has the effect of reducing their spending, which in turn negatively affects the working class. I believe, however, that we have to deal with economic realities that have developed over recent decades. The gap between the rich and poor has widened because corporations and their owners have benefitted from the profits of companies that have shifted jobs overseas. Until we find a way to put our own middle class back to work, we have to make the short-term decision to raise tax revenue by shifting more of the burden to the wealthy.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  456. Ryan

    Could you reporters please quit asking the readers what they think and start researching and reporting on the historical effects of trickle down economics on employment and standard of living. There are plenty of countries that do not redistribute wealth but I doubt anyone would choose to live there.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  457. DAVE

    The rich and the chamber of comers like outsourcing tax paying jobs
    I will call tax dollars popsicles. The government is short on popsicles
    The rich have plenty in there freezer but some members of congress would rather take
    The popsicles from some old lady in a wheel chair an give half to the
    Rich and call that courageous.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  458. Larry Stahl

    It is not so much taxing the wealthy because they are rich but rather those who will feel the loss less to pull our country out of the hole it is in for everybody's benefut.

    Larry Stahl

    June 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  459. Chris M

    What we really ought to be doing is taking a close look at tax credits for businesses. I understand that promoting a profitable financial environment to foster new business and ensure growth is important to attracting business from around the globe, but is it truly necessary to allow tax loopholes and subsidies for corporations?

    With corporations already paying disproportionately to the execs (over 300-to-1), these companies receiving tax refunds seems almost like a 'redistribution' of wealth from the middle- and lower-classes to the upper-class execs. Along with the recent ruling that corps enjoy freedom of speech and an ability to donate without disclosing identifying info, this country seems like it's being dominated by the consolidation of power (money) in the private sector. So much for "Government of the people, by the people, for the people..."

    June 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  460. Nick

    Or just fix the income tax system and simplify it.

    $22,000 Single, $34,000 Married + 2k per kid for up to 3 kids is tax exempt both State and Federal

    All income after that is taxed at a flat rate of some number between 35-40% Federally and 10-15% State

    No other exemptions, write-offs, credits, itemizations, etc at exist anymore

    All other things that normally come out of a paycheck EIC, FICA, SDI, Medical, Social Security, etc are eliminated. They just become percentages allocated to of taxes raised.

    This kills any and all loopholes and ensures that everyone working full time will take home a livable amount and treats all workers 100% fairly. and anyone with a 5th grade education should be able to do their taxes in 15 minutes or less.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  461. Padraig

    This subject is rich! How to solve a problem when the wealthy are running the country? Deals have been made since our founding fathers; they were wealthy men by that days standards. I am sure deals have been made between politicians and corporations/wealthy people to ensure they maintain their positions in congress as well as obtaining donations to the election funds. Blaming one party only is ludicrous and inane.

    I would like to see a flat tax based on wealth across the board. Everyone pays their fair share. Even the one's being paid minimum wage. Each person needs to take ownership of the situation and be responsible.

    Eliminate the leeches on society on both ends of the spectrum. The wealthy, close the tax loops and force them to pay. For the poor who don't want to work or contribute to society – do the same.

    We have become a society that believes they should be entitled to things that they have no inclination to work for but have their hands out demanding help. Start having self-respect and integrity for one's self.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  462. Adrian, Oregon City, OR

    We could solve all our debt problems if the top 10% paid taxes like the bottom 90%.
    35% as top rate on wages should apply across the board for all forms of "unearned" income, like dividends, interest, capital gains, commissions, rents and royalties, etc. In addition, FICA and Medicare tax should be applied to all other forms of income as well, not just wages, with no cap on Medicare of FICA.
    Guess what? Revenue problem solved, surpluses as far as you can see into the future.
    It's called paying your fair share Jack, just like the rest of us.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  463. Flash

    Using the phrase wealth re-distribution is a sure fire way for a loser media outlet to generate massive amounts of hits and comments.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  464. Ben F.

    How about we differentiate between "raising taxes" and un-lowering them, I say we go back to the tax rates (and closed loop holes) of his Republican-Majesty Ronald Regan (I believe the top tax bracket at the time was 80 something percent, it's 35 now)

    June 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  465. nick2

    Well every penny of the Bush tax rollback has been paid from a deficit – so without even arguing as to whose it was in the first place – lets just return it to the deficit and then we shall see whats eleft and whose it is.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  466. Juan

    The wealthy are all about redistributing wealth, and it's going at an incredible pace. Are they the (oooh) socialists?

    June 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  467. Gerald in TN

    The justification of tax breaks for the wealthy has always been rationalized by Supply-Side Economics or the "Trickle Down Theory". This simply means the capital saved by the tax cuts would be redistributed back int the economy by reinvesting it back into the business and thereby creating more jobs. Unfortunately the "Trickle Down Theory" seems to have turned into the "Trickle OUT Theory" as outsourcing jobs to foreign countries has become more and more rampant in this high tech international market. Tax breaks are no longer the answer when the only jobs they may create are on foreign soil.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  468. dtruth007

    instead lets ask dis question, shud d middle class b taxed more 2 redistribute wealth 2 d poor,or shud d poor b taxed more 2 redistribute wealth 2 dose who r poorer? if yes den lets tax d rich more,if not den let d rich alone.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  469. don

    About 46% pay no federal income tax ... so should we be surprised that about 46% want to increase the federal taxes of those who do pay? Please do another survery and take this into account.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  470. sharky

    It's not about "redistributing the wealth". The bailouts benefited the top 1% at the expense of the other 99%. We're losing our jobs, houses, and healthcare while they get richer. The rich are going to have to suck it up.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  471. huxley

    They need to at least raise the long term capital gains rate to be equal to or higher than the income tax brackets. Until they do that, members of the middle class will be paying a higher tax rate than every billionair – as they are today. I pay a higher tax rate than the richest men in the world.

    So don't talk to me about whether increasing taxes on the rich is wealth distribution. They pay lower taxes than me, they deserve to at least pay the same taxes as me.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  472. Sykes

    At one point taxes on the wealthy were over 90%. I don't understand what the fuss is over raising it a few percentage points. It's not like we have huge deficits or anything.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  473. Bill

    The only thing you'd really be redistributing is the Republican's campaign contributions.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  474. Kevin

    Let me start by stating that 50% of this country do not pay taxes. I believe that the rich should pay their share but it should not be out of proportion. Why does half the country not pay taxes? Everyone should shoulder a share of the burden, not just the wealthy.

    Income redistribution, is in and of itself, not socialism. That said, when 50% of the nation doesn't have a stake (read: pay taxes), you move in the direction of socialism.

    In terms of jobs, the misinformed that said that this is attributable to the former administration are just highlighting their ignorance. Try reading "The World is Flat", by Thomas Friedman.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  475. Walter

    TAXES. You can tax until hell freezes over and it will not do any good until government stops spending more than it takes in. Local, State and Federal government keeps passing bills to spend more and more money they do not have. It is easy to say tax the other guy. 5% already pay the vast majority of taxes already. The reason this is even being discussed is because our politicians keep passing more spending bills. STOP the SPENDING!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  476. Patrick in Colorado Springs

    Right now Americans need help. The tax rate on the rich 1% should be higher and when the job market improves lower the taxes. The lower the unemployment rate go so should the tax rate go lower. The lower unemployment go down the lower the tax rate should be on the rich. We need jobs. Our troops are coming home to no job market.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  477. Roy

    Why don't we just make the current tax system fair where an individual or a corporation pays the progressive amount of tax owed by eliminating loop holes in the tax code and write offs. American wealth will never be redistributed until our current form of taxation is changed. This will likely not happen since Congress controls the tax code and
    have no heart in changing it any time soon.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  478. Greg Turman


    The dems should give back their Bush tax cut for the wealthy received for past 9 years.
    Corporations should be allowed to keep profits, AFTER tax, to plow into their company to create growth, jobs and more tax payers.

    Making more tax takers is rather absurd !

    Gregory Turman

    June 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  479. George of Memphis

    I think the very premise of your question is misguided, Cafferty. The question is not whether wealth should be redistributed from top to bottom. The question is when we will STOP redistributing from the bottom to the top in a way that shrinks the middle class. Eras of American prosperity do not neatly coincide with eras of low taxation of the upperclass.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  480. A.J. Palumbo

    This is a no brainer. The U.S. Government should definitely initiate a redistribution of wealth in this country. If should be painfully obvious by now that the "Trickle-Down economics" model doesn't work. Why are the wealthy permitted to contribute the least money for promotion of the general welfare when they enjoy the highest level of privileges our country as to offer? Right now the middle and lower classes are being suffocated, and it is time for those who have a bit more to contribute a bit more. I for one am sick of rich americans and large corporations who get tax breaks and then complain about social programs meant to keep our country from crumbling.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  481. Mike

    When 45% of the US households pay no federal income tax, perhaps there should be a look at everyone's fair share. Everyone should have some skin in the game and then everyone would be entitled to have their say.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  482. DeWayne

    I don't know where in the constitution it tells us the government's job is to redistribute anything. The government has one job and one job they are not doing very well at, and that is to keep the borders of the country safe.

    The real problem is that everyone, no matter which side of the aisle they are on , have their hand in the cookie jar. Add to that a constituency that thinks that they deserve all that as well. It is time to learn to live within your means, the government and the people. It is time to restore our manufacturing base but not at the hands of the unions. It is time to stand up and say NO to more handouts, giveaways and government hands in everything.

    Wea re being sold down the river and those doing it know why, just wake up and understand they are selling us out and it is intentional.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  483. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Absolutely not! Get a flat tax system and stop the income tier. We shouldn't punish people for working hard and making an honest living.

    We need to give all opportunities available to legal immigrants and citizens and stop trying to employ and educate the world! We have to bring our own up to a decent living standard before taking on people from other countries!! We are broke and have no choice! Kick out illegals and give those jobs and resources back to our unemployed so they can get out of the bottomless pit!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  484. nick2

    Well every penny of the Bush tax rollback has been paid from a deficit – for several years – so without even arguing as to whose it was in the first place – lets just return it to the deficit and then we shall see whats left and whose it is.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  485. Darral from Iowa

    Jack, The Bush tax cuts have proven that todays wealthy American's are much more interested in sitting on all their wealth instead of creating new jobs like the republicans preach everyday. Remember Reagan and trickle down...how'd that work out? The trickle down funnel has been clogged for a long time. Don't count on the super rich to do anything to help our country. They're to busy counting their money and figuring out how to screw everybody else. I say tax them and tax them good. Trust me...they'll be just fine.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  486. Patrick Carr

    Tax cuts for the wealth has to be one of the most retarded strategies i have ever heard. and also the most unfair. The wealthy enjoy the benefits and protection of this nation and yet they aren't be asked to help more during this time of crisis? If i was wealthy i wouldn't mind it at all. Then we hear if they don't get tax cuts they'll take business offshore. GO AHEAD! They're already doing it. These folks are incredibly ungrateful. Instead of helping this nation survive, they are handing us a ransom note.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  487. Frederick Plappert

    Go figure Jack I am a red blooded disabled american who feels the wealthy are not paying their fair share.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  488. Tim Mash

    To listen to the comments on here, you would think Bush and the Republicans still run congress. Until last November, the democrats have control of both houses of congress for the last 5 years. the last3 years we have had a democratic president.

    Those of you on here that are upset should be upset about the democrats who have not had a budget done for over 740 days. They had their chance, now lets try to get the spending under control.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  489. Mike

    Jack, no amount of taxes will ever be enough. Forcing government to live within its means can only be accomplished by holding the line on taxes.
    And we should redefine what wealthy is – in 1980, $250K a year was arguably "rich". Now it is not. Anyone making that amount of money is still trying to reach the American dream and achieve a level of savings where they can enjoy a comfortable retirement.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  490. the true news

    its funny how so many people don't know the truth the problem is that half the congressman are millionaire that live off the poor people of America and are allotted call kinds of funds to keep there offices going and people around them rich and they don't pays taxes, but a poor American would have the IRS knocking at there doors for tax money if they don't pay while the rich and congress live tax free get there health insurance paid by the poor and that why they don't wont every American to have health insurance because u would cut into there benefits. there companies don't even pay taxes but the poor do don't this sounds like something that's has happen before the worst pain in the world is a hungry pain i wonder when the poor would really get hungry and we will see what happen than

    June 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  491. Karl

    I can't believe the level of stupidity that exists in this country. The wealthy already pay the vast, vast majority of the taxes in this country. It's the big entitlement programs (that support mostly the middle and poor class) that are running this country into the ground. Keep taxing the wealthy and see what happens. Why do you thing some many jobs have been moved offshore? It's because it's much cheaper to do business there, and I'm not talking just about cheap labor. Between the federal government, state governments, and local governments, it is really expensive to do business here. Raise taxes even higher, and watch more jobs disappear. What the government really needs to do is got out of the way of private business. The bureaucracy they have created is killing us.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  492. Sandstone.

    "People don't get rich these days JACK! They are rich!!!! Does that mean you can ignore the facts??? What you hav e to figure out is how to live in amongst them! Are you ever listening????"

    June 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  493. BlackDynamite

    The debt was caused by "The Fed", not the rich
    Have them pay with their closure......

    Problem solved!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  494. Charles Beiswanger

    Why not just simplify the tax code, maybe just go for flat tax, or would that put too many irs types, tax lawyers and accountants out of work. Was at Walmart one day looking at all the permits and licenses needed to operate a store, amazed this country has any companies at all.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  495. Kenneth Moore

    Jack, why does redistribution of wealth only apply to taxing the rich? The middle class has been suffering from an ongoing resditribution of their wealth for close to 40 years with the policies of the last Bush administration resulting in huge losses of personal wealth due to lax regulations of the financial markets and tax policies favoring corporations and the wealthy. It is overdue that these funds be returned to the people who make this country work.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  496. Pat Clark

    It seems that the Republican mantra is that the Bush Tax cuts created jobs and that not continuing these tax cuts will be detrimental to job growth. My questions: 1. How many jobs have been created because of these cuts? 2. How many people who are in the affected income brackets are actually in a position to create jobs? I have no objection to a tax benefit for those who are actually creating jobs...I do have an objection to tax cuts for all in that income bracket.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  497. Ed

    No, we need to focus on job growth and economic growth, not re-distribution of wealth. Raising taxes will be a drag on growth.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  498. Cass, Lake Wales, Florida

    No, Jack, American wealth should not be redistributed by raising taxes on the wealthy. In recent speeches, President Obama has indicated that he doesn't need another tax break, and when Obaama spoke at Facebook HQ in California, Mark Zuckerburg said he was "cool" with the idea that taxes needed to be raised on the wealthy. Well, if President Obama and Mr. Zuckerburg believe that they personally should pay more taxes, why don't they simply stop itemizing their deductions and sheltering their wealth in order to reduce their taxable income? Just fill out that 1040-EZ form, take the standard deduciions for themselves and their dependents, and send in a really big check!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  499. Daniel Vasquez

    Yes. People nowadays become rich without working at all. Look at Sarah Palin, look at some of the housewives on television. Tax these people. Jail them while you're at it...

    June 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  500. blake

    The core of Marxism is class warfare, the redistribution of wealth. 71% of Democrats support this. Why won't they be intellectually honest and acknowledge that they are Marxists?

    Sadly these folks will destroy the U.S. as we have known it if they prevail, with people like Obama and Pelosi leading the charge. The USSR collapsed because of failed economic policies and failed morality. The agenda of today's Democrats is: let's turn the US into the new USSR.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  501. mckillio

    "Should American wealth be redistributed by taxing the rich?" It already is. I don't know what people mean when they say "rich people should pay their fair share", they pay more both in terms of percentage and total dollar amount.

    We should have capital gains tax mirror income tax though, keep them separate though. i.e. if you make $50k a year and the next higher tax bracket is at $55k a year and you make $10k from capital gains you should not enter that higher bracket and that capital gains should be taxed at the lower bracket.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  502. Mark

    Let's face it, when the top 1% have a net worth equal to the bottom 90% something is wrong. Tax shelters and lax financial regulation have made the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and they want even more. It's not just bad politics. It's moral corruption coming from those who wrap themselves in the flag and bible.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  503. SDFrankie

    I think we should continue sending American jobs overseas and outsourcing as much labor as we can. I think we should keep reducing the scope of private health insurance while increasing it's cost. I think we should step on the neck of the working man and keep stepping on it for as long as there is any advantage left to be gained. This party's going to end some time, one way or another and the only worthwhile consideration is how high up the ladder I'll be when it does. Keep the religion and reality tv flowing and most folks will never catch on.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  504. Charles Beiswanger

    What about not letting IRS sharing information with DEA and others fighting idiotic drug war, taxes off of drug trade might bring some revenue in.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  505. realist

    Cut the smoke screens. Can we agree that those making 500K a year are rich? Propose we increase tax rates on those people and see the Republicans still try to complain that is not "rich".

    June 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  506. Bill. North Carolina

    Redistribution of wealth is wrong. Every person and corporation should pay the same rate PERIOD. No more deductions...no more loopholes...no more "sham" entities to avoid taxes. If we all pay the same RATE, say 10% of their GROSS income, we could get out of this mess. With respect to Social Security, remove the cap at which no more social security is taxed Why do we stop taking out taxes for social security when one reaches a certain income level? Want to fix Social Security? Eliminate the cap! But, these two ideas are too simple and make too much sense for the folks in Washington to accept them!!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  507. nancy lee

    did we not just redistribute about 700+ billion to Wall Street?!!

    are we not reaping the benefits of this "TRICKLE UP " theory of economy? (answer: no)

    This "NEW NOBILITY" we have allowed to be created need to pay their fair share and start supporting a democracy for all, not just for the rich.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  508. veloheitz

    My off the street opinion is that not only should the tax laws be adjusted, taxing the richest accordingly. But also, business tax law loop holes allowing US companies abroad certain exemptions should be reviewed. Compound this with government spending and this will contribute to US prosperity for ALL.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  509. James Gilson

    Where did this clown come from? His ideas are from another planet. I haven't seen where he has turned ln
    his wealth to be given to some person that probably will not work. His idea of spreading the wealt is along side Obama and his puppets.

    I decide what I do with my money. I will give it to the person of my choice.

    J Gilson

    June 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  510. Patrick Lewis

    Taxing the wealthy more than they are currently being taxed is NOT wealth redistribution. It's citizens paying their share and it's not negotiable. The wealthy owe this country their wealth. There is no other way to phrase it. They would not be as wealthy or as safe in their wealth in any other country. They pay what they can afford, as do the poor, but the poor and middle class can't pay as much as the wealthy can... because they aren't wealthy! People have to stop thinking that everything has to do with cost to them. It's your civic duty to pay your taxes and progressive tax rates are the most fair. The very phrasing of your question is wrong. This isn't wealth redistribution, this is fair tax policy.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  511. johnsavinao

    nevewr worked before and won't work now,,,,the rich will just pass the burden along to the working and poor as always...if we want real change, we need to make their wealth as obsolete as possible....think about it....it can be done

    June 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  512. Larry Bilello

    "This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in."
    Chicago, IL, June 17, 1912

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Regardless of the context, financial, political or otherwise. This simple quote reinforces what we are capable of when we put aside our differences and work towards the common good of all Americans.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  513. Mark

    Even if you taxed the "evil rich" it stil wont fix Medicare or the major debt problem.

    Fix the problem

    June 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  514. Jim from Denver

    It’s the wrong paradigm to frame raising taxes on the wealthy as redistributing wealth. I would put it this way: The top 10% of the country own 50% of the country, so they should pay for 50% of the upkeep of their country. I keep hearing about shared sacrifice, but I never hear how rich people and corporations are being asked to sacrifice so that we can get through our current fiscal problems.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  515. Stanford - Atlanta

    Debt was never a problem when Reagan and Bush were creating the debt with deficit spending. Borrow and spend republicans caused all the debt they claim to be worried about now. Anyone who is serious about reducing the deficit will focus on the three major causes – Bush tax cuts, lack of adequate stimulus and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If eliminating the billionaire tax cuts and corporate handouts is off the table then the debt is here to stay. Increase revenue stupid!

    June 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  516. Don L.

    It is a shame you phrased your question as you did with the term "redistribute." People advocating fair taxation are not necessarily socialistic or communistic. Let's keep in mind that many of the rich have made their wealth in investments, and many of those investments are in American (and foreign) companies that are also not paying their fair share. Specifically corporations that have made big profits lately, are sitting on large stocks of cash and are making a great deal of their money in other countries. A healthy democracy must have things like a judicial sysytem that is above reproach, a vigorous, free press, elections that cannot be impugned and a system of taxation that is fair to all citizens and corporations. And that taxation must be sufficient to fully fund all the services our society deems necessary. If we made paying taxes voluntary we would have no government at all. Some who think "small government" is good may say that sounds like heaven. I say that sounds like hell.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  517. John C

    Flat tax, no loopholes, much like those proposed by the bipartisan committee. I've been rich and poor in the past 30 years and I pay whatever taxes are due without complaint. When and if I get rich again, why should I be penalized for my ability to make money? I don't ask for breaks now when I'm poor and I don't want them when and if I'm on top again. Just don't reach into my pocket more than someone else's. Get rid of all the breaks, tax capital gains at the same flat rate and let everyone pay.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm |