Unpolitically Correct
Changing—Not Reducing—How We Tax the Wealthy

Lowering taxes for the wealthy is a popular campaign promise for Republicans and a popular target for the Democrats. The two sides fight and fight, and nothing is accomplished.

There’s a good reason behind this fight. Only 20 percent of the people in this country are paying 80 percent of the taxes (and as much as 85 percent if you take a 4 percent inflation rate into consideration). The wealthy are paying more than their fair share, and this means the country needs to take care of them.

It’s all tied together — the money the richest Americans make enables the middle-income bracket to make money, and that pulls up those in the lowest income bracket. Taking from the rich to give to the poor to distribute income more evenly might sound like a good idea, but in practice, it doesn’t work that way.

The idea of what it means to be wealthy also needs to be adjusted. The high-tech industry has completely changed the wealthiest income bracket, mostly at the top. Take the top billionaires and millionaires. There are people on this list making hundreds of billions of dollars. How do you throw them into the equation? This gives us an inaccurate picture of the whole list. Democrats frequently ignore this, only seeing the immensely wealthy with more money than they know what to do with, and Republicans only see the wealthy who have worked a lifetime to build their wealth.

Any plan for taxing the wealthy needs to take the entire spectrum into account to not penalize the wealthy and, at the same time, to make the most out of their extensive contributions to society.

What if there was a way to not reduce taxes (making Democrats happy) while making the money go further (making the wealthy happy)? One alternative idea that we’ve proposed is to eliminate the 5 percent reduction for the wealthy promised by the president and instead apply that 5 percent to the national debt. This way, even Democrats and cities that normally wouldn’t support this kind of income tax reduction would agree, and the reduction could be passed in just a few days. The wealthiest don’t care about lower taxes — they are just tired of corruption and waste. As long as they knew the money was going to reduce the national debt, they wouldn’t care.