Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Make taxation more progressive by raising it on the wealthy.
Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton took his state from a big deficit to a big surplus with a tax increase on individuals making over $150,000 and couples making over $250,000. The results were dramatic and extremely positive for Minnesota, which now boasts the best economy in the nation. The unemployment rate dropped and the economy boomed. The effects of this tax rise should be a model for the rest of the country.
Governor Dayton took office in 2011 with a deficit of over $6 billion and seven percent unemployment. Today, enhanced tax revenues have created a surplus of more than $1.2 billion while unemployment has dropped below four percent.
Dayton isn’t anti-capitalist. He happens to be a billionaire heir to the Target fortune. He’s also a man with a conscience who felt the wealthy should pay their fair share. At the same time he raised taxes on the wealthy, Dayton raised the minimum wage and passed a law that guaranteed equal pay for women doing the identical work as men. All of these progressive steps helped the economy of his state to boom.
Taxing the wealthy benefits the entire society by producing funding for programs that help everyone. When income becomes concentrated among fewer and fewer people, the economy stagnates because less and less people can afford to make discretionary purchases. What’s worse, the longer the wealthy get a free ride, the more reluctant they are to pay taxes and the more the wealthy talk about the immorality of taking anything from them. History shows us how ancient Rome slid into decline when the wealthy refused to be taxed.
Government “of, by and for the people” can’t function without funding. Without taxes, bridges collapse, educational institutions shut down, fire departments close and so on. The question is, who gets taxed and how much do they pay?
If government can’t tax the wealthiest, it can’t make up the difference through those who have less and the country inevitably slides into decline. For essential fairness and for the most vibrant economy, the largest incomes should pay the highest taxes. Tell the President that we must make our society more progressive by taxing the wealthiest.
Dear President Obama,
We must raise taxes on the largest incomes. Americans overwhelmingly favor raising taxes on those who have benefitted the most from this country. The majority of Americans, 68 percent, favor raising investment taxes on families with very high incomes.
Bernie Sanders has identified numerous loopholes that can be closed by Executive Order on corporations that are not paying their fair share of taxes. Closing corporate loopholes has been estimated to bring in over $100 billion/year. That’s revenue that could be used to repair crumbling infrastructure and lowering the tax burden on the middle class.
We have lost all sense of paying taxes as a society for the welfare of the entire country, and that’s something that needs to be restored. Taxes are described as “punishment,” “theft,” “abuse” and so on. “Smart” people regularly park their wealth offshore to avoid taxes. Avoiding taxation has become a very lucrative game for very wealthy people.
We need to restore some respect for government and for taxes as a patriotic act. We should start by making those who actually receive the biggest benefits pay the most in taxes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Federal Reserve Economic Database