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View Diary: Don't tax the rich! What am I missing here? (42 comments)

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  •  Actually, I think there's a disagreement (0+ / 0-)

    in this country over the purpose of the federal income tax.  Yes, many here believe that one of its main functions is to even out wealth, to assure that the rich don't get too rich.  But others in this country believe that the purpose of the federal income tax is to raise the revenue necessary to fund the government, not to enact social policy by trying to limit wealth.  

    That's why, during the debate, Obama's answer on that capital gains question spurred so much buzz among some.  Remember when the premise of the question was, if an increase in capital gains rates would not result in more income (yes, I know that many debate the premise, but that's what was asked), would you still raise capital gains rates?  His answer was yes, because of fairness.  I think there's a good segment of the country (clearly not on this site, of course) that thinks the federal government should use income taxes to raise necessary revenue, and that's it.

    So when you make statements like  "That's what progressive taxes were meant to counteract and assure it doesn't all get tied up by the wealthy," please recongize that not everybody in this country agrees with you.  In fact, I'd be curious to see what percentage of this country agrees with that view.  I think it's one of the fundamental debates this country is going to have over the next decade.  

    •  My bad. Progressive taxes weren't "meant" to (0+ / 0-)

      counteract.

      But that's what they do.

      To whom it may concern. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal. Sincerely, A. No Brainer.

      by Pescadero Bill on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 09:03:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the real question, I think, is (0+ / 0-)

        how progressive is progressive enough?  

        Income taxes (even before the Bush tax cuts expire) are already progressive.  (See my post below for a link and statistics.)  The question is, is that progressive enough, or too much?  How much of the income tax burden should the top 1% bear?  The top 5%?  That's all a matter of opinion, which is why the country has this debate every so often.  

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