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Are America's rich taxed enough?

For those who lie on the extreme ends of the capitalist/socialist spectrum, the answer is black and white. For those who favor a balance between the two ideals, there is a threshold at which redistributing wealth from the rich to do the poor may be unfair (assuming the rich deserve their wealth), or may actually hurt poor people (assuming the rich skillfully manage the job-creating businesses and investments they own). Has that threshold been crossed?

Implications to Other Questions

Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Economics

Robin Hanson    Economics Professor
Mostly Agree
Me, I celebrate these new worthier elites. We aren’t obviously justified in taking their wealth, however convenient that might be, and they might manage to avoid such takings via international competition to attract them. The US seems a bit too arrogantly unaware that we compete on this and many other margins.
17 Feb 2011    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is capitalism good?

Experts In Politics

Sarah Palin    Former Governor of Alaska (Republican)
Democrats have articulated their tired class warfare argument about “tax cuts for the rich,” but conservatives have still not articulated our proven time-tested argument that tax cuts spur economic growth, which in turn helps everyone from all income levels and increases tax revenue as the economy grows. ...the last thing we should do is hamper our economic innovators and entrepreneurs with excessive taxes, overly burdensome regulation, and more uncertainty. ... It’s common sense.
01 Dec 2010    Source

George W. Bush    United States President 2001-2009
I do believe it's very important to send the signal to our entrepreneurs and our families that the government trusts them to spend their own money. And I happen to believe lower taxes is what stimulates economic growth and what we need now in our country is economic growth.
14 Dec 2010    Source

Experts In Law

Ann Coulter    Political Commentator
Obama plans to pay for his $3.6 trillion-dollar spending bill by raising taxes on "the rich." I know, I know ... I was pretty shocked, too. The bad news is, by hiking taxes in a recession, Obama will turn a disaster into a catastrophe.
11 Mar 2009    Source

Experts In Economics

Warren Buffett    Billionaire Investor
I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. ... And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. ... My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.
15 Aug 2011    Source

Experts In Investing

Donald Trump    American Business Magnate
The plan I am proposing today does not involve smoke and mirrors, phony numbers, financial gimmicks, or the usual economic chicanery you usually find in DisneylandonthePotomac. [Trump, a prospective candidate for the Reform Party presidential nomination, is proposing a onetime net worth tax on individuals and trusts worth 10 million or more. By Trumps calculations, his proposed 14.25 percent levy on such net worth would raise 5.7 trillion and wipe out the debt in one full swoop.]
09 Nov 1999    Source

Experts In Entertainment

Bill Maher    Political T.V. Host, Comedian
Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80% of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1%. Let me put that in terms that even you fat-ass teabaggers understand. Say 100 Americans get together and orders a 100-slice pizza. The pizza arrives, they open the box and the first guy takes 80 slices. And if someone suggests "why don't you just just take 79 slices?". "THAT'S SOCIALISM!".
14 Mar 2011    Source

Experts In Atheism

Sam Harris    Writer, Speaker, Atheism Activist
I’ve written before about the crisis of inequality in the United States and about the quasi-religious abhorrence of “wealth redistribution” that causes many Americans to oppose tax increases, even on the ultra rich. The conviction that taxation is intrinsically evil has achieved a sadomasochistic fervor in conservative circles—producing the Tea Party, their Republican zombies, and increasingly terrifying failures of governance.
17 Aug 2011    Source

Suggested Expert Quotes

Adam Smith
The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state. & It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.


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0 Points      MTC      23 Feb 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
For me to say yes to this, either a point must be reached where everyone can afford a decent living, or everyone must be equally wealthy (I think the former would be reached a long time before the latter), but it seems clear that this won’t happen any time soon, so I disagree.

0 Points      Nashhinton      19 Nov 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
The super rich today pays over 50% of their earnings to the government. What it really boils down to is that the government needs to stop spending so much. They need to cut spending and legalize things that shouldn't be illegalized so the government can gain an increase in their revenue. Legalize marijuana or legalize prostitution so the government can stop spending everything they earn on a large prison population. Now I'm not against taxes but I wish the government would minimize their revenue spending.

0 Points      Bob      21 Nov 2011      General Comment
"The super rich today pays over 50% of their earnings to the government. What it really boils down to is that the government needs to stop spending so much."

That's a non sequitur. And what is the source of your claim about the super rich only paying 50% of their earnings? Warren Buffet pays a LOT less than that (follow the link on Warren Buffet's quote).

"They need to cut spending and legalize things that shouldn't be illegalized so the government can gain an increase in their revenue"

Only a tiny sliver of the budget is spent on law enforcement.