POLL: To Tax the Rich: Continuing the Discourse

Three Wilton Patch readers make left, right and moderate cases on whether or not to tax the top one-percent of income earners.

Last week’s article featuring over 30 comments, with readers coming from all sides of the issue. Our reader poll showed that out of 163 votes, 60 percent of those who participated in the poll agreed with taxing the wealthiest one-percent of Americans, 36-percent were opposed to the notion and three-percent were undecided.

The conversation in the comments has been lively and (miracuously) almost totally devoid of inflammatory, name-calling rhetoric. Below are three strong viewpoints from Wilton Patch readers. Whom do you agree with, and why?


“E. Thibault”: Says she has no problem paying more because she makes more (which she does)

“Fair and equitable are two different things. Say the percentage is 10% 

Someone who has to support themselves, and possibly contribute to others, while earning $20k a year, would pay $2k in taxes. 
Another individual, with the same obligations, earning $150k, pays $15k in taxes.

Do you think that living on $18k is more challenging than living on $135k? In my opinion, that $2k is going to make a lot more of a difference to that first person than the $15k is going to make to the second.

And while $100k doesn't go nearly as far in Fairfield County as other places in the state or country, it certainly is enough to allow us to save at least 15%, live in nice neighborhoods, drive newer cars, go out to dinner frequently, go on vacation, and enjoy other luxuries in life. I graduated college with 100K in student loans, and made less than half of this amount when I first moved here, and I can say from experience, that all of what I've mentioned is the lifestyle I live, while still having paid off my expenses.

I'll happily pay my taxes, as I earn my higher income, to allow the children of that $20k earner to keep the extra $2k and feed them.”

“Jlo”:  Wants to put a ring on it, and keep it.

“I tend to agree with Mr. Alper. The most equitable thing is for everyone to pay the same percentage basis of their income to taxes. Of course the richest should pay their fair share but you can't expect them to shoulder everyone else’s responsibilities….In Fairfield County a six-figure income does not make you rich. If you are single and making 100k a year you are living comfortably but not putting much, if anything, in the bank once you have paid taxes, gas/car expense, rent/mortgage, food, and all the other incidentals. Add kids into the equation and you will need a much higher income if you expect to support them, save for retirement, and put something away to help with their education.”

Steve Symonds: We need better leaders who are willing to compromise in order to solve this

“… It's a fact and has gotten much worse in the past decade. And it doesn't take a genius to notice that companies who were bad actors and brought the economy to the brink of disaster were saved by us taxpayers and now have record profits - part of which they pay to lobbyists to kill laws and regulations enacted precisely to keep these companies from imperiling our economy going forward. There is plenty of blame to spread around - but what there is not plenty of is a willingness to compromise which is the essence of democracy. We need leaders - yes in [Wilton] as well - who are interested in working together to find solutions...not in making inflammatory statements that equate groups of folks [such as the Occupy Wall Street protestors] using their Constitutionally-protected right to assembly demonstrates presidential ineffectiveness. Pathetic.”

RW October 19, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Not bowing to the class warfare this "tax the rich" proposal promotes, let's not forget what really got us into this mess- government overspending and interference in the free markets. The CRA was specifically designed to force banks (AKA Wall Street) to lend to minorities and the working poor who were unable (or unwilling) to repay the loans. To entice the banks to do this, the government provided guarantees from fannie & Freddie, building an enormous load of bad debts, driving up housing coats, and artificially stimating consumer spending through easy money. The party is over and now we have to pay for it. With almost 50% of the population paying NO federal taxes, we are crushing the earners and job creators in this country. Flat tax across the board (obviously with some relief for the poor) is the most equitable approach. Unless we reduce the spending in Washington & Hartford, we could tax 100% and it wouldn't help.
DD October 19, 2011 at 04:02 PM
Agree with RW. Regarding the "Buffett Rule" (requiring all taxpayers earning more than $1.0 M a year to pay at least the same rate as middle income taxpayers), not only will this not generate anywhere near the revenues being hoped for (since only 0.3% of taxpayers earn above this amount, and most already pay at a higher tax rate), but it directly contradicts the President's advisors (both business and labor) who want to encourage investment in small businesses. A current proposal being considered is to make any investment in a business worth less than $25 M completely free of capital gains tax if the investment is held for at least 5 years. Great idea, but since the people making those investments tend to be among the wealthiest taxpayers, how do you, on one hand, offer 5 years of tax free gains, and on the other, place a minimum tax rate on high income earners as per the Buffett Rule?
Casey-Mahoney-Brad-P October 19, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Hi! I got my bachelors in IT security and it set me back $45,000.I am happy I want to college.I knew when I signed on that dotted line that I will owe that money.I do not expect a free ride from the government.I would like to see the interest waved on college loans. Casey Mahoney Brad p
Eustace Tilley October 20, 2011 at 01:19 PM
Here is a quote from a guy who obviously has his pulse in the wrong place: "The Hill reports Harry Reid "indicated Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs." Reid said on the Senate floor, "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers, and that's what this legislation is all about." However, Fox News' Special Report said, "The facts show the opposite. Since the end of the Bush years, 6.2 million private sector jobs have beenlost, while just under 400,000 government jobs have been lost." So how do you deal with a guy who is willing to say anything to cater to his constituents...INTEGRITY anyone?
CTPati October 28, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Except for senators like DeMint, Lee and Rand Paul, INTEGRITY is rare in the senate! I'm part of "the 53% of Americans who pay federal income taxes....The 53 percenters stress the fact that they are paying the taxes that support the government assistance the protesters say they want."... "The protesters need to stop complaining about the government and financial institutions and start looking for work. Ken Gardner, an attorney in Dallas, joined the conversation because he opposes government handouts. "'We don't want to be the 53% who carries the 47% on our shoulders,' said Gardner, who thinks more people should pay federal income taxes."... "'What the 99% is missing is the element of personal responsibility,' said [Josh]Trevino, who is also vice president at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation. 'The 53% want to bring that into the conversation.'"... "I am responsible for my own destiny," writes one 34-year-old father of three. "I will succeed or fail because of me and me alone." "I took jobs I didn't want. Why don't you?" says one poster to the protesters. "Suck it up and become part of the 53%."... http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/26/news/economy/occupy_wall_street_backlash/?cnn=yes


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