Mark Schmitt of the Roosevelt Institute has some important, common sense advice on the whole debate over making the wealthy pay their fair share.
“[T]axes aren’t punishment. They are simply the cost we share for the society we benefit from — one that provides military protection, Medicare and Social Security when we need it, education, energy research, and the rest. The tax system is progressive not to punish the rich, but because some have a greater ability to pay than others. Ten percent means something very different to someone earning $30,000 than it does to someone making $300,000. And, frankly, even those of us who are not “rich” by the $250,000 standard but are actually secure and reasonably well-off could stand to pay more in taxes. When we look at 4.2 million people unemployed for a year or more, at families devastated by foreclosures, bankruptcies, and health crises, my own two-income family is remarkably fortunate by comparison and can do more, even though we’re solidly in the “other 99%” and didn’t cause the financial or economic crisis. Taxes are a shared obligation, not a punishment.”
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