Barack Obama budget budget deifict choice democracy democratic rule democrats Discussions economic recovery economy family federal federal government global recession high income households ideologies. independents low income households national debt News News, information, issues, discussions, solutions. News, information, issues, discussions, solutions. people politics recession reinvestment relationship relationships republicans rights Taxing the Rich to Aid Recovery in the US taxing the risk to aid recovery in the us US citizens us economy US government US voters

Taxing the Rich to Aid Recovery in the US


It is a known and accepted fact that Barack Obama’s preferred policy with regards to tax is to increase the liability of the wealthy, while easing the burden which rests upon the shoulders of low and middle income households. This is a measure that is apparently well supported within the US government, with a vast majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independent representatives all in agreement that individuals or households who earn more than $250,000 per year should bare the brunt of plans to reduce the national deficit.

Not only this, but US citizens also seem to agree that this is the most positive step that their government can take with regards to taxation. The New York Times recently revealed in a poll that an estimated 72 percent of adults approve of increasing federal taxes on households earning $250,000 per year or more, which is a significant portion of the voting demographic in the US. Though this suggests that the government and its subjects are in accordance, there are economic and ethical issues concerning such a practice within a free and democratic land.

A Thriving Economy

From a purely practical standpoint, there are two significant reasons why increasing the tax liability of the rich would be either inconsequential or potentially detrimental to the economy. Firstly, given the effects of the global recession and subsequent recovery, there are a paucity of individuals and households who earn more than $250,000 in the US. This means that by targeting this demographic as opposed to imposing a small percent age increase on each level of household income, the government will acquire far less reveneue over the next decade than they have the potential to.

The second issue with this practice is its questionable benefit over a significant period of time, as it can have a profound effect both on consumer spending and the stability of the economy. The top 2 percent of earners within the US contribute much in the way of expenditure and reinvestment into the economy, and increasing their tax liability merely serves to acquire money in one way while restricting their government contributions in another. In addition to this the highest earners in a nation are usually the first to be hit during a recession, meaning that either redundancy or unemployment could take hold and deprive the government of these significant financial contributions.

Ethical Practice in a Democracy?

Aside from these significant practical concerns, there is the wider and more sweeping issue of democracy and the freedom that it affords to its citizens. The US is renowned as a nation with largely capitalist values, which encourage independent success and entrepreneurial aspirations. These freedoms of trade and movement are integral to the history of the nation, and are supported by a democratic rule that actively promotes liberal activity and enterprise. It is these principles which mark the country as a land of opportunity, and ensure its popularity amongst those with ambition who wish to take control of their own financial future.

Given the importance of these values and the role that they play in the structure of the US, it seems entirely undemocratic to apply a significant tax increase to those who achieve high income and financial independence. By encouraging the freedoms of trade and enterprise and then imparting sanctions on individuals who seek to take advantage of them, the government runs a serious risk of muddying the waters of their democracy and sending conflicting messages concerning their attitudes to individual success and growth.

Taking a More Considered Route to Prosperity

Whether you consider these issues as a group or individual concerns, it becomes clear that increasing the tax liability of the rich may be something that could ultimately prove to be divisive to the US economy. Though it may provide some short term relief for low and middle income households, and also generate some reduction to the estimated $1.5 trillion US budget deficit for 2011 and 2012, it is something that can neither be reliably sustained or make a significant impact on the national debt over the coming years. 

Instead, the US must consider a more patient route towards prosperity, and one which can also be realistically maintained regardless of the economic circumstances that befall the nation. By implementing a small increase on taxes across the whole of society, the government have a far better chance of creating a significant sum of revenue whilst making only a minor impact on each demographic and individual. While this may not be welcomed as popular by the majority of US voters, it is perhaps the resolution that offers the most suitability in terms fairness and maintaining democratic values.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

61 thoughts on “<span>Taxing the Rich to Aid Recovery in the US</span>”

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  31. Fairness is a very subjective term. On one hand it sounds perfectly fair that everyone gets same proportion of tax hike. But, on the other hand how fair it is to tax the individuals, families and small businesses who are already in the struggle for suvival and finding it hard to pay and afford everyday neccessities and bills, compared to those who have hundreds of thousands, millions and even billions? I also disagree with the notion that people at the higher level of income are effected first and harder by recession. I think the people who lost their jobs, the people who are underemployed and the people who are not getting any pay raises, inspite of the contineous rise in gas prices and the cost of living, are the ones suffering most. I also disagree with the notion that economy improves when people with higher income reinvest their money. We are in this situation because people with lower income have lost their buying power. The people who spend almost all of their income back in buying every day necessities. As far as higher income group is concerned, most of their income goes into their bank accounts, and does not re-enter the actual and effective economic loop.

    1. Thank you for your candor. I take your point about fairness, it is a subjective term open to interpretation, and so means different things to different individuals. I agree that it seems fair to tax the rich and protect lower income households, but I still believe that this is an easy solution and will not make any great or long term in roads into a national debt, and nor is it particularly sustainable. With regards to the rich being first hit in a recession, my point is that many brands may first seek to reduce costs in high salary roles so that they need not loose too many operational staff and business. This can render high paying jobs redundant, although I take your point that recession is also very significant when poorer households encounter redundancy and job less. I beleive the economy has effected everyone’s spending power, but also that taking a significant chunk out of one demographics salary impacts on them in a significant way regardless of their standing. If an individual has worked hard to achieve wealth and a well paid job, and in an environment that actively encourages free trade and entrepreuerial spirit, then it seems slightly perverse to hit them with inflated tax as a consequence. Of course, there are no easy or completely ideal resolutions in an economic recovery, but hopefully debate and dialogue can encourage the best route towards prosperity.

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