Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why The Poor Should Pay More Taxes, Part II

Part I is here. A more accurate title of the first part would be: The poor receive benefit from the existence of government, too. A more accurate title for this part would be: You're only screwing the poor. These posts are in response to DovBear's post, "Why the rich should pay more taxes."

The rich do get great benefit from government, and probably more than poor people. But the top 5% of the country already pays 95% of the taxes, and it has been proven (repeatedly) that lower income taxes provide great benefit for the economy as a whole, for unemployment, for inflation, and for every single major indicator in this country. Those that gain the most are those who now *have* jobs, whose costs are low, and whose products are better and far more available than ever.

If you're seriously afraid of revolution, putting down those who are poor is not the way to guard against it. Essentially saying, "Here, take this, be a good boy" is demeaning and disgusting. The best way to guard against social upheaval is to make available to everyone the opportunity to succeed.

People don't like being on welfare. People don't like standing in an unemployment line. People don't like handouts. It's degrading. Sure, people aren't generally stupid, either: And if they qualify for WIC, they'll take it. If they qualify for unemployment, they'll take that, too. And if they can get a tax break or an earned income tax credit, you better bet they're going to put it down.

But people aren't interested in being poor. Stop throwing pennies at them to keep them from earning dollars. Give them the means to earn real money, by providing greater - fair - opportunities for employment. Give them the means to save money by allowing companies to invest in R&D which in turn allows them to create goods for less, making it cost less for those who need it. Give the means to invest money on their own instead of being forced to put it in Social Security, where it earns an average of 1.7% a year - when Treasury Bills earn 4%.

Stop trying to screw the rich - the only ones who get screwed are the poor.