Thursday, November 18, 2010
I think that there is a strange "soak the rich" mentality in this country. The thought being that; it is somehow unfair that they are rich and the rest of us are not. That is the basis that the Obama Administration uses in their justification that the "rich" need to pay more taxes.
Here are my top five thoughts on "the rich" and taxes:
Who is rich?
For the sake of argument let's call the "the rich", households that have an income over $200,000. Where does that leave the people who have tons of money and have no job? Or the folks that have tons of money and that actually lost money during the last year? For example: Let's pretend that Bill Gates made a couple of bad investments (can that happen?) and lost $500,000,000 on a particular year. Would that make him poor? Based on the income test it would.
Why are the rich not celebrated?
Many of the "rich" in this country have earned their money. They worked hard and and built their income from nothing. In other words, they have achieved the American dream. What is wrong with that? Sure there are some John Kerry's out there that married money or Paris Hilton's that have it gifted to them, but honestly they are very rare. If your goal in life is to have more money than Bill Gates, then do what Bill Gates did, build a computer software empire. Don't stew and blame somebody else for succeeding.
Who pays you?
Everyday I go to work and after 1/2 a month I get a check, signed by the owner of the company. The owner paid me from the income he earned from his motel. The income that he will put on the Gross Income line of his personal income taxes. Other things he paid were supplies, electricity, other employees, taxes, water, etc, etc, etc.
What does that owner do when his income is taxed more? Does he stop buying electricity? I would bet that not to many folks would rent a motel room without electricity. You ever eat at a restaurant without food? I think not. His choice would be to cut employees, employee's pay or if the tax is high enough close the business. You see where I am going with this? Just because somebody has a large income does not mean he has a lot of money and when he stops earning money he will do what it takes to earn money again. So when they talk about raising taxes on people with incomes over $200,000 that effects you. Small businesses will cut expenses to keep earning money. Is the expense they cut going to be your job?
What is rich?
This is the philosophical portion of this post. Would I like to make more money? You bet. It would make one portion of my life eaiser, the finical portion. Does that make everything better? Maybe we should ask Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, or Mel Gibson. Is there life better because the have a lot of money? I think not.
When I go to meet God will that extra money do me a lick of good? Nope. When you are swinging on the porch in your old age, would you rather spend your time thinking about the fun you had with your children or your bank account balance? Should your obituary state things like: "a giving man, a loving father and husband always honorable" or would it just say "he made lots of money". My point is simple there is MUCH more to life than money. Live it.
What do the founding fathers say?
The founding fathers did not guarantee happiness. They guaranteed the the pursuit of happiness. They did not guarantee wealth. They guaranteed the pursuit of wealth. So why do we punish those who achieved their pursuits? Isn't that just wrong? It is like saying: "You are free to pursue whatever you want as long as you don't get." I don't think that is what is the founding fathers had in mind. I think that changing tax rates on all but "the rich" is wrong and would not be approved by our founders. What do you think?
A little poem
About 20 years ago I clipped a poem from the newspaper (I can't remember which one) and it hangs in my office today. It is very fitting for this post:
Tax his cow, Tax his goat
Tax his pants, Tax his coat
Tax his ties, Tax his shirt
Tax his work, Tax his dirt.
Tax his chew, Tax his smoke
Teach him Taxes is no joke;
Tax his car, Tax his gas
Tax the road he must pass;
Tax his land, Tax his wage
Tax his bird, Tax its cage
Tax his tractor, Tax his mule
Tax the books used in schools.
Tax him good let him know
That that after taxes he has no dough
If he hollers, Tax him more
Tax him till he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, Tax his grave
Tax the sod in which he lays
Put these words upon his tomb;
"Taxes drove me to my doom"
And when he's gone
they won't relax
They'll still be after