Over the past century, America’s rich made their millions and billions through the use of public assets shared by everyone. By virtue of those profits, they have not only a moral, but a rational obligation to pay more for the upkeep of public services.
For example, a rich corporation running a thousand heavy trucks gets more use out of America’s roadways than the average citizen. As the working condition of those roads is necessary for the corporation’s profits, shouldn’t it pay for their maintenance accordingly?
Once upon a time, some people—even some of the rich—understood that the answer to that question is yes. Fortunately, some of us still do. Sam Pizzigati, an editor for the Institute of Policy Studies, elegantly makes the case that average Americans today suffer not from a debt crisis but a political one, in which their official leaders have abandoned them for the pleasures of wealth, power and privilege they can enjoy in the service of the rich. —ARK
Sam Pizzigati at Campaign for America’s Future:
If corporations and households taking in $1 million or more in income each year were now paying taxes at the same annual rates as they did back in 1961, the IPS researchers found, the federal treasury would be collecting an additional $716 billion a year.
In other words, if the federal government started taxing the wealthy and their corporations at the same rates in effect a half-century ago, the federal debt to investors would almost totally vanish over the next decade.
... In 2007, Diamond and Saez point out, taxpayers in the nation’s top 1 percent actually paid, on average, 22.4 percent of their incomes in federal taxes. If that actual tax burden were to about double to 43.5 percent, the top 1 percenter share of our national after-tax income would still be twice as high as the top 1 percent’s after-tax income share in 1970.