Sunday, August 19, 2012

What Happened To Progressive Taxation?

In the last thirty years, the idea that taxes should be progressive has disappeared from public discourse. Robert Reich writes that the father of free market capitalism believed that nations should institute progressive taxation:

Even Adam Smith, the 18th century guru of free-market conservatives, saw the wisdom of a graduated tax embodying the principle of equal sacrifice. “The rich should contribute to the public expense,” he wrote, “not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more in proportion.”

Last week, Mitt Romney offered the bromide that he was not going to release his tax records.The public could take his word that he had never paid less than 13% of his income in taxes. It was a remarkable moment. When most Americans deliver roughly 30% of their income to Uncle Sam, Romney claims that his 13% is worth so much more because he earns so much more.

What Romney doesn't understand, writes Reich, is the notion of equal sacrifice:

Equal sacrifice means that in paying taxes people ought to feel about the same degree of pain regardless of whether they’re wealthy or poor. Logically, this means someone earning $20 million a year should pay a much larger proportion of his income in taxes than someone earning $200,000, who in turn should pay a larger proportion than someone earning $50,000.

But Romney’s alleged 13 percent tax rate is lower than that of most middle class Americans who earn a tiny fraction of what he earns. 

And that's the point. Neo-conservatism has no room for the notion of equal sacrifice. It has been replaced by the notion of get as much as you can.


Anonymous said...

This is Harper's progressive taxation. Huge corporations pay less and less taxes, while the Canadian people progress to higher and higher taxation. Harper thieves our tax dollars to give to, banks, mines, oil and gas corporations and big business. He also gives them huge tax reductions. A wealthy business owner in BC boasted, he pays less tax than his secretary does.

Harper is not a good person. He ranks with, Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark, Bruce Carson, Enbridge, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini. Harper has not, one saving grace. He has no morals nor ethics, what-so-ever. Nor, did any of the above.

Canadians can no longer believe, their politicians are telling them the truth. We must assume, they are all liars. 9 times out of 10, they are liars.

Canada has become, a cesspool of corruption. Canadians vote to keep, certain politicians out, rather than vote politicians in. We vote for the politician, who has told the least number of lies. Politicians do lie and cheat to win in Canada. The most corrupt politicians in Canada are rewarded, for their dirty work.

Harper's progressive taxation is, much like the BC HST Harper and Campbell forced on BC citizens. We were going to save tons of money, by the merits of the HST. All that money that was to trickle down, to the people from big business? Well, that most certainly is a whopper of a lie, as usual. Businesses jacked up their prices even higher.

Harper is the worst, most corrupt and foul the recorded history of this Nation. Trust him, at your own peril.

Owen Gray said...

Your last sentence says it all, Anon.