Opinion

A TAXING SITUATION

By Owen Terry

STAFF WRITER

  Democratic governments are created for their citizens. They have a responsibility to protect their people and ensure a good quality of life. This means that America’s first priority should be to produce the greatest amount of benefits for the greatest amount of people possible. There are many ways to go about achieving this goal, but one of the simplest would be to increase taxes on the rich. While this is a frequently debated topic, it is clear how great the net benefits of an action like this would be. Wealthy Americans would remain wealthy, while poorer citizens would see a much-needed tax cut. In order to improve life for all Americans, rich people should pay more taxes.

  With more money from rich taxpayers, government-funded programs could be greatly improved. Lifesavers such as disaster relief programs and healthcare would provide higher-grade service, and everyday necessities like schools, the postal service, infrastructure, and libraries would see an upgrade too. Quality of life in America would be far better with this extra boost of government funds from wealthy men and women.

  If rich citizens paid more taxes, poorer Americans would not have to pay as much. While the rich already pay more than the poor, it is not nearly as much of a hindrance to them, as they don’t rely on that money to pay the bills. Many working-class Americans rely on every last cent, so any tax reduction makes a difference in their lives. In addition to this, poor people greatly outnumber rich people, so a change in tax law like this would surely bring a lot of good to a lot of people.

  It’s nice to talk about raising taxes on the rich, but how can we actually do it? Politicians have discussed multiple possibilities. One method is higher marginal tax rates. Currently, the highest tax bracket for individual taxpayers tops out at $500,000, meaning that someone making exactly that amount has the same tax rate as someone making $10 million per year. Higher marginal tax rates would ensure that the richest of the rich have to pay more. Another potential solution is wealth tax. Since this is not currently in use by the United States, rich people don’t have to pay any taxes on the money or assets they already have. If wealth was taxed, it would bring in more funds to the government and encourage rich people to spend rather than hoard, boosting the economy.

  All of America would benefit from higher taxes on the rich. The upsides easily outweigh the downsides, with a little bit more money from well-off Americans resulting in better-funded programs and lower taxes on the poor. The government has a duty to help us as much as it can, and this would be a huge step in the right direction.

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