For decades the controversy on raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans has been an on-going debate. During every election and congressional session- whether state or national- the politicians all hold strong views about the taxation of the wealthy. Since the last term of President Eisenhower the taxation of the wealthy has been declining and for the past ten years leveling out with the ‘upper middle class’. The latest stance is to tax the wealthy, a very controversial idea that leads to endless debate among our nations leaders. There are two view points on the matter, either raise the tax on the wealthy or keep tax rates where they are and decrease government spending. As Americans we must ask ourselves is it better to try achieve equality by tearing people down or by catering to the wealthy.
History of Taxing Wealthy
You could follow taxation issues back to before this nation was even founded. “Taxation without representation” was what led this country into a war and won us the independence that has brought us to be one of the world leaders. But Americans have gained the representation that we spent many years fighting for and now are on a new battlefield, how to go about taxing in a fair and just way.
The arguments throughout the history of our country have been the same, either taxing the rich in an economic crisis is either positive or negative. Many economic scholars believe that the taxation of the rich is a necessity during our current economic instability using the high taxations during the 40’s- that supported the war efforts- to back up their arguments. While the more right wing conservative’s believe that taxing the rich more means less buying which could lead to prices being raised on everything and end up causing greater problems for the poorest of Americans.
In the year 1913 the income taxes of the wealthiest of Americans was at an all-time low where they were being taxed nearly 10%. Since then the percentages have been as high as 80% during World War II and as low as 20% during the eighty’s. At this moment in time the taxes of the top 1% richest Americans is almost 25%. Which is nearly what people making only $250,000 a year are paying in income taxes (Folbre 2011).
While that may be extreme that is ten times the amount that the bottom 50% of tax filers pay. They pay a mere 5%. The top 1% of Americans paid 27.6% of all taxes in the year 2011 (Morrison 2012). This is something that is not new for our nation. Historically this has been the case. While the top 50% of the nation pay nearly the same amount the bottom 50% of tax payers pay less than half the amount that what is considered the “wealthiest” of Americans pay.
Pro Increased Taxation of the Wealthy
With the economic downturn there have been many great tragedies that have befallen this country. A high bankruptcy rate, foreclosures and short-sales of many families’ homes, and job losses just to name a few. While in these hard times it is easy to look...