You implicitly underestimate the inequality of the income distribution in America, where the top 10% of the income distribution earn over 40% of the national income, and pay about 70% of the income taxes. (The top 1% alone pays about 35% of all income taxes.) You can dispute the justice of taxing the top 10% even more; but you can hardly dispute its potential effectiveness. There's a lot of money to tax away there.
And no, it's not heresy to question is -- show me where anyone accused you of heresy for that question.
Oh I can show you lots of comments directed to me that are far worse than 'heretic' when I have expressed my opinion. I can probably trace one or two of those to you.
But on taxes here's the breakdown for 2005:
Top 1% - earns 16.5% of the income and pays 33.7% of the taxes
Top 5% - earns 31.0% of the income and pays 54.1% of the taxes
Top 10% - earns 42.1% of the inome and pays 65.8% of the taxes
Top 25% - earns 64.7% of the income and pays 83.6% of the taxes
Top 50% - earns 86.1% of the income and pays 96.4% of the taxes
Bottom 50% = earns 13.9% of the income and pays 3.6% of the taxes.
But the more people are punished with taxes for taking risks, investing blood, sweat, and tears in a business and finally making it profitable, the less incentive there is to do that. And you cannot establish a fair tax plan based on how much somebody has left. If we could, then 99% of Warren Buffett's fortune would be on the table. If the government took all 99%, he would still have $63 million left leaving him in the top 1% and then maybe guys like Joe the Plumber and Cory the Driller wouldn't need to have more taxes piled on their earnings.
But remember it is the people in those top percentages who are make the heavy investments, take the huge risks, hire most of the people, pay most of the benefits, are the biggest investors in American business so that everybody's 401Ks grow, have the money in the bank for others to borrow, contribute to the arts and university endowments and helping build new libraries and hospital wings. What do we lose when we confiscate that money in taxes?
Is the government better able to decide how our money should be spent than we are?
* You cannot help the poor, by destroying the rich.
* You cannot strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.
* You cannot bring about prosperity, by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot lift the wage earner up, by pulling the wage payer down.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man, by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot build character and courage, by taking away people's initiative and independence.
* You cannot help people permanently, by doing for them what they could and should, do for themselves.
--William J. H. Boetcker