"What good do the rich do? They live in wasteful luxury, being selfish and not sharing with the rest of us. They are also bad people as they mistreat us and rob us of proper wages." (See the reason for Inequality, Poverty, which does not occur due to the rich!) "They should give to us. They are unfair. We demand that they pay their fair share!")
The top 1% pay 38% of the taxes. What would be fair?
The bottom 47% pay no taxes. The other 53% pay for them. What is fair?
Why don't we just take a big chunk from those rich people and spend it on ourselves?
Wouldn't that be killing the golden goose and/or scaring it away. At what point do we have those people live in other countries or even cause them to choose to invest in other countries instead of ours.
We are already driving companies to invest overseas instead of here - and then we complain about them doing that (something about being unpatriotic, at the same time we keep on shopping at Walmart and other places, buying foreign goods, including even cars).
Where is the balance point? Certainly there is one. But how long shall we continue to suffer the consequences? I can't see that Obama sees those limits or understands the economics. Do you?
(Nothing against him as a human being, as I think these failures are due to a lack of experience and the knowledge and wisdom that comes from it. We can't just operate from the principles of Saul Alinsky without some tradeoffs.)
There are limits and tradeoffs.
If there were no money to invest, businesses would not exist. If there is less money to invest, there is less business. That's basic economics, which seems to be something not learned by many, although most have a sense for it if they choose to look.
If people take their money and leave the country, we have less money invested here and there is less business to provide jobs.
Is there enough money available?
There is much ado about the effect of the Bush tax cuts "to return to the people their rightful moneys". The tax cuts disproportionately favored the middle class, with less proportional benefit to the rich, but it did benefit all who paid taxes.
The effect: Those above $250K: $70 billion/year (4.4% of the annual deficit)
Those below: $270 billion/year
The hole: The deficit: $1.6 trillion/year
Raise the taxes on the rich by getting rid of their Bush tax cuts! Make those guys pay their fair share, like the President says! That'll solve our problems!
Really. How can we solve a 100% problem by using 4.4%? Magic? Or are we just being mislead?
Is it a spending problem or a taxing problem? What is your assessment?
"Well, obviously we must solve the problem by taxing even more than that."
Really? To what limit?
How much should we spend?
We currently spend federally 25% of our gross production. And that is not all profit, as some of those things are bought by other businesses so that they become costs. How much more can we spend and not take away from our production and from the mouths of the taxpayers.
Of course, we can crash the budget, like Ron Paul suggests, or do something drastic. Or we can handle it rationally and practically, balancing the budget yearly at 20% (or less) of GDP, as Romney proposes - and can effectively follow through on. (There are people who think we can decrease this more, who demand bolder action. But let's not confuse boldness with effectiveness. Wisdom is the better part of valor. Romney is courageous and bold, but not impractical or nuts, yet some would criticize him in this arena, totally unjustifiably, in my assessment.)
We need a President who has the judgment to assess the tradeoffs and the ability to implement what is practical and possible. We need a President who will attempt to balance the interests of all and to increase the understanding of the "other side" (both sides) so that we do not engage in evilizing the other side and getting stuck in dissension. (For some reason, Obama doesn't encourage understanding, even engaging himself in evilizing. That is, in my opinion, unacceptable and very damaging.)
Note that if we take more money from the people it is then not available for investing and will have no long term productivity and probably be largely wasted by the inefficient government. (Though I know that Romney will make it more efficient to a large extent. There are built in inefficiencies in government that are inherent to government that no one can solve. It is best to keep away as much money as possible from it.
THE ECONOMICS OF MONEY
If there is little money, then money becomes "dear", i.e costly. Little supply and big demand means high prices. For money, they call the price "interest". If interest is super high, then business can't afford to borrow because they can't make enough to pay the payments. The result: fewer business and/or less expansion - and thus fewer jobs and a less-good economy where all of us suffer economically.
ARE THE RICH EVIL AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF US?
If you watch the movies, the sampling of what you see surely suggests that rich people are evil. (Except for Warren Buffett, of course.)
But are they? A few are, but very few. And if they go over the limit, they will be prosecuted for a crime. Below that, short of changing the laws, we cannot judge them based on our superior morality, which surely must be right.
Yes, the drive for a profit sets up certain conflicts of interest. And we are all, to some degree, subject to wanting more (i.e. being "greedy"). But also we have a system of checks and balances where we can choose not to work for companies that don't pay a fair wage. (Yes, we might have to move out of a small town, but we do have mobility in this country.) if there is abuse of power, on either side, then there are laws and limits.
I would say that most rich people are good people, as good as the rest of us. And they tend to be more productive on average and more generous on average.
CAN'T WE JUST RESTRICT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS SO THAT WE GET MORE?
Unions are great in that they have helped balance the power so that there are adequate wages. And companies have an incentive to keep wages down and to not hire people when they can't produce more than they cost. And we must stop the abuse of power and set limits to protect us from that.
How far do we go? And do we, as politicians, give special consideration to special interest groups?
An example: Boeing constructed a plant in a right to work state, while at the same time not taking away from its plant in a state that required all employees to join it (i.e taking away the right of an employee to not join the union). The federal government intervened to sue Boeing and to try to shut that operation down. Was there a balance here or was there a conflict of interest and favoritism due to politics?
Another example: As a result of the financial crisis and the decline in auto sales, the American auto companies found themselves virtually bankrupt. Foreign auto makers making cars here were still ok. It turned out that the labor unions had to lower wages to make things feasible, as they were pricing America out of the business. There practicality dictated and their was a rebalancing of power. The companies survived, though there were distributorships that were eliminated and jobs lost - but then that is all part of business. (Note that Romney was evilized for doing the same thing as the government did in an attempt to save companies - and the additional jobs that would have been lost if the companies went under. They took on companies in trouble so that they could attempt to save them, for the good old capitalist incentive of making profits. Yet, attempts have been made to evilize them. See King Of Bain satire.