Tags: Higher | Taxes | Rich | Budget

CNNMoney: Higher Taxes on Rich Won't Balance Budget

Monday, 15 Aug 2011 12:00 AM

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Raising taxes on incomes over $200,000 would generate $750 billion over 10 years. That's far short of the $4 trillion many say is needed.

President Barack Obama has advocated increasing taxes on the wealthy and has defined the wealthy as those with incomes over $200,000.

But only 3 percent of tax filers reported adjusted gross incomes over $200,000 for 2009, notes a CNNMoney article.

obama200getty.jpg
President Barack Obama
(Getty Images photo)
There were 236,883 tax filers reporting incomes over $1 million, or 0.2 percent of the 140 tax returns, and just 8,274 filers reporting incomes over $10 million

Obama says letting the Bush tax cuts expire in 2012 for the highest incomes would garner $750 billion over 10 years, even though those groups are relatively small.

Most Americans feel a budget agreement should include more taxes on the wealthy, according to a recent, CNN/ORC International Poll.

"It's not quite the multi-trillion figure the U.S. needs to pay off the deficit," states the CNNMoney article, "but for many of those who responded to the CNN/ORC International poll it's evidently a good enough start."

Many people miss the point that $750 billion over a decade is tiny compared to a deficit that’s been over $1 trillion a year the last three years, says Craig Steiner, a writer and political activist in Denver.

Even draconian and confiscatory tax increases on the wealthy would not be enough to substantially decrease the deficit without endangering economic activity.

"The fact that the poll indicates that the public might support such tax increases on the wealthy despite the fact that the increases would not materially change our fiscal situation," Steiner writes in his Townhall.com Finance column, "is evidence not that raising taxes is a good idea, but rather that Democrats have largely succeeded in their class warfare rhetoric.

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