Saturday, March 05, 2011

A New Movement I Would Like to See

I find it hard to listen to the news these days, because I get so upset at so much that seems to be unraveling.  I cannot believe some of the things that some of our political leaders are trying to do these days.

But I realize that the context is that people are getting desperate as governmental budget crises loom, at both the national level and for many of the states.  When there is a budget crisis, there are two possible responses:  cut expenses, or raise revenues.  Doing both would have a bigger effect than doing just one.  But for some reason, most politicians seem dead set against raising revenues, because that means raising taxes.

All of this happens at a time when the gap between the rich and the poor has been growing.  A blogger I follow has posted about this on his blog, and he included a graph that visually shows the growing gap.

This got me to thinking:  it may not really be that there's less money, as such.  It's just that over time it has become distributed in a way that fewer people have it.  And those few have a lot.

Wouldn't it be great if the super-rich started a movement advocating higher taxes for themselves?  If they started saying that, by virtue of controlling so much money, they have a greater responsibility to attend to the public good?

And, in truth, I wouldn't mind paying higher taxes, myself.  But my own income is such that that would not have a very big impact.

Here are some more illuminating graphs:  this graph shows federal tax rates historically.  And this one too is remarkable:  tax revenues recently have been declining!

And finally, what are our major expenses at the federal level?  Wars.