This phenomenon always really blows my mind, if I’m being totally honest.
I don’t understand how a person who is struggling to pay their bills making $35,000 a year doesn’t want the very top of the heap to pay more in taxes so it will benefit their fellow citizens a little bit more.
It’s crazy! But, as you know, there are A LOT of people who feel this way in our country.
AskReddit users who aren’t in the top 1% talk about why they don’t want those ultra-wealthy folks to be taxed.
Let’s take a look.
“If you want to fix entrenched wealth you need to reform how unproductive assets are taxed, not wages – productivity.
That should include asset rich, cash poor, loss making businesses, that are proven to have complex or offshore tax minimisation strategies.
Taxing the productivity or wages of the 1% will therefore not alleviate the societal problems you’re seeking to fix.
The biggest issues for people in the bottom 50% are housing affordability, life affordability. Disproportionate taxes like council rates, VAT/GST, state taxes, toll roads, fuel excises etc. are the factors that influence their lives the most.
That’s what needs remedy.”
2. The filthy rich.
“The real issue is the filthy rich – the 2 million households with over $10 Million net worth. Politicians always leave them alone and just tax the upper middle class to oblivion.
These are hard working lawyers, doctors, business executives, partners, etc. All this does is entrench the filthy rich – the generational wealth that doesn’t work and just lives off passive income – and makes it impossible for new people to enter this class.
It’s ridiculous to increase the already insane taxes people with high income make, but continue to let the filthy rich pay low capital gains taxes, step basis when they die on assets, extremely low estate tax, etc.
Our tax policy continuously punished the hard workers and continues to give hand outs to the filthy rich rent seeking class.
I oppose “taxing the 1%” because any plan that passes will just end up taxing the upper middle class. Again, the democrats are focusing on increasing the top income tax buckets, instead of seriously rectifying capital gains taxes on the filthy rich.
There’s some talk of it, but we all know it’ll just be people making $200k+ in income who end up paying the brunt of things as always.”
3. Won’t magically solve anything.
“Take a look at how our tax dollars are currently being spent.
Some of the largest expenses in the U.S. federal budget go to a broken health care system which enables things like $600 band-aides and a military that is the size of the next 7 largest militaries combined.
Collecting more tax dollars from the 1% will just mean more misappropriated spending to line the pockets of pharma giants, military contractors, and the politicians they lobby. We’d be taxing one billionaire for the profit of another.
Taxing our citizens more, whether it be the 1% or the 99%, will not magically solve these shortcomings. In fact, I think it serves as more of a distraction from real issues at hand. Once politicians start showing they can responsibly spend our tax dollars, then we can discuss collecting more taxes from anyone.
The 1% also take advantage of tax loopholes and saying we’re going to raise taxes on them is just more bs signaling from politicians.
Closing these loopholes would go much further than increasing the rate in their tax brackets which they weasel their way out of anyway.”
“1% of households make 500K.
With 2 incomes, that isn’t exactly Jeff Bezos. A couple where both people work in tech in a large city will likely be in the 1%. They pay high taxes, because they are mainly paying normal income taxes and don’t have ways of using loopholes.
I don’t have a problem with higher taxes. But I think we talk about taxing the rich as though they are all other-worldly levels of wealth. The people who avoid taxes aren’t “the 1%” of income.
The ones using loopholes are mainly living off of vast amounts of wealth where they can avoid normal taxing.”
5. Reforms and cuts.
“Tax is not a means of social balancing or income redistribution.
It’s a means of paying the bills and keeping the lights on. If you have to tax the 1% to do that fine but that’s not the context I hear it in.
The government also doesn’t need more money. It needs reforms and cuts. It expands to the size of the budget it’s given and swallows up money meant to do something real with inefficiency and beaucracy.”
6. Government inefficiency.
“The government already takes in a sh*t ton of money through taxes and mismanages most of it, so why give them any more, period, especially when the wealth tax will eventually be applied to middle class Americans as well, and further incentivize the rich to exploit the system?
Seems to me the practical thing would be to force the government to be more efficient with the money they already have access to.”
7. Overdoing it.
“I expect that a “wealth tax” would start out only taxing the super rich, but within a few decades would be taxing everyone.”
8. Hard to determine.
“The issue with a “Wealth Tax” is that it’s difficult to determine how much “wealth” any person has.
Being a billionaire doesn’t mean you’re just hoarding a billion dollars in a bank account, it means that the stuff you own(typically stock in a company) is worth that much, how do you go about taxing stock in a company, are they expected to sell more of it every year to pay their taxes? I’m sure there are some ways around it but the point is that it’s difficult, and wealthy people are going to be resourceful and avoid tax wherever they can.
Not to mention, if we suddenly taxed the hell out of all of them, they will absolutely just leave. Or just list their official residence in another country with lower taxes.
I know there must be some way to deal with an enormous wealth disparity like this, but simply “tax the rich” is way harder than it sounds and won’t really solve much.”
9. Won’t matter.
“Whatever you do will only f*ck up the middle class.
The truly rich have smart people who know how to find loop holes.
They are much smarter than the people who write the laws.”
10. Multiple reasons.
“I feel like most people who want to “tax the rich” are motivated mostly by resentment not because it will actually solve all of our problems.
Very wealthy people have their wealth in assets, stocks, etc. not cash so taxing them is not as easy as it sounds. We probably should focus on getting rid on loopholes and stuff like that.
The government tends to be ineffective with what they do. Also, if we want more money for the government programs I think they should start by doing stuff like cutting military budget, stop unnecessary foreign wars, etc, then we can worry about increasing taxes.
Also if someone becomes billionaire on their own, I somewhat respect it, but when they just inherit it I think it’s really unfair, so I don’t oppose an inheritance tax. However, I don’t know how realistic it would be to implement one.”
“So there’s one thing that some people need to get clear in their heads, that there is a difference between the top 1% of wage earners and the top 1% of wealthy individuals.
The top 1% wage earners pay a f*ckload of tax, those earning over 100k in most countries tend to be very highly taxed. But the real trouble is when wealth is accumulating due to inheritance or ownership of assets. The top 1% in terms of wealth is the group we need to be going after.
It’s patently ridiculous that we deem that someone who earns a huge amount passively just by the fact that they already owned capital will pay less of their gains in tax than someone who works for it. It should be the other way around. Owners of capital should face higher taxes when realising gains than workers, to reflect the actual effort applied to generate those gains.
If I work 60 hour weeks in a company to contribute to its success then how is if fair that the guy who just invested some of his inherited wealth into the business gets taxed proportionately far less than me? Which of us did the actual work to generate the gains here?
Again, we don’t want to penalise workers who are trying to save for their retirement so a progressive system on capital gains seems more fair. Say the first 300k per year is at a lower rate but anything more than that is taxed as heavily as a high wage would be.”
12. Laying it all out there.
“Usually, any objection I have won’t be about the general principle of taxing the 1%, it will be about how the tax is structured.
The rich person that everyone hates lately is Bezos, who added enormous net worth during the pandemic while small businesses suffered. So let’s talk how to tax Bezos.
Suppose you tell me that to tax the rich you want to increase income taxes on incomes over 400,000 a year. Ok, but Bezos made under 100k in salary. His real worth is from his Amazon stock.
It’s not that I dislike a tax on 400k a year income or more, but that tax falls on the upper middle class without really targeting the truly rich. (Edit: A lot of people really vehemently disagree with my choice here. Let’s rephrase that as it targets the rich but not the wealthy 1%.)
Now let’s say you want to tax the stock he holds. This is a better idea, but I don’t really love it. I don’t care how much Bezos holds. I care how much he spends. The image of rich people sitting on a hoard of money they don’t use like dragons misses the point that money is imaginary. It’s when rich people use that money to buy up land, food, buildings, gas, energy, and jump to the front of the line in medicine, access, etc — that is the problem.
So what I really want to do is say “hey, every time Bezos turns his Amazon stock into money, I want to tax that. I want it taxed on a progressive curve same as income, in fact, I want it to be treated as income. Let him carry forward his cash investments and even his sweat equity as a basis for the investment, but when he realizes those gains, he’s getting taxed.”
So it’s possible to dislike the idea of a particular tax on the 1% without disliking the concept. A lot of people who dislike a plan to tax the 1% might be quibbling over the particulars. There are people who would dislike my realized gains taxation plan, no doubt, without hating the general aims.”
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