Chill out. And try to get some historical perspective (from John Cole):
The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism.
The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = capitalist nirvana.
The 39.6% rate of the 1990’s = socialism.
Everything else = down the memory hole.
In America, we pay taxes. There is a whole amendment about this. It’s an important thing, and it’s not going away.
I like this chart because it puts things in context. Many folks are getting all upset about Obama’s proposed increase on the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, claiming that America will suffer from a brain drain, there will be no more incentive for innovation and ingeniuty, lower-income people will stop producing and just sit back and take welfare checks, etc. To those people I say: nope. Look at the graph. No innovation, no earning, to desire to succeed and do the best you can when tax rates are as high or higher than Obama’s? That’s a pretty bleak, and completely incorrect picture of America over the last 80 years or so.
The graph also gives you an idea of how willing we are in the United States to see wealth redistributed from up to the wealthiest people. It is commonplace in our history and around the world to tax the people who make the most at very high rates to ease the tax burden on lower-income people. Marginally, the people making the most money and paying the most taxes will still have plenty of money for investment; meanwhile, decreasing the tax load on the middle and lower classes allows them to invest a little as well (and affords more socioeconomic mobility) that is very good for the economy too. What’s more, it’s very good for our ideas of what is right and proper in the United States: everyone can make it, everyone can have good ideas that make money, everyone can move up from whatever class they were born into. This sentiment (and the laws that allow and promote it) is what has made America the best and most successful country in the world.
h/t: Steve Benen