Schakowsky seeking to reintroduce 'millionaires tax'

Because it's all about the fairness thing, don't you know?


"The crisis that we face in this country is a crisis of equality," she said at POLITICO's Emerging Tax Leaders event on Thursday. "I don't believe we have a huge deficit problem; I don't think we have a scarcity problem. We have a problem of inequality."

The proposal is dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled House, but it represents a continuing concern among liberals that the debate in Washington is focusing on how to cut spending, particularly in programs such as Medicare and Social Security, rather than boosting taxes on the wealthy.

Schakowsky said she wants to "start the conversation as what I see as major crisis in the United States: The fact that we have this growing concentration of wealth at the top. ... Ordinary Americans have not seen their incomes grow for decades."

Wealth concentration has political ramifications, she argued -- pointing to the controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court case that barred the government from capping certain political spending.

"You empower millionaires and billionaires to influence the system," she said.

She argued her proposal would even that out.

Known as the Fairness in Taxation Act, her bill would increase the top rate from the current 39.6 percent rate to 45 percent for people earning between $1 million and $10 million; 46 percent for those making $10 million to $20 million; 47 percent for earnings between $20 million and $100 million; 48 percent for those making $100 million to $1 billion; and 49 percent for anyone earning more than $1 billion.

Those rates "are lower than what they were in the [President Ronald] Reagan years," she said.

It would also tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income for millionaires and billionaires.

The argument "they can afford it" is specious. Government taking half of what someone makes is immoral no matter how much they earn. If the "fruits of one's labor" has any meaning, then how much someone makes shouldn't enter into the equation.

There are many reasons for wealth inequality, not the least of which is that some of us are born smarter, better, harder working, and luckier than others. That never seems to enter into the equation when liberals are talking about inequality because they are unconcerned with human nature and eschew equality of opportunity. They propose the totally ridiculous notion of equality as a result, which is impossible to impose without political favoritism and massive grabs at private property.

The rich will always be an easy target for those who seek to create resentment and fear in order to gain political power and advance their agenda.