Showing posts from November, 2010

Taxing the Rich vs Reality

Tax the rich! I hear that on MSNBC, read it online, and hear it on radio. The problem is, most of the "rich" are wealthy, which means you'd have to consider income not wealth when talking about "income taxes." You cannot tax what someone has in net worth, which might be property, money, stocks, et cetera. The wealth of Bill Gates, at $45 billion, is not income — the figure is his total wealth. You can't confiscate wealth. Even if you could, it wouldn't help the U.S. budget problem.

And, as my wife points out, Bill Gates and other billionaires paid income taxes on whatever they have already. You can't tax income twice.

I believe this is really about envy. We seem to want to punish success, and blame the successful for any financial problems our nation has. The simple truth is, our government suffers from out-of-control spending.

With a $3.5 trillion annual budget, all the wealth of Bill Gates ($45B) would fund 1.3% (4.7 days) of the U.S. government. …