Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Everybody Likes Robin Hood

Many Democratic candidates advocate for a more graduated system calling for higher incomes to bear a higher tax burden. Republicans often label this as socialistic, wealth redistribution, summing it up as, "stealing from the rich to give to the poor."

Does anyone remember where that phrase comes from? It's the premise for Robin Hood, the outlaw from Sherwood Forest who tried to combat the inequities imposed by the Sheriff of Nottingham. At that time, the Sheriff forced the peasants to carry the entire tax burden all for his personal and professional benefit, as he lived a lavish life aimed at overthrowing the absent King Richard with Prince John.

From what I remember, Robin Hood, the one who stole from the rich to give to the poor, is the hero of the story. We cheer for him to right the wrongs of society.

I can guess the Conservative Republican response. They will say that the story focuses on over taxation. It is a condemnation of high taxes, and we should use it as a lesson that advocates tax cuts. That just is not the case.

Robin Hood is a tale about the unfair distribution of taxes. The wealthy and powerful gave too much (all) of the burden to the lowest class. Those people were left with a difficult choice, pay the taxes and forgo necessities, like food, or suffer the punishment for not paying the taxes.

The current process of tax breaks, itemized deductions, and loopholes allow politicians to reinvent a disproportionate tax burden for the all-to-shrinking middle class who are too rich for government subsidy and too poor for investment-based loopholes.


NorthCountryLiberal said...

They hadn't invented propaganda yet.
The Bush administration managed to get people to vote against their own self interest over and over. Twenty eight percent still think he's working for them while he destroy's their children's future.

The Sheriff of Notingham in cowboy boots.

Katie said...

How do you feel about a "flat tax" system with additional taxes on luxury items?

This would place a high federal sales tax on items like BMWs, yachts, designer items, multi-million dollar homes and other goodies that a wealthy person may decide to splurge on, while reducing the taxes the average American would pay.

The only downside to all this is that it may also discourage spending and have a negative effect on the economy. However, the current high income taxes are also having a negative effect on the economy.

We know from Reagan that tax reductions will actually benefit the economy, while tax increases (such as those seen under Clinton and Bush Sr.) can become burdensome and reduce the standard of living for all Americans.

Although we may all feel it is unfair that some individuals make more money than the average American would be capable of spending, it is also important to note that these very same people are responsible for investing in and spurring the economy.

Placing the tax burden completely on the shoulders of the wealthy will pull the entire country into a downward spiral of economic failure.

However, it is only fair that they pay their fair share of the taxes, especially because many rich people got rich because of the wonderful opportunities in this country. They have a responsibility to support the society and infrastructure which has helped them to become so high.