I have upper-middle income, yet I’m far from the 1 percent. The loss of federal tax credit for state and local taxes hurts me. My taxes will go up.
I don’t mind paying taxes for government services like schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, health and safety inspectors, environmental protection and astronauts. But I am taxed more than I should be because the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent isn’t paying its fair share. They have gotten tax exceptions written into the tax laws, which enable them to amass most of this nation’s wealth.
They benefited from previous generations of taxpayers who built the physical infrastructure and social institutions that enabled them to become so wealthy, yet they feel little responsibility to return the benefit to future generations.
The extreme concentration of wealth distorts the politics of our democracy, impedes the function of our free-market economy and decreases our opportunities for “pursuit of happiness.” Republicans want to eliminate the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax that balance this inequality to a small degree. Excessive wealth amassed in one generation must be partially returned to the country rather than remain concentrated in hands of a few fortunate dynasties.
The tax plan’s proponents say that lowering taxes for the rich will create jobs. This is the trickle-down theory in which the poor, who subsist on table scraps dropped by the rich, can be served by giving the rich bigger meals. It is false and deceptive, and benefits only those who already have wealth and power.