“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”* For one thing, they don’t pay much in taxes. When the top rate exceeds 48 percent, they find ways to avoid taxes and “government revenues start to fall.” (“A 70 percent tax rate is a liberal fantasy,” by Holman Jenkins, excerpted from The Wall Street Journal in The Week, Jan 18, 2019 pg. 14.)
As a writer, I hope I won’t be expected to make up the shortfall. According to Authors Guild, the median income for full-time writers was $20,300 in 2017. Part- time writers clocked in at $6,000. (“The Bottom Line,” The Week, January 18, 2019.) Frankly, “I’d kill” to take in $6,000.
A person’s money needs are relative, of course. One country club woman confessed, “I make a million dollars a year, and it’s barely enough to get by in New York City.” (“Traitors To Their Class?” by Norman Vanamee, Town And Country, Feb. 2019, pg. 99.)
Most of us below the country club waterline can’t be expected to rush forward with a handkerchief for this million dollar baby, though she may feel she has a grievance. Living to excess isn’t a standard anyone with common decency can admire – not in a world where people lack clean water and food.
Some of the ultra-rich have begun to sense the discontent rising from the majority of bottom feeders. Not enough wealth is trickling down to them. So, in the interest of staving off revolution, some of the U. S.’s wealthiest, dubbing themselves Patriotic Millionaires, have organized to increase their taxes. Sadly, their efforts have failed, thus far. One has to wonder how hard they’ve tried. There’d be plenty of grass-roots support if they asked for it.
Nonetheless, the patriots, many of them billionaires by now, have posted a video on YouTube. It excoriates the Republican tax reform bill pushed through the Congress last yer. Thirty-five million people have viewed the clip and, still, nothing has changed. (Ibid, pg. 99.)
The Democratic Turks in the Congress may have seen it. Who knows? That may be where they got their revolutionary idea to tax the rich.
*The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald