Would Taxing the Rich be a Good Idea?

Ryan Weaver, Staff

People love getting up-in-arms about the latest political trend. Whether it’s a question about universal basic income, a question about gun control, or a question about more heavily taxing the upper class, asking one of these is sure to send someone spiralling in either frustration or hatred. But it’s time to talk about it now. Why should we not “tax the rich?” They obviously don’t have financial problems, they wouldn’t be rich if they did. They have an overwhelming amount of wealth – the top 1% wealthiest people in the US own more wealth than the bottom 90%, and the richest 10% of people in the world own 76% of the world’s wealth. There is no good reason they shouldn’t be taxed more than those in low class. It’s not like we’re taxing them 98% of their income or something, just more than middle class. Middle class tax bracket is approximately 25%, so we could tax the richest in the world like 28% or 30% and it wouldn’t be much harder of a hit to their income than someone in middle class. In addition, that would also give the government much more money to do things with, like fix some of the biggest problems in our country that they have an obligation to fix – and no, I’m not referring to gender equality. I mean fixing infrastructure because our roads are terrible, especially compared to other places in the world. They could use that money to fund education, but that could be positive or negative. It could make education less of a business, but it could also make education reliant on the government. There are better ways to go about that one. But things that the government controls, and therefore has an obligation to the people to fix, they would be able to do so. In addition, they could start paying off the massive debt we owe to other countries, instead of letting it grow, and that would also allow us to start fixing up our own country. Taxing the rich doesn’t mean distributing money to the people, it just means more freedom for the government to do things, and as long as it doesn’t infringe on the people’s freedom, it would be fine. And it can’t infringe on our freedom, because we are the ones that the government needs to serve.

Opinions and Alternative Suggestions

The Rampage interviewed the student body of Lake Mary High School for opinions regarding this solution to a very serious problem. It was just as divisive as expected. There are many crying out for the rich to finally start doing something worthwhile for our country, and there are others screaming for the poor to get up and stop being lazy. I was surprised at how many people believed such stereotypes, about both the rich and the poor. But, setting aside stereotypes, many of those in support of this idea said that the poor have no ability to pay for themselves, and so the burden to pay taxes falls on the middle class, and the middle class alone simply cannot provide enough money to run an entire country. They mostly stated that the rich pay way too little in taxes, and don’t contribute enough to the state of our country. However, those in support did not necessarily disagree with this. Some did, some stated that the rich worked hard for their money and that we shouldn’t take it away from them. But, why not apply that to all classes and just not tax people at all? So that’s not really a good argument. But there were some who didn’t disagree entirely with those who supported the suggestion. But, they did not believe that the tax rates were the problem. They believe that the issue is more related to tax evasion instead of tax costs. The rich find ways to pay less than they should be, and they end up not paying as much to contribute. The burden falls on the middle class, and while the middle class can do a lot, it can’t support the entire country on its own.


Taxes are not the sole reason our government rarely gets things done, however it is a large component of why we struggle with funding for many projects and why we have to be so careful about how to delegate funds for them, especially in regards to basic problems like infrastructure that contribute to the state of our country in a far more minor but just as significant way. Finding ways to prevent the tax evasion of the rich would likely be the first step in correcting the failure of the government to fix the problems that so largely plague our society.