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Taxes and Rich Guys

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 2

By Taylor Ramsey

Based on my opinion presented in this paper shortly before the November elections, I consider more than half the voters in California to be enablers. They are enablers, because voting to increase taxes has allowed our state representatives and governor to increase expenditures, and discard our need to live within our means. Just over half the voters wanted to give the government more of their own money and force the rest of us to send money to the state and allow historically higher spending.

We were in a fiscal crisis and the Governor, after convincing some of us to send him more of our money, has proposed increased expenses and presented a budget that is the largest in California’s history. There is no other word to describe voters wanting to pay more in taxes than labeling them as “enablers.” How could the majority of voters have not known that our democratically controlled state government would do what they do best … splurge instead of being fiscally responsible? Maybe that is what they wanted.

I am one of those who believe that decreasing taxes does increase revenues to all our government agencies. The past actually supports the theory that leaving more money in personal and business checkbooks will stimulate our economy and increase government revenues. Would it not be better if additional revenues actually came from a booming economy and not from forcing us to give legislators more of our cash to waste?

I have read there are indications that “wealth builders” are beginning to leave California. Why wouldn’t they with California’s current fiscal conditions and with elected “spenders” in control?
The majority of voters in California not only voted to increase personal taxes on themselves through higher sales taxes, but they also decided to increase taxes on the “rich”. Our wise Governor jumped on the President Obama’s campaign to demonize the rich and used it to succeed in increasing taxes in California, whose residents are already the 3rd highest taxed population in the United States. The President placed us in three categories: rich guys, the middle class, and poor people. He pretty much pitted two of the three groups of people against the rich guys and in doing so convinced a majority of people that rich guys were unfair.

Here is the deal for me. I am not a rich guy, but I love rich guys. I believe they do pay their fair share in so many ways. Not only do they support most of us in paying the majority of taxes, but they also employ us and, to put it plainly, they buy stuff … lots of stuff.
Several years ago I worked for a small company owned by a rich guy who bought stuff. He bought stuff I could only dream of purchasing. He once spent over one million dollars on a motor home. Some may find that extravagant. I didn’t because he could afford it. Take a moment to consider the astounding chain reaction he caused with that purchase.

The resources required to create that motor home using raw materials from the earth are astronomical. From loggers, miners, engineers, landlords, heavy equipment and their operators, computers, energy providers, office staff, laborers, tool makers, delivery drivers, makers of trucks and automobiles, etc. The list goes on and on in job creation.

We fail to understand that over time, most people move into and out of the three classes of people described above. If you look at the numbers, I believe you will find that most people who were poor ten years ago are no longer poor and some of those who were rich during the same period have moved down to one of the other classifications. The president does a very good job of ignoring the fact that most of us were poor once and we moved up because of our desire to produce and have more. Just because you are poor today does not mean you will be poor tomorrow.

That is what our form of government is all about … it allows us to use our own initiative to improve ourselves. Pitting a poor guy against a rich guy today may very well find them in reversed roles ten years from now.

Government, please stop over spending and expecting us to provide more money as our taxes are high enough to support a responsible government. President Obama, do not come down so hard on rich people … you must celebrate them and create a climate where they can thrive, employ us and buy stuff!
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Twitter: @TaylorPRamsey