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Millionaires for higher taxes are wrong

SabrinM012810_optBY MURRAY SABRIN

There is an outfit called the Responsible Wealth Network (RWN) comprised of upper income folks who think they are not paying enough in federal taxes. They and their supporters believe that "economic justice" requires allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of 2010 and increasing taxes on dividends and capital gains.

In New Jersey one of the leading supporters of the RWN is Eric Schoenberg of Franklin Lakes. Schoenberg is a former investment banker and heir to his father's fortune. He opposed the Bush tax cuts, took the money he saved on his taxes and donated his windfall to charity.

Schoenberg's private philanthropy (is there any other kind?) reveals he wants to use his money to help other people. And that's the way it should be for all American. Using our own money to do good works.

In short, Schoenberg and his fellow RWN colleagues are doing a mitzvah-a good deed-and they should be applauded for putting their money where their hearts are and helping fund charities across America.

Philanthropy is the best way to help members of society who need temporary assistance-healthcare, counseling, income, and other social services so they eventually can become financially independent.

However, Schoenberg makes the egregious assertion that there is a "conservative" financial theory supporting lower marginal tax rates, which he believes is incorrect and ineffective. There are only correct or incorrect financial theories. Taxing people at higher tax rates will cause people to work less hard and contribute less to charities. This has been known literally for centuries. (See Charles Adams' wonderful book, For Good and Evil, The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization.)

The RWN is a project of United for a Fair Economy, an organization with a mission to raise "awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. We support and help build social movements for greater equality."

In other words, UFE supports the redistribution of economy, and their goals, strategy and rhetoric have a common theme, namely, that the marketplace is "unfair" to most individuals and families and that the government has the power but not the will to make things right by imposing higher taxes on upper income individuals and families.

UFE's vision is to have "a global society where prosperity is better shared." Enough said.

The greatest threats to prosperity are not maintaining the Bush tax rates on upper income individuals and families. The greatest threats to prosperity are runaway spending in Washington DC and the trillion dollar plus budget deficits as far as we can see, the unsustainability of Medicare and Social Security, the Federal Reserve's debasement of the dollar and the costly military-industrial complex.

Schoenberg and his fellow super wealthy friends need to recognize the real enemy of the people: the welfare-warfare state. The solution is obvious to lovers of liberty and proponents of sustainable prosperity-less government at home and abroad, less taxes, and sound money to increase wealth so we the people can support charitable institutions in the true spirit of philanthropy-voluntarism.

Murray Sabrin is professor of finance at Ramapo College. He was the Libertarian Party nominee for governor in 1997 and a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and 2008. Check for more of his writings.


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Comments (1)
1 Friday, 21 January 2011 21:31
Millionaires need to pay their fair share proportionately to their income. Tax cuts are relative. The lower income folks get a few bucks; these cuts are to benefit the rich. RWN is absolutely right. Bush tax cuts should have expired. The money also needs to come from the thieves that steal it, namely corporations, with the aide of corrupt politicians. Teachers, cops, public servants are being attacked because it's easy...their pensions are not wrecking the economy..It's nonesense and the media should do a better job educating the public. Give me a break!

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