Poll: Most Americans want to tax the rich
6 Jan, 2011 20:47
A recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll showed most Americans favor raise taxes on the rich in order to balance the budget.
61 percent of Americans who were surveyed indicated tax increases on the rich should be the first step toward resolving deficit and budgetary issues. This comes after a compromise deal between Congress and US President Barack Obama to renew tax cuts on for millions of US citizens, including the very wealthy. The deal extended the cuts for two additional years. However, Republicans who now control the US House of Representatives hope to see them extended permanently.As Americans speak out with their view, Les Leopold, the author of “The Looting of America” explained that the Obama administration has not done enough to address national economic issues. “The American people would love to see action, but Washington, both parties, are frozen in their fear of seeing Wall Street dollars go away from them. This is a tragedy,” he said.In Scandinavian countries taxes on the rich are much higher and are used to pay for valued services. The region however suffered less from the crisis. “Some academics did a study where they asked blind experiments on the average American; what kind of income distribution they would like to see for America. You know what they came up with? They came up with the Scandinavian distribution. That’s what they think is fare,” said Leopold. “The American people want fairness. They don’t see it coming from Washington.” He explained rich Americans blame the government and poor people buying houses they could not afford for the economic crash. They do not blame themselves. The rich feel they deserve their billions and the lobbying force behind them makes sure congress does not raise taxes.“I think the American people are starting to wonder if we have a real democracy or whether if a few people that are wealthy are actually protected from democratic forces,” he added. Recently Obama appointed JP Morgan Chase bank executive William Daley as his new chief of staff, furthering the link between the Obama Administration and the Wall Street banking industry even though he recently claimed to have no interest in helping “fat cat bankers on Wall Street”.“Washington has been in bed with Wall Street for long time,” said Leopold. “This is nothing new. Obama’s administration is filled with people who had ties to Wall Street.” Obama’s policies are solidifying the obvious, he argued. He will allow big banks to get even bigger and allow the rich to get richer.“Wall street crashed the economy,” he said. “There is no doubt in any sane person’s mind that’s what happened. They caused an enormous amount of damage. Eight million jobs disappeared, overnight virtually. It was the largest crash since the great depression. Now, who’s paying for those lost jobs? Who’s paying for all the unemployment benefits? Who’s paying for the lost savings, the crash in home values; all those things that built up the casino? Wall Street again is making wild profits; they are going to have enormous bonuses as if nothing happened. They ought to be paying for the damage that they created.