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Tax The Rich?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I rarely get political on here because, well, I don't like controversy. But I've been thinking about a couple of things lately. That sounded wrong, I think a lot, but lately I've been thinking about this argument of "taxing the rich."

My business is general contracting. Most of our clients are extremely wealthy. Sometimes we're the general and sometimes we're the sub.

The company is now working on several projects for some very rich clients as subcontractors and we have several smaller general contracting jobs going on as well. 

One of the sub jobs is for a young couple that are self made millionaires. They're spending money, lots of money. The drapes in their home alone will be around $200,000-$300,000. Someone had to measure for the drapes....job. Someone has to make the Someone has to sew the

There's a designer....job. There are a myriad of subcontractors on this 13,000 sq foot house, jobs, jobs, and more jobs. There's a crap load of supplies needed for this project, more money into the economy.

This one family alone is creating hundreds of jobs for hundreds of families. Hundreds of families are able to pay their bills because ONE family has incredible business sense and has built a winning company. This one family is making it possible to get hundreds of families off of unemployment and back in the workforce. Those families are paying taxes, creating more revenue. Those families are also able to buy more of what they want, not to mention what they need.

So let's tax this family heavily, because after all they obviously have more money than the rest of us, that's just not fair goes the argument. Let's punish them for their business creativity and let's make sure their income is overly taxed.  There goes their ability to create these jobs. They'll hang on to more of what they have. All of those revenue creating jobs are gone. More people will continue to be on unemployment and welfare draining the US of much needed revenue.

I know this isn't a new argument, but it sure hits home.


Tracie Nall June 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM  

You get an amen from me, too, on this one!

Cheryl D. June 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM  

Sorry, I don't agree! Personally, anyone who spends $300,000 on drapes can certainly afford to give a little of their wealth to help fund schools. Public schools are hurting big time! I do agree that no one should be punitively taxed. But getting the tax rates back to where they when Reagan was president is not a bad thing.

I don't agree that this will cost people their jobs. It might mean that CEOs might not pocket as huge as salary as they had. But I don't think a CEO making $40 million in a year vs. $50 million would really alter the number of workers he has tending his mansion.

When I hear of corporations like GE not only paying 0 taxes--heck, even getting millions in refund (refund of what, I don't know), it makes me ill. Corporations should have to pay some taxes too--just like everyone else does!

BTW, I consider myself to be middle class, but our income is high enough that we would actually most likely have our taxes raised along with the ultra wealthy. I'm okay with that!

The Bipolar Diva June 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM  


I understand your point, however between federal, state, county and city taxes they pay 55% in taxes and that doesn't even begin to touch their property taxes.

The people we've encountered on this job that haven't worked in two years are working, they're buying, they're spending and the people they're buying from are doing the same.

When I see Portland teachers and schools being underfunded and then Portland turns around and spends millions on bike lanes and the arts, I think there's a big disconnect somewhere.

There's so much waste in the system that if that was addressed so many problems would be solved.

All I know is that there are hundreds of employees on their job that haven't worked in months and months, now they're back happily working and off the welfare rolls, therefore opening up funds for things that are needed, like education.

The Bipolar Diva June 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM  

Oh Cheryl,

By the way, even though we disagree I totally love you!

Unknown June 19, 2011 at 7:23 PM  

You're preaching to the choir with me. Biden said the "rich" (people who make over $200k/yearly HA!) should be "patriotic" and want their taxes increased. Obama wants successful businesses to have their taxes increased - who does he think will be creating most of these jobs? Successful businesses who will have less money if he gets his way! We need to get him out of office. Sorry if I sound "unpatriotic". (rolling eyes)

Cheryl D. June 19, 2011 at 8:46 PM  

You know I love you too! Difference of opinion aside, I think there's always room for respectful disagreement!

The Bipolar Diva June 19, 2011 at 9:04 PM  

I know Cheryl

I think having to parent the kids we have has taught us as much, or more, than it's taught them.

Rob-bear June 19, 2011 at 10:22 PM  

I'm not in favour of "punishing" taxes for anyone. But neither do I support plans for relieving rich people from paying a reasonable share of the tax load.

I agree with Cheryl. If those people about who you wrote had drapes in the range of $20,000 to 30,000 (instead of $200,000 to 300,000) they would still need people to measure the drapes, make the fabric, sew the drapes, do the designing, etc. There would be no job loss with less expensive drapes.

I have little sympathy with the self-centred rich who "cry poor." I have considerable sympathy with those who not only pay their taxes, but use their wealth within their communities to make those communities better.

The Bipolar Diva June 19, 2011 at 10:27 PM  

If you knew these people I think your opinion would change of them. They no where near "cry poor." They know they are blessed and give freely of their time and their hard earned money. But they've also put a hell of a lot of people to work and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Gucci Mama June 19, 2011 at 11:32 PM  

I have a huge fight to pick with anyone who seeks to punish success and redistribute wealth. In fact, I even have an issue with the term "tax the rich" because it serves to promote this class envy/class warfare perpetuated by the left to get people riled up about "fairness".

Here's a wakeup call. Life isn't fair and it's not meant to be. Quite frankly, it's not my problem if you choose not to apply yourself in the same manner to the same things that I have and therefore don't enjoy the same success I do. It is certainly not then my responsibility to provide you for free with what I've worked my ass off for.

Diva, this is spot on. Rather than whining about how much people choose to spend on their drapes, we should be glad at the hundreds of families they're currently feeding by pumping all that money into the economy. Rather than punishing them further for their success (anyone who doesn't think 55% isn't disgustingly outrageous is dicked in the nob) we should be celebrating the fact that the American Dream is still very much alive.

I see many people repeating lefty talking points about taxing the rich or the so called rich (200 grand a year is by no means rich) but I see no one volunteering to give their hard earned money to the government beyond what they're already taxed. Astonishing how generous liberals are with other people's money.

Snowbrush June 20, 2011 at 12:45 AM  

Trickle-down economics it was called during the Reagan administration. Of course, it does rely on ever greater consumption by the privileged few in order to keep bread on the serfs' tables.

Red Brick June 20, 2011 at 3:20 AM  

Sorry no sympathy here. Did you know there is a max on contribution to social security tax? The more you make the current tax laws allow for a plateau or max on certain taxes? So I pay a percentage and someone lets say twice my salary pays half of the same percentage? Sounds fair.

MarkD60 June 20, 2011 at 6:00 AM  

Before I left the US, I worked two full time jobs for 10 years. I paid the max tax, a solid 30%. (white, single male).

It is a very complicated issue. The working man has every penny taxed, because every penny is reported to the IRA. He has no secrets.

The rich have ways to hide income from the IRA.

I don't know the answer to a fair tax system, but I know I was tired of paying so much taxes, and never getting ahead, while someone else has luxury cars and fancy jewelry... and food stamps.
The working class and the rich aren't the problem, the problem is the freeloading welfare recipients.

If a person makes a million dollars, why should they be required to give a portion away to someone else doesn't want to work that hard? I resent someone young, strong and healthy looking not working at all and getting food stamps while I work two jobs and could not afford the things I wanted because I was taxed to death.

A LOT of working people are leaving the USA for this reason. Verify this for yourself.

Classic NYer June 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM  

You know, poor people create jobs too. Poor kids have to be educated in schools... where there are teachers, teacher's aides, lunchroom workers, janitors, etc. These are all jobs. Poor people buy food in bodegas and grocery stores... where there are cashiers, butchers, etc. These are jobs as well. Heck, the people working at the welfare office are employed, are they not? And everyone working for the MTA, which caters predominantly to poor and middle class people (because rich people don't take the bus) is also employed, not so?

Furthermore, those people who "made their millions" most likely did not do it by working 27 hour days. They probably did it by mobilizing other people who are not millionaires to do most of the work for them. Let's be real: there is a maximum amount that a human being can work, and it's all a matter after that of whether you're working to build someone else's riches, or you have other people working to build yours. If Mr. Clever Rich Millionaire in the corner got taxed 90% and I got taxed nothing he'd still end up with more than what I worked all year to amass... and he DIDN'T WORK ANY HARDER than I did to get it. In fact, I probably CONTRIBUTED to the amassing of his wealth in one way or another whether by working for him for a ridiculously low wage or buying his product at a ridiculously high price.

Oh, and just so we're clear... I'm not advocating a 90% tax, haha.

Classic NYer June 20, 2011 at 9:22 AM  

the problem is the freeloading welfare recipients.

Hm... I'm a welfare recipient, actually. I don't have a luxury car; I take the subway. My jewelry looks fancy (and thanks for noticing :D), but I got it from the 2-dollar jewelry store... and paid sales tax on it even though I wasn't selling anything.

I've got a girlfriend who's a welfare recipient. The government pays for her medication to control her schizophrenia so that she can hold a job and be a productive member of society. Before meds, she was running the streets committing crimes and misdemeanors on schizophrenic episodes.

Yeah... we're not all freeloaders. I would venture that most of us are not, in fact.

Pheromone Girl June 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM  

I don't know about all those other folks, but as my income increases, my donations do, as well - as does the amount of time I spend working with those that have less than I do. I support a family, buy things that we need from local companies whenever possible, and look forward to a day when I can buy or build a house again.

Not so long ago, I was one of those teetering on the verge of disaster and not a day goes by that I forget it. I would never buy $300,000 worth of curtains (even if I had that much money) - but I would buy myself new curtains if I move into a new house.

At the end of the day, it's their money, not mine. I like having my name on my checking account - they deserve the same.

Nice post, Diva!

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM  


There are truly legitimate situations to be certain. But there are many more that aren't. They simply don't want to better themselves and they have a sense of entitlement that's unreal. Unfortunately I know this first hand with extended family members, people we've worked with through the state and even a couple of people I ride with from time to time. One example is a man that got laid off several years ago. Straight up told me that he was no way going to look for another job, that he "made" all he needed on unemployment and food stamps and then when his unemployment ran out he was going to file for social security disability, that he had no intention of working again and his retirement would be paid for. That I have a HUGE problem with.
I know not every person on welfare is like him, but far too many are. Here where we have a 2 year limit on welfare after you have a child, moms continually get pregnant again right at the magic cut off line. Just like with everything around us there is tremendous fraud and abuse of the welfare system and it gives people in legitimate need a black eye.

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM  


Oh yes, Reagan, my hero.

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

Mark has a great point. We could tax this young couple that my company is currently doing work for, you know, just to be "fair", we could tax them to the point that they close their business in the US and move off shore taking thousands of jobs with them.

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 10:55 AM  


I LOVE your last line.

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 11:31 AM  


I'm more than happy to be a serf if the privileged few spend their money, keep my employees employed and allow me to keep food in my kids mouths and a roof over my head.

Being in a job that demands the "few," and also the serfs, to spend their money I felt this economic fall in a very real way.

I don't have a job where I sit behind a desk earning a regular paycheck in a secure job. I'm not a government, or union worker with outrageous pension plans.

We've almost lost everything we had because of it. I've lost almost $500k in equity in my house. Just to be clear I paid no where near that for my home. We built our house ourselves with Ms. Diva here laying tile, cutting siding, painting and doing trim work. My retirement is down to $35,000 and I hung on to my house by the skin of my teeth, having to refinance it several times to feed the kids, make the bills and survive.
Yep, I drive a luxury car. But what no one knows is that I inherited my mother's Jaguar and traded that in for my Mercedes. My payments on it are about the same as if I'd bought a Tahoe.
A few years ago we were making money, lots of money. We had numerous employees and tons of subcontractors we kept solidly booked for years on end. All because of the privileged few, and for them I thank God....Oh wait sorry, hehe... I'm very thankful for them and their desire to spend their money.

Red Brick;

I know all about the ss tax. I pay half of it on every employee I have. Business owners are taxed in ways most people never hear about. Matching ss tax, B&O tax, corporate tax, Labor and Industries tax, and here in Oregon taxes on the mass transit system, and numerous other taxes that cut into my bottom line.

In General:

Is our tax system fair? No, in my opinion. But Gucci has a point, neither is life. It's not fair my daughter was raped, it's not fair my grandson died when he was 3 months old because some asshole failed to disclose he had a STD that was fatal to newborns but could have been treated if we had known. It's not fair my kid and Cheryl's daughter were born on the Autism spectrum, it's not fair that some of my kids suffer with fetal alcohol effects and other disabilities because their bio parents were alcoholics and drug addicts. But we make the best of it. It's not fair that a negligent doctor caused my mother's and my cousin's deaths. It's not fair my son was nearly killed in a hit and run by a drunken football coach. but that being said, I'll reserve my right for the "pursuit of happiness." We don't have the right to be happy, only to pursue it. Boy I think I got off track here. Maybe I should take my meds, oh, and it's not fair that I was one of the lucky to be born with bipolar disorder, but I don't let that get in my way. I do my best with what I have. I guess this was a post in a comment. Sorry about that.

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

Pheromone Girl;

Well said. I loved you before I even knew you I think.

Maasiyat June 20, 2011 at 11:57 AM  

If people like you ran the country, it would be a much better place.

The Bipolar Diva June 20, 2011 at 12:32 PM  


Can you even imagine me doing that if I ran out of valium? hahaha....yikes!

Holly June 21, 2011 at 2:22 AM  

:D ((HUGS))

Classic NYer June 23, 2011 at 6:52 PM  

I know not every person on welfare is like him, but far too many are.

This is true... some people on welfare are get-over artists... but that's no worse than some wealthy people who hide their money in overseas accounts or use illegitimate write-offs as a shield so that they don't have to pay their fair share of taxes while they cruise along in their jaguars down the highway that someone else's tax dollars funded. Or people like Gov. Christie (NJ) who thought it was okay to fly in a state-funded helicopter to go see his son's baseball game. And that's not to mention shitfaces like the whole crew of Wall Street jackasses who managed to bring the global economy to its knees through irresponsible at best and evil at worst decisions, and then have the nerve to beg for a bailout in the form of tax dollars while sending the CEOs home with millions of dollars in bonuses... and THEN have the DOUBLE nerve to suggest cutting the medical and dental benefits of SCHOOL TEACHERS (who make about 30-60k, btw) to make up the shortfall. To mirror your words, I know everyone with money is not like that, but far too many are... and those who ARE like that are robbing tax payers not of a couple hundred a month, but BILLIONS of dollars. Small-time welfare thieves don't have that kind of power. They can't crash an economy by stealing and hoarding crumbs. Not that I'm advocating for welfare fraud, but to use a few small-change shucksters as a scape goat while the grand larcenists and embezzlers pad their mattresses with tax dollars is a little counter productive, I think.

The Bipolar Diva June 23, 2011 at 8:14 PM  

Hey, wait I used to drive a Jaguar! But I actually bought it from my dad after my mom died and had to roll into my mortgage so I'll be paying for it for YEARS to come.
There is good and evil on both sides to be sure. But I feel that if someone works hard for their money they should pay their share, not everyone else's share, and that if someone decides they want to sit on the couch all day eating twinkies and watching the soaps...oh soup for you on my dime. There are truly legitimate reasons for public assistance and I'll be the first to admit it but there's fraud everywhere and it should be uncovered and eliminated. But if someone that has worked to build a business and put thousands of people to work wants to spend 300k on drapes I could really care less. I don't want anyone telling me how to spend my money, and for the record I do pay my taxes, although this last three years on installments, but I pay them. Instead of bitching and complaining about who has what and who has not, the politicians need to get off their collective asses and figure out what in the hell they need to do to get rid of the waste on all levels. I mean why should I pay for pickle research or shrimp treadmills, as the new commercial says?

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