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September 15 2010

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Hadley Heath

Well, no one in America - if this uninformed class-warfare ideology keeps spewing from the top.

Members of Congress are trying to figure out where they stand on the Bush tax cuts.  Some favor keeping all the cuts; some only want to keep cuts for the middle class.  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said, "We can't afford to go back to the policies of the past decade when we passed large tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans without paying for them and saw little impact on job creation and years of stagnation in middle-class wages."

Geithner (like a lot of people in the current administration) wants to blame the previous administration for today's problems.  But what's even worse is that Geithner, along with President Obama, keeps using a class-warfare phrase without explaining it: "the wealthiest Americans."

Who are these millionaires, these, "wealthiest Americans?"  Well many of them are no person at all.  Many of them are businesses that file as individuals.  That's the way our tax code works.  And it's easy for Geithner and others to say that their tax packages won't raise taxes on very many "people," because they're just referring to the direct effects.  According to the Tax Foundation, "About 39% of the proposed $630 billion tax increase on high-income taxpayers would come from business income. That's about $246 billion."

It's a tricky two-step.  First, the government taxes these small businesses that file as individuals and end up in the top tax brackets because their profits don't reflect only the profits of one person, but those of a business.  Unfortunately, in the second step, these businesses  pass on the higher cost of doing business--that is, higher taxes-- to their employees, their potential future employees (the currently unemployed), and to consumers.

Playing on the emotions of America's have-nots is not fair without an explanation behind the numbers.  The taxes-to-come on these so-called "wealthiest Americans" are not just taxes on Bill Gates and Donald Trump.  They are taxes on productivity, job creation, and growth - all the things that our economy needs to recover.  Congress should fight to keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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