1954. Republican president (Dwight Eisenhower). Republican majority in Senate. Republican majority in House.
Top marginal income tax rate: 91%
2010: Democratic president (Barack Obama). Democratic majority in Senate. Democratic majority in House.
Top marginal income tax rate: 35%
Who is the socialist?
Business Insider had an article on the history of income tax rates: www.businessinsider.com
"Of course, George Bush had broken a campaign promise by raising rates ("Read my lips: No new taxes"), so he was dismissed. And Bill Clinton came in and jacked the top bracket back up to 39.6%. And, lo and behold, the economy boomed! And the deficit shrank! And eventually, we even had a surplus."
"In 2003, the top bracket dropped to 35%. The deficit reappeared--and then soared. And, interestingly, we saw a repeat of the 1920s: An unsustainable economic boom that ultimately collapsed, followed by a massive recession and huge deficits."
"Obviously, no one likes tax increases, but the similarities between the 1920s-1930s and the 2000s-2010s seem hard to ignore. Today, after an era of very low taxes, we have enormous inequality and a huge deficit. Last time that happened, the top tax rate soared (and, it should be noted, the economy boomed--even with the top rate high)."
The insidious infiltation of Ayn Rand-ish libertarian language into mainstream political discourse is about the most dangerous change among self-styled conservatives in recent years. You see people making insane assertions like "Taxes are stealing. They are a violation of the 10 commandments!"
I wonder if such conservative icons as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan ever said anything as stupid as "taxation is theft".
Don't say: "you are free to contibute to the national debt all you want." That's not an argument. In my personal tax returns I will seek to pay as little as possible within the bounds of the law. You should, too.
Don't say: "it's easy to call for higher taxes if you aren't paying them yourself" or "you're just jealous! you just want to punish rich people" No. We live in a society and we make laws and rules together. Every person on this forum expresses opinions about the behaviors and duties of others. Some of those opinions are about etiquette - "he should respond to my emotigram!" Some are about life choices - "she shouldn't date that guy". Some are about responsiblities of citizenship. "he should have to pay more taxes". I wish we didn't have to pay taxes, but it's a matter of trade-offs. We want the benefits of government. (And the large majority of Americans, including those on CM, want those benefits). We have to pay for them.
Also, please don't talk down to me about how taxes tend (all other things being equal) to suppress economic growth at the margin. I KNOW that, and anyone who has read my posts over the past few months knows I know that. I also know that the big picture is more complicated than that.