Taxes should not be raised for those who create jobs and spend their money in Connecticut. Most working people in Connecticut spend their money in the Nutmeg State buying fishing rods, furniture, toilet paper, food, cars, fast food, diapers, bullets and what have you. When the average person has money he or she spends it, which creates demand and more jobs.

For 99 percent of people in Connecticut, tax rates are high enough. However, the approximately 10,900 people in Connecticut who make north of $1 million a year pay a 7 percent marginal rate in state taxes, while their counterparts in California pay a 12.5 percent marginal rate in state taxes. If the wealthiest in our state paid just 2 percent more in taxes (9 percent) for every dollar over one million a year, our budget problems could be greatly lessened.

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There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea. First, the wealthiest in our state will not leave because of higher taxes – that is a myth. It is the middle- and lower-income people who will leave. Second, the wealthiest will still be really wealthy; giving another 2 percent to the state coffers off of any income over $1 million will not cause any hardship to these people.

Third, the money in the hands of the rich never “trickles down.” That is another myth. Money works better when it circulates, and average people do that when they spend it. Fourth, the real “takers” are not poor people, but the rich who are in a position to “take” more than others. “Taking” apparently is the American way. We are all fascinated and perhaps envious of those who can get away with it, but those who “take” way more need to give back more.

There is a solution to Connecticut’s budget deficit. California was in worse shape than Connecticut, but in 2012 raised its top marginal tax rate for the very rich and now California has a budget surplus, and the economy is booming.

We need to raise the top marginal state income tax rate by two percentage points.  The rich can pay.

David Topitzer lives in Tolland.

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9 Comments

  1. Sounds like something out of the Gilded ages in the late 19th and early 20th century. When taxes where far higher from 1935-1980 what class benefited the most? The middle class did- not the 1%. An rank economist knows that the kind of society with high levels of inequality becomes unstable. Add the deleterious increasing effects of climate change. I guess the ultra wealthy will make out better the rest of this. Back in 1920 it was thought the rich where ‘endeared’ as better then the rest of us and their ‘philanthropy’ would help the poor. This idea of all came crashing down in October 1929.The writer above presents a dated view from 100 years ago that will eventually fail as wealth inequality increases and drags on as as carbon levels keep rising in the atmosphere.

    1. I do not understand your point. Nor do I get the connection to “carbon levels” in the atmosphere. Perhaps you could clarify.

      One issue with the “takers” is their ability to get a tax refund greater than what they had paid in over the year. The difference is $$ that we pay into the system that goes back out to the ‘takers’ and does not add to the revenue needed by government.

      1. Carbon levels are at a likely 10 million year high- climate change will tear away at the the fabric of this society by 2030- add the disparity of income and wealth- started 40 years ago. The real takers over the last 40 years have been the landlords , those who rent to others who have taken a huge proportion of the wealth generated. NOT sustainable as the climate continues to destabilize. It makes for a toxic stew far worse then in 1929- what was the leading cause of the crash in 1929? DISPARITY OF WEALTH- unregulated banks, weak social safety net, wild speculation. But then again it was the end of an era dating back to the first Gilded ages starting in 1880. It did come to an end, no? But this time it is made worse by climate change.

      2. Carbon levels are soaring in the atmosphere- the climate in Connecticut, this country and globally will in the next ten years cause us more problems which include: Huge wide disparity in Connecticut and nationally- which over time causes the fabric of our society to disintegrate (climate change will make this worse).

  2. For starters, trickle down economics is not a true economic theory. No prominent economist has ever proposed trickle down economics. Rather, it is political and twists the real relationship between business owners/investors and labor. Government and those who are pro-government wants workers to believe the business owner is the enemy, not entitled to his or her earnings on their investment, but that is only because the worker cannot have more than one master. Government wishes to be that master. In reality, for anyone who owns or has owned a business, a business’s profitability only comes after one has paid their overhead which includes the wages of its employees. By creating conditions where there is incentive to make investment, those who desire to grow their wealth, will do so and workers will benefit. The greater the incentive, the more investment. The more investment, the more demand for human resources. The more demand for human resources, the higher the wages and better the benefits for the average worker. In such a scenario it is a healthy and natural relationship which gives the worker the greatest chance of becoming an owner/investor him or herself. When government claims that it will right the manufactured wrong, it not only curbs the appetites of investors, it also increases the burden upon workers who are either taxed directly upon their income or indirectly upon their consumption of products that must now be increased in price in order to make the risk of business ownership and investment worthwhile.

    An added complexity occurs when we support companies who sell their goods to us, but invest in cheaper labor markets elsewhere or when companies hire those who are here illegally. In both instances the relationship is broken or at best, the workers benefit from the relationship is diminished. What we should want and need are replicas of such working economies around the world so the economic see-saw does not result in a degradation of the American standard of living so that the standard of living elsewhere can theoretically increase. Those who are so virtuous as to feel that is necessary should also feel free to switch places with the individuals they feel morally obligated to help at their own or more often their neighbors expense.

    As for Mr. Mizla’s post below, there isn’t an example of where government promised equality for all that did not turn out to be totalitarian, resulted in poorer living conditions, and that did not result in a humanitarian crisis of one sort or another. Inequality is inevitable and for a number of reasons. Government acting in such a way as to decide or influence business, as we have in our country today, undermines that healthy and natural relationship. That’s not to say government should not ensure a level playing field, as is the constitutional intention, but it should not be in a position to decide winners, losers, or who can enter the game. As for helping others, this country actually did very well when charity was delivered by individuals, through civic organizations, or other non-government institutions. Government as the means of charitable outsourcing and for righting “perceived” injustice, such as guaranteeing equality, is nothing short of dangerous.

  3. If the top 1% of earners who make on average $2.4M per year (10,900 of them, as you say) all pay 2% more on marginal income over $1M, that would yield $1.4M x .02 x 10,900 or $305M. Not chump change, but less than 3% of the current CT budget. That assumes that none of these folks decide that they’ve had enough state taxes and leave Connecticut. You do know that these folks already pay 41% of Connecticut income taxes, right?

    Lets assume also that your proposed tax, combined with regressive tolls, sin taxes, paid leave payroll tax, and elimination of sales tax exclusions somehow balance this year’s biennial budget (which is far from certain). What is your plan when in the next biennial budget the Governor is chasing another billion or two to feed the insatiable beast that is unfunded/unsustainable state worker retirement benefits? More taxes? What new and exciting taxes will we see then? This is the third iteration of these billion dollar deficits with several more iterations to follow. So far, all three iterations have been funded by more taxes. Lets see how many taxpayers of any income range are left to foot the bill after the next several iterations of tax and spend budgets.

    Government doesn’t create wealth; they just take from the private sector and redistribute it. The more they take, the less we taxpayers have to spend on other things like staying in this state and creating more wealth. Is taxing us more really a good thing for this state? The tax foundation estimates that we already pay more in taxes than we do for food, clothing, and housing combined. Will you be satisfied when we’ve paid 50% of our income in combined taxes? We’re nearly there.

    I’m sorry that you have envy for others who are more successful than you. I celebrate those people and wish we had more of them instead of driving them to another state through short-sighted fiscal policy.

      1. We already have 2 gas taxes that charge 62 cents/gallon (among highest in the nation) and yet we never have enough money for infrastructure. Why? Because legislators have raided the transportation fund to balance the state budget. What makes you think that toll revenue will be used for infrastructure?

  4. Really? holding California out as the model of efficiency? People are leaving that state faster than CT.

    Many people who are obsessed with egalitarianism see some of the hardest working people, the people who run businesses, people who take risks, people who fuel the economy. So these are the people we call “Takers”. No! these people are the “Makers”.

    People who put their houses on the line, take out second mortgages to keep their business running and their employees paid. If someone sells his/her house in Fairfield County, most likely they are going to be in the 1% that year. The 1% are not a group of misers who are seeking ways to :”take” things unfairly. They change constantly. Yeah, there might be a few “trust babies”, who have never put in a days work in their lives (most are politicians). But why should anyone tell them they have made enough money They find a need and risk everything to fill it.

    Why is it fair for someone to tell a man or woman that they have to give their hard-earned money to someone else? And you call them “Takers”.

    I remember when Barack Obama said something like the essay above and ended by saying, “How much money does one person need?” I would have loved have had the opportunity to tell him, “I don’t know, but I sure don’t want YOU deciding how much money I can earn.”

    Why is it acceptable for someone to threaten someone else with jail, if they don’t hand over more money. It is called Stealing.

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