Top College News Subscribe to the Newsletter

Taxing the wealthy won’t fix economy

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 01:04

Ah, springtime: that magical season of beach weather, budding blossoms and income taxes.

As Americans rushed to submit their income tax returns Tuesday — an act that may not be in the foreseeable future for some, given the current job climate — customary protesters were in full force. But though the day’s traditional pageantry includes lamenting the over-taxation of all Americans, Tax Day 2012 saw protesters actually advocating for higher taxes — as long as they’re paid by someone else.

The Tampa Bay area featured competing protests, with a Tea Party-sponsored Anti-Tax rally over the weekend and an Occupy Wall Street-inspired “Tax the Rich” soiree in St. Petersburg Tuesday. Yet what the class warriors don’t seem to grasp in their attempts to fix the ailing economy is the sheer scope of out-of-control government spending. Our astronomical national debt and interest are the main catalysts in our country’s race to financial ruin.

Spending will once again have to enter the conversation, as President Barack Obama’s “Buffett Rule,” named after his favorite Wall Streeter Warren Buffet, was defeated this week by the Senate, which valiantly let common sense win out over competing desires to raise taxes, spend other people’s money and get re-elected.

This tax, which would place a minimum tax of 30 percent on American millionaires, was little more than a shortcut around the inflating budget. The U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation found that the $47 billion generated over 10 years by the tax would only amount to about 0.7 percent of the estimated $6.4 trillion in spending over the next decade planned by the Obama administration for the 2013 budget, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has also countered the class rhetoric with solid statistical evidence. In October 2011 on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ryan showed that a 100 percent tax rate on U.S. millionaires only produces enough cash to operate our bloated bureaucracy for four months.

Today, the national debt exceeds $15 trillion and explodes at a rate of $3.5 billion per day and $2 million each minute, according to

Washington’s drunken sailor-like spending priorities have created such a huge problem that the U.S. Senate has even refused to produce a budget proposal for three years, according to the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee. And with 2012 a presidential election year, the chances of any real solutions being offered in the near future are slim to none.

USF students working through college are undoubtedly aware of the bite taxes take out of every hard-earned dollar, and in light of high unemployment and rising prices on everything from food to fuel, tax increases on the uber-rich or the soon-to-be-uber-poor will do little to balance Uncle Sam’s checkbook.

Since my first day at USF in 2009, gas prices have rocketed from $1.81 per gallon to $3.89 per gallon nationally, according to, making transport to school or work a balancing act against the needs for food and shelter.

America’s financial problems reach far beyond the Buffett Rule and empty suggestions from Washington. Hopefully those footing the bill will keep that in mind this November.

Anastasia Dawson is a junior majoring in mass communications.

Recommended: Articles that may interest you


USF Grad and Taxpayer
Thu Apr 26 2012 21:15
Mr. Boring Oracle obviously is FAR from his PhD in economics! What you term "B.S." arguments are actually the conditions that the majority of households live under every day - spending must not exceed revenues, else a deficit arises. The $47 billion figure, if you bothered to read the article, refers to the hypothetical of a 100% tax rate on millionaires. Confiscation of their entire wealth would run the bloated government for only a matter of months! Any attempt at injecting sanity into government spending is met with derision by the Left, while Obama and friends continue to rack up Trillions in new spending. I understand that basic economics and logic are lost on Occupy-types such as yourself, but the gravy train has reached its' end and drastic measures are needed, lest we become Greece! Rioting in the streets may not be boring, but they're also something I don't look forward to!
Boring Oracle
Wed Apr 18 2012 05:16
1. By admitting that 47 billion is a trivial amount not worthy of discussion you have just shot yourself in the foot - discretionary spending then makes up a "trivial" portion of the budget, which is problematic because Republicans clamor to cut them first, as if NPR was causing our budget woes.

2. While 47 billion might be relatively small the the long term debt problem - its a start. Lost in all this sensationalism and Fox News bullshit is the fact that taxes today are at their lowest level in the past 50 years, yet we still hear conservatives/Fox News/ The American brainwashed public talk about how taxes are too high. Where were these people during the 50s? 60s? 70s? 80s? 90s?

Its plain to see that while there have always existed these anti tax, Grover Norquist type fringe groups who believe the government should do nothing at all the 2008 financial crisis managed to allow their brand of bullshit into the mainstream conversation. Most discussions with conservatives, who have all been forced into the idea that taxes should NEVER be raised, ever again, end before they even begin - without new taxes we will NEVER solve our fiscal problems. You don't need a PHd in Economics to realize that we cant cut $1 trillion dollars a year in spending and come out on the other side a stronger America.

log out