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Americans seem oblivious to the lessons of history, whether it be getting involved in far away wars or trying to set tax rates. Here is some historic tax rates (from treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports).

From 1950 to 1963 the highest tax rate, on earnings over $250k was 91% (92% '52 & '53), with the national debt in all those years rising from $257B to $305B, only about 20% in 13 yrs. These are also the years the federal government was able to build the interstate highway system, a time when average American families prospered and the highest earners (think Elvis) were able to amass great wealth despite paying a 90% tax rate.

In 1964 the top rate was lowered to 77%, then 70% in 1965, where is stayed until 1980. In that 15 year period the national debt nearly tripled to $907B. Is not the connection clear?

In 1981 it was cut to 50%, then 38% etc, and in general the lower the top rate fell, the faster the dept grew, and the less services the federal government (such as building infrastructure) was able to provide. The rich got richer while everyone else grew relatively poorer as the wealth gap grew and grew, with a smaller and smaller percentage of Americans controlling a larger and larger share of the total wealth.

Now please, in view of history, give me one valid reason for not taxing the highest earners at a much higher rate.

szyskival, August 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Read more: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2010/08/30/what-if-tax-rates-where-set-by-lottery/?xid=newsletter-daily#ixzz0yH35QDAy

random/taxes.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/08 19:00 (external edit)
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