<I originally posted the following to Facebook at the beginning of 2013 when the income tax rate for top earners was raised to 39.6%>
Jan 3, 2013
Dear Taxpayers Whose Income Taxes Were Raised on 1/1,
Most of you are hardworking, successful people. Countless numbers of you have started and run companies that we’ve worked at, or you’ve worked tirelessly as our managers, coaching us, training us and helping us move up in our careers. The products and services you’ve helped create have enriched our lives, made us more productive, extended our lives or in some cases helped our loved ones reach the end of their lives with less suffering.
You make up around only 1% of the population, yet in recent years you’ve paid 40% of all federal income taxes. So in addition to creating enormous benefits for our society (products, services, countless jobs and training opportunities and all the philanthropic endeavors many of you engage in) we have expected you to fund an outsized proportion of what the representatives we elect decide the government should fund.
Now the president and congress are saying all of that is not enough. We need you to sacrifice even more for society than you currently do. In my opinion, just because a majority can force a minority to do something, it doesn’t mean we should. History is littered with the tragic results of this sort of behavior. I’d prefer that everyone be treated the same and have the same opportunities. That’s my definition of fair. Most of you worked your tails off to get where you are today; many of us aspire to do the same.
On a brighter note, because most of you are successful, smart and have good tax accountants, the chances that you’ll end up paying everything the government is forecasting are slim to none. My hope is that when the president and congress come after the rest of us to pay for these underfunded programs – and we know that day is coming – we’ll finally realize that we can’t keep expecting you and in the future our kids to be responsible for all the debt we’ve been accumulating. We’ll then elect leaders who will have the courage to lead us back to a point where government is spending money we have and no longer spending money we don’t. That is to say, a government that solves problems and is no longer the problem.
I’m sorry we continue to elect leaders who keep expecting you to contribute even more than you do today. I hope we come to the realization that this isn’t sustainable sooner rather than later.
– Nicholas Kerr