A recent article in the "Los Angeles Times" maintained that government should "put a levy on wealth, not just income."
It was written by two law professors at Yale University. The authors claimed that these rich people did not pay enough income taxes and suggested putting a 2 percent wealth tax on all persons with assets over $7.2 million.
There is no consideration that these are the people who own businesses and are the backbone of the economy. These are the people who do most of the hiring, providing the jobs which keep most citizens employed. These are the people who, along with their employees, pay the most in taxes: Income, social security and medical benefits.
The authors tried to bend the truth to fit their beliefs. It is true that the top 1 percent of the people earn about 25 percent of income and control 35 percent of the wealth. It is also true that these same people paid 38 percent (2008) of all federal income taxes. How is that for equality? Earn 25 percent of income and pay 38 percent of taxes. Let us not forget that the wage earners in the lowest 50 percent income bracket pay little or no federal income taxes.
That is one reason I would support a national sales tax: What you don't spend, you get to keep. It is also true that the wealthiest people spend the most, so they would still end up paying the most in taxes.
If you look at Forbes' list of the 400 wealthiest Americans (all billionaires), you will find that their combined wealth is $1.4 trillion, led by Bill Gates at $54 billion.
Federal spending in 2011 was $3.82 trillion, or $10 billion per day. Total wealth of the billionaires could only keep the government running for 131 days.
Taxing away the billionaires' wealth wouldn't be wise even if it could balance the federal budget. Most of these people are not "old money."
Many of the nation's wealthiest citizens have earned their wealth from relatively new companies that have changed the shape of the economy over the past several decades, led by Bill Gates and Microsoft.
Walmart built the fortunes of three of the richest 10 Americans.
Other billionaires have earned their fortunes building companies such as Apple, Dell, Nike, Oracle, Google, Facebook and Home Depot. Their wealth helps them continue to expand these and other businesses, benefiting all of us.
Proposing to solve Washington's deficit woes by taxing the rich may win applause from many liberals, but the reality is that the federal government's addiction to spending is a habit even the wealthiest Americans cannot afford to support for long.
The Gainesville Times' opinion page of Sept. 22 had an article entitled: "Is it about good Samaritans or bad government?"
The article looked at some of the "give away" programs of the federal government. It is my belief that the government has usurped what the churches used to do when it comes to feeding and clothing the poor.
President Barack Obama has put forth the idea to eliminate charitable deductions. That's just another way to make more folks dependent on the federal government while increasing the taxes on the wealthy.
I thank God for Lumpkin County's Community Helping Place, as do the many families who use their services. CHP and those who volunteer their services are God's angels on earth.
Daniel Boone once got into trouble back home in Kentucky when he voted for a small pension for an 1812 War widow. His constituents claimed that they would not vote for him again because it was not the government's duty to take money from the public treasury and give to individuals.
The Times article cited above quoted President Grover Cleveland (D) when he denied aid to an orphanage: "I will not be a party to stealing money from one group of citizens to give to another group of citizens. No matter what the need or apparent justification, once the coffers of the federal government are opened to the public, there will be no shutting them again..."
Later Democrats and Republicans ignored Cleveland's warnings and the coffers of the federal government have been open for decades.
From the looks of the economy, we are reaping what we have sown. It looks like the often mentioned difference between conservatives and liberals is true. The conservative wants to spend his money as he sees fit; the liberal wants to spend the conservative's money as the liberal sees fit.
Rep. Amos Amerson can be reached at 689 N. Chestatee Street, Dahlonega, GA 30533; phone (706) 864-6589; e-mail email@example.com. Or contact Gerald Lewy at (706) 344-7788.