I do not know how many Australians receive government subsidies as a percentage of the population, but currently in the USA is is very high. The more people who are unemployed, the higher the public assistance percentage climbs. The US deficit is well above the current and near future GDP, and unless manufacturing is restored to its previous levels, we do not see any instant cures on the horizon. Even at a tax rate of 100%, $ trillions in debt cannot be paid off.
The solution would be, IMO, for the government not to spend more than what it takes in, and to float bonds to take up the shortfall. Projecting future revenues on current income has failed miserably. Funding ongoing wars, most shown to be totally unnecessary, must end as the cost of the military industrial complex is draining America's wealth.
The rich can always pack up and leave, while the rest must stay and tough it out.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Graeme" <graeme@...> wrote:
> Artemistroy wrote
> Yes. See below.
> "It's true: During World War II, there was 94 percent marginal income tax
> rate. And what's more, the president had originally proposed a 100 percent
> tax rate. In those days, everyone made contributions for the war, and the
> wealthy made the biggest ones. Labor journalist Sam Pizzigati argues that
> this shared sacrifice from the top down helped define the "Greatest
> Generation" and pulled the country-including the elites-together in
> Graeme: thanks Artemis. It strikes me that most arguments over the goodness
> or badness of taxation might be driven by the apriori political position of
> the proponents. It also seems that taxation (however it is named) is the
> only real revenue governments have, so if this is in shortfall relative to
> the services the populace requires, then governments can either borrow, or
> reduces services.
> I would advocate that the problem might be solved, in principle, by state
> cooperation to shut down tax shelters, and an approach to taxation that
> taxes EXCESS - however that might be defined within a jurisdiction.
> Taxation of excess - consumption, wealth, & income (particularly if
> unearned) - might be a starting point. Here in Australia, we have a
> super-profits tax pending, at this stage on mining interests where royalties
> (a payment to the common-wealth of the nation) are considered insufficient
> to deliver services and infrastructure (to both the commonwealth and the
> miners too).
> A tax on excess might be targeted from the top down (as described above) and
> potentially allow the vast majority to still be motivated by self-interest
> to aspire to a better life for them and theirs.
> My guess is that those claiming class envy as a driver are misguided, or
> themselves benefitting from the accumulation and hoarding of excess. I
> suspect that mostly we aspire to emulate those who are doing better than
> ourselves, but envy those who take excess (note that I don't consider that
> they earn it).
> Graeme Deeth B.V.Sc., B.A. (Psych), B.Psych (Hons 1st class), FACCP.
> P.O. Box 548
> Southport BC
> QLD 4215
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> Why Raising Taxes on the Rich Is So Hard
> December 8, 2011 RSS Feed Print
> Washington needs money. The wealthy are prospering. Much of the middle
> class, meanwhile, is falling behind. Normal patterns of elective politics
> would suggest that tax hikes on the rich are in the bag.
> [See 11 things wrong with Congress.]
> That's what has happened before. Taxes on the wealthy soared during the
> Great Depression. After World War II, the top marginal rate went as high as
> 91 percent, staying there for 14 years before beginning a gradual decline
> toward today's level of 35 percent. Recent polls show that a solid majority
> of Americans--between 60 and 70 percent--favor higher taxes on the wealthy
> to help pay down the national debt and finance other priorities. There's
> even a group of "patriotic millionaires" who have pleaded with Congress to
> raise taxes on them and their fellow 0.1 percenters.