Over at Robert Reich's Blog, Reich argues that by getting out of Iraq, letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and increasing taxes on the very rich, we can get rid of the budget deficit, pay down some national debt, and make investments in infrastructure at home. Here's one piece of the proposal:
[I]f the marginal income tax rate on Americans whose yearly income exceeds $10 million were raised to 70 percent, and the rate for those who earn between $5 million and $10 million a year were raised to 50 percent, federal revenues in 2008 would increase by $105 billion. By my calculation, a tiny annual wealth tax of one-tenth of 1 percent on all net worth exceeding $5 million -- a tax that would affect only 50,000 households, or fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of the nation's taxpayers -- would yield an additional $100 billion.
Remember that a progressive income tax has been a cornerstone of our fiscal system since 1913 -- and our current non-progressive and often regressive tax is the anomaly. In World War II, rich Americans paid a marginal rate of over 68 percent of their incomes in federal taxes, even after exploiting every tax loophole they could find. In the 1950s, under Dwight Eisenhower, the highest marginal rate was over 90 percent, and even after using all the deductions and credits, the rich paid almost 52 percent.
I love this guy. Tax the rich! Seriously.