Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soak The Rich?

I'm all for it. So is Oregon.
Here's the interesting bit: the rich take far more advantage and have been rewarded to a far greater degree, than the rest of the country. I can say that as one of the fairly well off.
We don't have more lavish rest rooms than the average American, unless we, you know, buy them, stuff like that, but we do get treated really nicely in our really nice communities and by the really friendly merchants whom we frequent. We have really good police and fire protection. We have really good garbage pick up, and if we run into a problem like a pothole on the street, we pick up the phone and call our local representative, and it gets fixed.
Money will do that.
In turn, we are expected to plow our money back into the community, not stash it away. We're expected to employ people, spend money to create jobs, and pay a bit more in taxes than the average American.
I've never had a problem with that. After all, America's resources have been very good to me. I owe it to my country. It's my civic duty as a patriot.
So as I watch the uproar over higher taxes, both at the Federal as well as the state and local levels, and I hear others, many of whom stand no chance of being even as well-off as I am (and I'm not that rich, believe me) much less joining the ranks of the uberwealthy, I begin to get a sense of where this nation is headed.
When states like New York and Oregon stand up to the wealthy and say "Pony up, we need the money," most do it, some even gladly. A few, like certain morbidly obese talk-radio hosts, leave for greener pastures.
But here's the thing: those states will eventually have to either raise taxes or cut services. One reason Florida is a popular destination is its low tax rates. Another is, its former governor was the brother of the former President, and so landed an awful lot of earmark money from Congress and that administration.
That's going to stop. It's just a matter of time. So when Florida begins to decay in terms of services it can provide, what will it do?
And what will they do?
All it will prove is that I was right from the get-go.