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Let’s tax ‘em! Many Americans hate the rich simply because they’re jealous

by Steve Coomes

I’ve come to the conclusion that most people who aren’t rich don’t like those who are because of a few simple reasons:

  • They are jealous of rich people’s money or possessions.
  • They are jealous of rich people’s lifestyles because they seem more fun than theirs.
  • They think the rich are rich only because they’ve gotten breaks they haven’t.
  • And they believe the rich to be greedy for amassing wealth, implying, “If I had their money, I’d donate to everyone.”

Don’t believe me?

Then ask 10 friends this question: “If you were suddenly ‘hit the lottery wealthy,’ what would you do with that money?”

In such conversations over the years, I’ve heard most people say things such as:

  • I’d quit my job and never work again.
  • I’d build my dream home—it would be huge!
  • I’d buy myself a new Lamborghini.
  • I’d travel around the world on my yacht
  • I’d never cook again; I’d eat out at restaurants every night.

Keep the conversation going and you might, just might, hear someone say, “I’d find a way to give lots of that money away,” but that’s pretty uncommon.

What I have yet to hear in a “fantasy rich” conversation is this one thing: “I’d invest it.”

Which is what self-made millionaires do: they make money—typically not all that much—spend far less than they take home, and invest it into things that will make that money grow and work for them.

Read the books, “The Millionaire Next Door,” and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” to learn what I’m talking about. No matter how wealthy they get, the bulk of self-made millionaires aren’t the types lolling about in tuxedos lighting stogies with $100 bills.

The vast majority are seemingly regular folks who work—a lot—and live pretty ordinary lifestyles. But they’re anything but normal. As Dave Ramsey, the well-known financial counselor says regularly on his nationwide broadcast, “Normal is broke and up to your eyeballs in debt. Weirdoes are debt free, they live well below their means and become rich.”

The vast majority of all American millionaires are first-generation millionaires, people who busted their humps to earn it and denied themselves some things to ensure they kept it. A July 2012 study by Fidelity Investments found that “86 percent of today’s millionaires are self-made—not silver spoon types.

And yet, there’s a sickness in our culture—I call it jealousy—that tells us these are people should share their wealth regardless of whether they want to. Our government forces them to, and yet politicians say they’re still not paying “their fair share.”

Somehow our country has bought into this notion that if you make more, you should pay more in taxes—even though the rich guy is no more a burden on the system than the poor guy. In fact, since he or she is paying INTO the system and not taking from it, the rich are LESS a burden.

But as so many people like to say, “What’s it matter to a rich person if he pays more taxes? It’s not like he’s going to miss it or need it.”

Really?

Just ask one of those self-made millionaires if they don’t resent the government taking a bigger share from them than it takes from regular folks like me. Trust me, they miss it. I interview business people all the time who talk about it. They’re not missing it because they have to golf less or take one less trip around the world, they miss it because the harder they work, the less they get to keep.

I know a man in his early 80s and who’s a self-made millionaire. When he was 4 years old, his father dropped dead in the field where he was working alongside him (yes, he was working at 4!) As he likes to say, “We were so deep into the sticks, we had to walk a dirt road for more than a mile just to get to a gravel road!”

His mother eked out a life for herself and her three children doing odd jobs and working their land. Milk from their modest dairy herd also supplied income.

After some mandatory time in the Army, the man married and moved from a small town in Kentucky to the University of Kentucky, where he and his wife lived in a diminutive mobile home they towed there.

He earned an engineering degree in three years (not a partier, not a frat boy) and moved back to that small town and worked as an engineer at a nearby power plant for four decades.

He and his wife raised three children on enough, but little extra. She was a stay-at-home mom and he farmed a little on the side. Mostly, the couple saved their money and invested it into land and retirement funds. As their children left home, they invested those funds into other small money-making ventures that the husband managed. All the while, they saved and invested, saved and invested and never took on any debt.

Far as I know, the couple has never owned a new car, and they live in the same house in which they raised their children; it’s not even 2,000 square feet.

His children are friends of mine and we visit their town occasionally. Once, his daughter pointed to a not-so-stylish shirt her father was wearing and said, “See that shirt? It’s probably 25 years old, and it looks like it’s brand new. He just takes care of his things.”

Since retiring two decades ago, he has built and sold numerous houses using used equipment bought at auctions. He gets bargains on backhoes, dump trucks and tractors—implements costing tens of thousands of dollars—because he’s always got the cash. He doesn’t have to ask his banker for a loan.

He’s reportedly very generous, but you’ll never hear it from him. He likes to do his giving privately. Each year his children receive annual gifts from his estate—the maximum the IRS allows without taxes—and, just like him, they invest it.

He came from nothing, but he and his wife are wealthy. Yet you’d never know it by looking at them or listening to their stories of daily life. They live humbly.

Which is something too few people are willing to do because the rewards aren’t immediate. Most people crave the comforts of wealth to the point they’ll load up ridiculous amounts of debt to have them and a life a lifestyle they ultimately can’t afford.

But research shows that most self-made millionaires don’t get caught up in satisfying cravings immediately. They have the long-term in mind, and they know that nearly anything that can be had with a quick loan swipe of a credit card is probably not worth having because there’s no return to be made.

I know lots of self-made millionaires whose friends think they’re cheap, but they’re not. They merely hate to spend money on things that don’t return more money. They’re not greedy, they just know that once their money’s spent, it’s lost all ability to make more money.

And yet, these are the very people whom politicians and way too many constituents believe should be heavily taxed and forced to share their wealth! The very people who never scrimped, saved and invested wisely or delayed gratification in their lives are saying, “Take more of theirs. They’ll never miss it.”

I don’t get that. In fact, I’m repulsed by it, partly because of personal experience.

I became a full-time freelance writer in 2007, a fairly risky gamble, especially compared to what I was earning in my job. I racked up a couple of good years until 2010, when I logged the lowest income year I’d seen since 1998.

Resolving to do better, I buckled down even further in 2011 and earned more than I ever have. I worked my butt off, did the best I could and was proud of myself.

Yet, for paying more taxes than I ever have on those earnings, the government rewarded me with … an even higher tax bracket!

After my wife and I wrote a check for about a month’s earnings to settle up with Uncle Sucker, we were told by our account to withhold more for my 2012 quarterly tax payments. So, after the privilege of paying that extra tax, I got to live as though I never earned it.

I’m having yet another record year—just barely—but once the taxes all shake out, my wife and I will actually net about we did when I was making less.

Nice, eh? That’s what I get for working no less than 50 hours a week, often 60 and a couple of times a year, 70.

In fact, I’m writing this piece on a Sunday morning when most 40-hour workers are relaxing.

I didn’t get wise to money management until I was into my 40s, and that’s sad. Knowing what I know now, I’d do things differently, but I didn’t have that education growing up. (Research shows that such knowledge handed down—not wealth handed down—plays a huge role in how ordinary people become millionaires.)

I see the error of my ways and hope to steer my son away from doing the same. Maybe he’ll be wise and save his money steadily, never take on debt and live below his means so he can—by choice—give to people and causes he believes in.

And since there will be nothing like social security for him—and possibly for me—hopefully he’ll amass a few million dollars to take care of himself—yeah, become a millionaire.

And hopefully, not everyone will hate him for it.

Recent Stories from Steve
  • Robertok

    I strongly disagree about jealousy of the wealthy. Sure, that accounts for some, but most everyone wants to be among the wealthy (see “What’s Wrong With Kansas”) and do not begrudge their success. The real issue is fairness. Tax rates on the wealthy are scandalously low, and what the 98% (or whatever number you’d like to pick) are harping about is the way the wealthy have turned our country into a sort of plutocracy with their tea party acolytes carrying the banner for them.

  • Robertok

    I strongly disagree about jealousy of the wealthy. Sure, that accounts for some, but most everyone wants to be among the wealthy (see “What’s Wrong With Kansas”) and do not begrudge their success. The real issue is fairness. Tax rates on the wealthy are scandalously low, and what the 98% (or whatever number you’d like to pick) are harping about is the way the wealthy have turned our country into a sort of plutocracy with their tea party acolytes carrying the banner for them.

    I’m not speaking of the folks you describe in your essay, and nobody begrudges their success, as being in the 2%. Even at a higher tax bracket on the last dollar earned, they still are making more money (and they should). Why should the Treasury subsidize ridiculous compensation for CEOs, for example, by allowing the companies to deduct the full compensation on the company’s taxes; it should be limited to some multiple of the lowest wage employee (20, 30, 40?). That’s the kind of stuff that angers folks. Or start 2 wars and give us a tax reduction. It just seems to many people the system is tilted in favor of the well-to-do who have the lobbyists, lawyers and accountants to make good for them.

  • objectivecommentary

    Congratulations. I think that you just made the author’s point.

  • objectivecommentary

    Congratulations. I think that you just made the author’s point.

  • Joey Saylor

    I don’t begrudge anybody who has earned their way in life. If you are willing to do the things necessary to obtain wealth & security, you have a right to the rewards. Too often people want to sit around & complain, watch reality shows, TV sitcoms and try to get noticed on social media rather than walk that extra mile to get ahead. Instead of spending time doing that crap, spend it working! Obviously A LOT of people work their butt off and are not rich, but they pay their bills and provide for their families. They don’t go and spend $20 of their government check to buy lottery tickets or $100 for Nike shoes and then say the rich are the cause of all our problems. They don’t go and buy a $500,000 house on a $50,000 a year salary with a wife and 2 kids, bury themselves in all that debt, then turn around and blame the rich. Just sayin’.

  • Joey Saylor

    I don’t begrudge anybody who has earned their way in life. If you are willing to do the things necessary to obtain wealth & security, you have a right to the rewards. Too often people want to sit around & complain, watch reality shows, TV sitcoms and try to get noticed on social media rather than walk that extra mile to get ahead. Instead of spending time doing that crap, spend it working! Obviously A LOT of people work their butt off and are not rich, but they pay their bills and provide for their families. They don’t go and spend $20 of their government check to buy lottery tickets or $100 for Nike shoes and then say the rich are the cause of all our problems. They don’t go and buy a $500,000 house on a $50,000 a year salary with a wife and 2 kids, bury themselves in all that debt, then turn around and blame the rich. Just sayin’.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    If you are a person who is defined by your possessions, then being wealthy is the #1 goal in life.

    The hard working, self made people you are talking about came from a generation that blossomed in conditions that no longer exist. The vast majority of the “new rich” will either be immigrants or trust fund babies.

    The greatest legacy one can leave is good children. To hell with the money.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    If you are a person who is defined by your possessions, then being wealthy is the #1 goal in life.

    The hard working, self made people you are talking about came from a generation that blossomed in conditions that no longer exist. The vast majority of the “new rich” will either be immigrants or trust fund babies.

    The greatest legacy one can leave is good children. To hell with the money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.t.carney Paul T Carney

    There’s a simple enough response. Those who are able to gain more in our society have benefited more from its opportunities, and therefore their “fair share” is greater. I believe success is a combination of drive and opportunity. Collectively, in the US we as citizens, as members of a society, and as our empowered gov’t., help to provide opportunities for enrichment. It’s a version of the meme that was first put forward by Elizabeth Warren, and then less ably by the President. Her quote:

    “There is nobody in this country who got rich on
    their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I
    want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us
    paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were
    safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the
    rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would
    come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a
    factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God
    bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is
    you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes
    along.”

  • PaulTCarney

    There’s a simple enough response. Those who are able to gain more in our society have benefited more from its opportunities, and therefore their “fair share” is greater. I believe success is a combination of drive and opportunity. Collectively, in the US we as citizens, as members of a society, and as our empowered gov’t., help to provide opportunities for enrichment. It’s a version of the meme that was first put forward by Elizabeth Warren, and then less ably by the President. Her quote:

    “There is nobody in this country who got rich on
    their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I
    want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us
    paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were
    safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the
    rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would
    come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a
    factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God
    bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is
    you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes
    along.”

  • Stephen Coomes

    totally agreed, Joey!

  • Stephen Coomes

    totally agreed, Joey!

  • Stephen Coomes

    Robertok, I totally agree that the tax system is a joke. What bothers me is our country is doing nothing about it. That our politicians have created such a complicated tax structure is purely heinous. And let’s face it: rich and poor take advantage of the system’s particulars that benefit themselves, so we’re all compliant to some extent–which is partly why it’s perpetuated.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Robertok, I totally agree that the tax system is a joke. What bothers me is our country is doing nothing about it. That our politicians have created such a complicated tax structure is purely heinous. And let’s face it: rich and poor take advantage of the system’s particulars that benefit themselves, so we’re all compliant to some extent–which is partly why it’s perpetuated.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Brian, if the immigrants can do it, why can’t we? Immigrants I’ve done stories on are doing much the same that my old fella in the example did: live well below their means, work like crazy and save.

    I guarantee that if I could go back 20 years and make better financial decisions, I’d probably become a millionaire–even in my role as a writer.

    You and I see eye to eye in that possessions don’t mean much to either of us. The only thing money affords me is a small sense of security that the bills are paid, that I can help others who need it and that I can enjoy some great experiences in life. Beyond that, you can’t take it with you!

  • Stephen Coomes

    Brian, if the immigrants can do it, why can’t we? Immigrants I’ve done stories on are doing much the same that my old fella in the example did: live well below their means, work like crazy and save.

    I guarantee that if I could go back 20 years and make better financial decisions, I’d probably become a millionaire–even in my role as a writer.

    You and I see eye to eye in that possessions don’t mean much to either of us. The only thing money affords me is a small sense of security that the bills are paid, that I can help others who need it and that I can enjoy some great experiences in life. Beyond that, you can’t take it with you!

  • Stephen Coomes

    The problem with that thinking is it only goes so far. The guy/gal who built the factory took huge risks that they rarely get credit for. Employees typically see the boss as “rich” because he has all this stuff, when in reality, he’s likely got a lot of debt to service, not to mention the headaches of managing a labor force. Most employees want to punch in and punch out. They take that privilege for granted because they only want to get their share without taking any of the risk–heck, I’ve been guilty of that in nearly ever past job. Now that I’m out on my own, I have a much different perspective.

    The way the tax structure is set up, that company funds a share of the police force that protects it, a share of the education system that trains its future workers. So Warren needs to show some balance in her statement, just as some business owners need to admit it takes a village to grow a company. For either side to ignore that is wholly disingenuous.

  • Stephen Coomes

    The problem with that thinking is it only goes so far. The guy/gal who built the factory took huge risks that they rarely get credit for. Employees typically see the boss as “rich” because he has all this stuff, when in reality, he’s likely got a lot of debt to service, not to mention the headaches of managing a labor force. Most employees want to punch in and punch out. They take that privilege for granted because they only want to get their share without taking any of the risk–heck, I’ve been guilty of that in nearly ever past job. Now that I’m out on my own, I have a much different perspective.

    The way the tax structure is set up, that company funds a share of the police force that protects it, a share of the education system that trains its future workers. So Warren needs to show some balance in her statement, just as some business owners need to admit it takes a village to grow a company. For either side to ignore that is wholly disingenuous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SuperGario Gary Guss

    Tax capital gains at a rate approximating salaried income as rich guys know they can pay a much lower rate on their real income by shifting it to capital gains and away from salaries. Even Reagan had much higher capital gains rates than we have now. There is no reason not to do this except the lobbyists for hedge managers and others have bought the government off. See Reagans Tax Reform act of 1986. Capital gains taxed at same rate as regular income for 2 years and nobody died.

  • Gary Guss

    Tax capital gains at a rate approximating salaried income as rich guys know they can pay a much lower rate on their real income by shifting it to capital gains and away from salaries. Even Reagan had much higher capital gains rates than we have now. There is no reason not to do this except the lobbyists for hedge managers and others have bought the government off. See Reagans Tax Reform act of 1986. Capital gains taxed at same rate as regular income for 2 years and nobody died.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-Lee-Davis/836775146 Douglas Lee Davis

    You should stick to writing about food. Asking those in the upper income brackets (of which my family is one) to pay their fare share in taxes, to pay into the very system which enabled them to get where they are, is not motivated by jealousy. And frankly you come across as sanctimonious and belittling for saying so.
    Ask yourself, in your infinite wisdom, Steve why the very countries with the highest tax rates are now the ones leading the world in personal wealth, health, infant mortality rates, upward economic mobility, education and nearly every other measurable category for the success of a nation.
    Also you are flat out incorrect about the old myth of “I earned more so entered a higher tax bracket and effectively earned less”. If you really believe that you have simply proved to everyone you have no idea how the tax system in this country actually works.

  • Douglas Lee Davis

    You should stick to writing about food. Asking those in the upper income brackets (of which my family is one) to pay their fare share in taxes, to pay into the very system which enabled them to get where they are, is not motivated by jealousy. And frankly you come across as sanctimonious and belittling for saying so.
    Ask yourself, in your infinite wisdom, Steve why the very countries with the highest tax rates are now the ones leading the world in personal wealth, health, infant mortality rates, upward economic mobility, education and nearly every other measurable category for the success of a nation.
    Also you are flat out incorrect about the old myth of “I earned more so entered a higher tax bracket and effectively earned less”. If you really believe that you have simply proved to everyone you have no idea how the tax system in this country actually works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.obryan.77 William O’Bryan

    I’m sorry, but your title is misleading and your premise is erroneous. The gentleman you mentioned who worked as an engineer was a middle-incomer who saved his money and became a millionaire. He would never have been subject to any higher taxes as a middle-income earner. In fact, he is an example of WHY we have a progressive tax rate: so the burden will be shifted to a higher earner so the middle class can work hard and save.
    You throw out the phrase “tax the rich” but you fail to mention the manner in which it will be done: a higher tax rate on the highest tax brackets – NOT on a middle income earner who is striving to accumulate wealth. And further, the government would never consider the engineer “rich”. They don’t scan savings accounts looking for chunks of savings to steal. Those are AFTER TAX monies.
    As for your own situation, it is patently false. The tax rate is only a fraction (a percentage) of what you earn. So if you worked hard and made 50,000 more than the previous year, in no instance would they have taken 100% of your income. So your statement – ” So, after the privilege of paying that extra tax, I got to live as though I never earned it.
    I’m having yet another record year—just barely—but once the taxes all shake out, my wife and I will actually net about we did when I was making less.” – doesn’t ring true at all.
    Even if it bumped you into the highest bracket, all of your income less than that would have still been subject to the lower progressive rates.
    In summary, your article sounds to me like sour grapes – from someone upset about paying their fair share.

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.obryan.77 William O’Bryan

    I’m sorry, but your title is misleading and your premise is erroneous. The gentleman you mentioned who worked as an engineer was a middle-incomer who saved his money and became a millionaire. He would never have been subject to any higher taxes as a middle-income earner. In fact, he is an example of WHY we have a progressive tax rate: so the burden will be shifted to a higher earner so the middle class can work hard and save.
    You throw out the phrase “tax the rich” but you fail to mention the manner in which it will be done: a higher tax rate on the highest tax brackets – NOT on a middle income earner who is striving to accumulate wealth. And further, the government would never consider the engineer “rich”. They don’t scan savings accounts looking for chunks of savings to steal. Those are AFTER TAX monies.
    As for your own situation, it is patently false. The tax rate is only a fraction (a percentage) of what you earn. So if you worked hard and made 50,000 more than the previous year, in no instance would they have taken 100% of your income. So your statement – ” So, after the privilege of paying that extra tax, I got to live as though I never earned it.
    I’m having yet another record year—just barely—but once the taxes all shake out, my wife and I will actually net about we did when I was making less.” – doesn’t ring true at all.
    Even if it bumped you into the highest bracket, all of your income less than that would have still been subject to the lower progressive rates.
    In summary, your article sounds to me like sour grapes – from someone upset about paying their fair share.

  • http://twitter.com/owenmarshall Owen Marshall

    Americans are living through massive income inequality, near zero inter-generational economic mobility, and you blame “hatred of the rich” on sour grapes?

  • http://twitter.com/owenmarshall Owen Marshall

    Americans are living through massive income inequality, near zero inter-generational economic mobility, and you blame “hatred of the rich” on sour grapes?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cscornette Christopher Scott Cornette

    You make some good points. How about going the next step into cogent analysis leading to a potential solution? Instead of complaining about how people are jealous of your wealth (which is NOT why taxes are higher for you) how about suggesting an alternate tax scheme?
    Flat tax rate (which is what I gather you are suggesting?) sounds great on the surface, but in order to maintain the same overall revenue, the reduction to the rate for the highest brackets would be tiny, while the increase on the middle and lower brackets would be significant and totally disproportionate. Rather than taxing the wealthy noticeably less, we’d just be taxing the the middle class a lot more – and that would be detrimental to overall consumer buying power, which is a large part of what makes it possible for the wealthy to be wealthy – our healthy economy thrives on consumerism driven by the middle class.
    So instead ranting, how about providing some constructive thought? Maybe propose a different solution and do the homework to show how it could work? Then you might have something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cscornette Christopher Scott Cornette

    You make some good points. How about going the next step into cogent analysis leading to a potential solution? Instead of complaining about how people are jealous of your wealth (which is NOT why taxes are higher for you) how about suggesting an alternate tax scheme?
    Flat tax rate (which is what I gather you are suggesting?) sounds great on the surface, but in order to maintain the same overall revenue, the reduction to the rate for the highest brackets would be tiny, while the increase on the middle and lower brackets would be significant and totally disproportionate. Rather than taxing the wealthy noticeably less, we’d just be taxing the the middle class a lot more – and that would be detrimental to overall consumer buying power, which is a large part of what makes it possible for the wealthy to be wealthy – our healthy economy thrives on consumerism driven by the middle class.
    So instead ranting, how about providing some constructive thought? Maybe propose a different solution and do the homework to show how it could work? Then you might have something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cscornette Christopher Scott Cornette

    “the rich guy is no more a burden on the system than the poor guy. In
    fact, since he or she is paying INTO the system and not taking from it,
    the rich are LESS a burden.”

    If you truly believe you are not receiving benefits from services provided by your taxes, then you really need to look around. We all benefit equally from about 94% of the federal revenue. Only 5.5% goes into welfare programs, so to say that you are not taking from the system because you don’t personally benefit from 5.5% of the revenue your taxes help generate is a pretty gross misrepresentation. I won’t belabor the point with the laundry list of benefits that you, that we all, receive from our taxes – many of the most obvious are listed in other comments in this thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cscornette Christopher Scott Cornette

    “the rich guy is no more a burden on the system than the poor guy. In
    fact, since he or she is paying INTO the system and not taking from it,
    the rich are LESS a burden.”

    If you truly believe you are not receiving benefits from services provided by your taxes, then you really need to look around. We all benefit equally from about 94% of the federal revenue. Only 5.5% goes into welfare programs, so to say that you are not taking from the system because you don’t personally benefit from 5.5% of the revenue your taxes help generate is a pretty gross misrepresentation. I won’t belabor the point with the laundry list of benefits that you, that we all, receive from our taxes – many of the most obvious are listed in other comments in this thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aztecmonkey Robert Womack

    I’m curious if your statement that most American millionaires are first-generation has any basis in fact, or is made up from what I suspect is wishful thinking? Where did you get this fact? Please provide some citation.

  • Robert Womack

    I’m curious if your statement that most American millionaires are first-generation has any basis in fact, or is made up from what I suspect is wishful thinking? Where did you get this fact? Please provide some citation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aztecmonkey Robert Womack

    How many Americans are willing to do the work that the immigrants do? This is why Georgia had produce rotting in its fields – every American has a sense of entitlement to a decent job at a decent wage and is unwilling to do the sort of work that the illegals we cry about so much do for us. How many American born people work in Perdue’s chicken factory farms? I don’t know, but I’d guess very very few.

    Our parents and grandparents worked so hard so we wouldn’t have to. So let’s be honest about it and stop pretending we have it so hard.

  • Robert Womack

    How many Americans are willing to do the work that the immigrants do? This is why Georgia had produce rotting in its fields – every American has a sense of entitlement to a decent job at a decent wage and is unwilling to do the sort of work that the illegals we cry about so much do for us. How many American born people work in Perdue’s chicken factory farms? I don’t know, but I’d guess very very few.

    Our parents and grandparents worked so hard so we wouldn’t have to. So let’s be honest about it and stop pretending we have it so hard.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    Lets stop pretending that the wages paid to immigrant farm workers are subject to the beloved free market. They are not. The wages are kept artificially low through the use of illegals.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    Lets stop pretending that the wages paid to immigrant farm workers are subject to the beloved free market. They are not. The wages are kept artificially low through the use of illegals.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Reread the article. It’s in there. Also, both books, especially The Millionaire Next Door, provide ample facts. TMND is positively tedious with such facts. Good read though.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Reread the article. It’s in there. Also, both books, especially The Millionaire Next Door, provide ample facts. TMND is positively tedious with such facts. Good read though.

  • Stephen Coomes

    I should have mentioned the Bible, which says that to whom much is given, much is expected. I have no doubt Christ is saying if you’re wealthy, you’re expected to be generous to those who aren’t. But he never said, “If you don’t, I”m fine if the government forces you to do so.” Why not? Because Christ wasn’t against riches, he was against the selfish heart that hoards money for itself. So, in that sense, you are right that wealthy people should step up to their fair share of caring for others who truly need help. The sad thing is our government often misuses taxes for purposes that don’t help those in need. I think we all can agree on that.

  • Stephen Coomes

    I should have mentioned the Bible, which says that to whom much is given, much is expected. I have no doubt Christ is saying if you’re wealthy, you’re expected to be generous to those who aren’t. But he never said, “If you don’t, I”m fine if the government forces you to do so.” Why not? Because Christ wasn’t against riches, he was against the selfish heart that hoards money for itself. So, in that sense, you are right that wealthy people should step up to their fair share of caring for others who truly need help. The sad thing is our government often misuses taxes for purposes that don’t help those in need. I think we all can agree on that.

  • Stephen Coomes

    You are correct about the underpayment of illegals, Brian, and I would never justify that. But let’s stick to the topic: legal immigrants who are truly motivated to do work Americans won’t do. How many of them do we see in restaurants working long hours, saving enough money to open their own businesses? Sadly, few Americans will take advantage of the American dream like immigrants do. They see opportunity, we see the status quo–or worse, we compare our situations to those who have so much more and we give up.

  • Stephen Coomes

    You are correct about the underpayment of illegals, Brian, and I would never justify that. But let’s stick to the topic: legal immigrants who are truly motivated to do work Americans won’t do. How many of them do we see in restaurants working long hours, saving enough money to open their own businesses? Sadly, few Americans will take advantage of the American dream like immigrants do. They see opportunity, we see the status quo–or worse, we compare our situations to those who have so much more and we give up.

  • Stephen Coomes

    William, though you have no idea what I earned, and though no private citizen should ever have to turn over his income tax returns to show what he’s earned, I can tell you that I signed a significant check to pay the IRS and KY for extra income. Did it wash away all I made? No, so technically you’re correct. What it did was force me to go to my savings account and pull out a large chunk of money that I put aside to become fiscally responsible, independent–not dependent on the government for my well being. The government, however, showed its dependence on me by saying, “Gimmie more!”

  • Stephen Coomes

    William, though you have no idea what I earned, and though no private citizen should ever have to turn over his income tax returns to show what he’s earned, I can tell you that I signed a significant check to pay the IRS and KY for extra income. Did it wash away all I made? No, so technically you’re correct. What it did was force me to go to my savings account and pull out a large chunk of money that I put aside to become fiscally responsible, independent–not dependent on the government for my well being. The government, however, showed its dependence on me by saying, “Gimmie more!”

  • Stephen Coomes

    That’s not what I wrote. I have no doubt I benefit from the system I pay into. What’s problematic is the government’s belief that the rich benefit more from the system so they have to pay more tax to cover those who benefit from the system but don’t pay for it. If I’m robbed, it only takes so many cops to rescue me. If I’m driving my car, I can only put one car on the road, no matter how many I own. It takes the same number of TSA agents to check me through the airport no matter wealthy or poor I am. See what I mean? There should be a limit to how much we all should pay in–a flat tax.

  • Stephen Coomes

    That’s not what I wrote. I have no doubt I benefit from the system I pay into. What’s problematic is the government’s belief that the rich benefit more from the system so they have to pay more tax to cover those who benefit from the system but don’t pay for it. If I’m robbed, it only takes so many cops to rescue me. If I’m driving my car, I can only put one car on the road, no matter how many I own. It takes the same number of TSA agents to check me through the airport no matter wealthy or poor I am. See what I mean? There should be a limit to how much we all should pay in–a flat tax.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Why don’t you do the homework and send us your alternative thesis as a guest columnist? Seriously. I’m inviting you to have at it. My email is stephencoomes@gmail.com And, yes, I believe a fair or flat tax is a much better solution than progressive taxes. When you have a tax code that takes thousands of pages to explain, there are real problems.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Why don’t you do the homework and send us your alternative thesis as a guest columnist? Seriously. I’m inviting you to have at it. My email is stephencoomes@gmail.com And, yes, I believe a fair or flat tax is a much better solution than progressive taxes. When you have a tax code that takes thousands of pages to explain, there are real problems.

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    I think what you’ve just written speaks volumes.

    The poor don’t fly and most aren’t lucky enough to own a car. And they don’t have to worry about being robbed, necessarily.

    The wealthy DO benefit more from the system.

    They created it.

    It is only when working poor people catch a break (like through the Earned Income Tax Credit) is it time to “reform the system”.

    The game is rigged. It’s like that basketball hoop at the fair. Three shots for a dollar. One in wins. Only the hoop is oval and the ball is round.

    You’re right about the basis for all this….jealousy. I’m a middle class wage earner. I pay A LOT of taxes and never get much of a refund. I usually have to send a check to Frankfort every April. Most people in my situation get pissed off (read: jealous) at people who get giant tax refunds while earning little money. But you know what that poor single mom does when she gets the $8000 refund back every spring?

    She spends it.

    And that is the reason the EITC was created.

    If you paid a nickel to the IRS, you’ve paid more than General Electric. Why aren’t we talking about that?

  • http://twitter.com/ValleyReport Col. Brian Tucker

    I think what you’ve just written speaks volumes.

    The poor don’t fly and most aren’t lucky enough to own a car. And they don’t have to worry about being robbed, necessarily.

    The wealthy DO benefit more from the system.

    They created it.

    It is only when working poor people catch a break (like through the Earned Income Tax Credit) is it time to “reform the system”.

    The game is rigged. It’s like that basketball hoop at the fair. Three shots for a dollar. One in wins. Only the hoop is oval and the ball is round.

    You’re right about the basis for all this….jealousy. I’m a middle class wage earner. I pay A LOT of taxes and never get much of a refund. I usually have to send a check to Frankfort every April. Most people in my situation get pissed off (read: jealous) at people who get giant tax refunds while earning little money. But you know what that poor single mom does when she gets the $8000 refund back every spring?

    She spends it.

    And that is the reason the EITC was created.

    If you paid a nickel to the IRS, you’ve paid more than General Electric. Why aren’t we talking about that?

  • Stephen Coomes

    Because that’s another subject.

  • Stephen Coomes

    Because that’s another subject.

  • Dave Carroll

    “Americans” are a bunch of whiny bitches like yourself.

  • Mike

    N/m

  • Steve Hickerson

    B Friking S! Many Americans hold the uber rich in disdane because they play by a completely different set of rules. They have teams of accountants and investors able to make sure that they pay the lowest tax rate possible. They benefit from investments that less wealthy people cannot even dream of while working less and paying a much lower capital gains tax. They control the their fortunes by sending jobs overseas leavin hundreds/thousands unemployed so that Chinese employees can do the same job for 88 cents an hour – Look up ‘Sensata’ http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/17/romney-talks-tough-on-china-but-romney-and-bain-bought-chinese-factory/
    The wealthy job creators are sitting on the largest stockpile of cash ever and are refusing to hire until the some one is coronated into office that will do their bidding.
    Ayn Rand died broke and living on welfare – look it up

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rafer-Johnson/100002998958967 Rafer Johnson

    This is exactly the type person the article was talking about.

  • Rafer Johnson

    This is exactly the type person the article was talking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rafer-Johnson/100002998958967 Rafer Johnson

    Hey bozo, they already paid taxes on it as income and now they are getting double taxed for having the wisdom to save it instead of spend it. You are one of life’s losers.

  • Rafer Johnson

    Hey bozo, they already paid taxes on it as income and now they are getting double taxed for having the wisdom to save it instead of spend it. You are one of life’s losers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rafer-Johnson/100002998958967 Rafer Johnson

    Spoken like someone that didn’t make it. Well you may feel you’ve won by taxing me more…………….When I drive by your hovel in my Mercedes paid for with cash I’ll wave.

  • Rafer Johnson

    Spoken like someone that didn’t make it. Well you may feel you’ve won by taxing me more…………….When I drive by your hovel in my Mercedes paid for with cash I’ll wave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rafer-Johnson/100002998958967 Rafer Johnson

    Check you off as another of life’s losers

  • Rafer Johnson

    Check you off as another of life’s losers

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rafer-Johnson/100002998958967 Rafer Johnson

    You can always tell poor americans they have the best phones and cars

  • Rafer Johnson

    You can always tell poor americans they have the best phones and cars