During the 2008 campaign, then-candidate Barack Obama dismissed tax policy as mainly as a method of getting revenue for the government and more as a way to redistribute wealth by making life more "fair."
When I got my time with him, I explained to him that even people who make $150k in Northern Cal. are not “rich” and should not be taxed as if they were. (A 1400 sq ft, 40 year old home here goes for over half a million, even after the housing slump. Then you add in real estate taxes, state income taxes, 10% sales tax, gas prices, utility costs, etc.) I also expressed my concern that about half the people in the country now pay no income taxes, so there is overwhelming incentive for them to keep voting for democrats and therefore higher taxes for the rest of us. He told me that he thought tax rates should go up for the very rich and that the top marginal tax rate should be 90%. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I asked in a voice that many in the room could hear if he really meant 90%, and he said yes. Several people asked me after my turn was over if they heard correctly what he said, and were amazed when I said yes.
A 90 percent top marginal tax rates would cause economic expansion to slow -- or contract. No one in their right mind -- and taxpayers are typically right-minded -- would want to work an extra hour if it meant that the government took 90 percent of their income for that extra hour.
McNernry doesn't understand that -- and neither do too many Democrats. If you think the economy is bad now, just wait until the top tax rate is 90 percent again.