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What Raising Taxes on the Rich Really Does for the U.S. Economy

“Economic patriotism” – have you heard of it?

It’s part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to fix the U.S. economy, which includes asking the richest American taxpayers to fork over more money.

But has President Obama done the math?

Taxing the rich will bring us $80 billion, far short of the annual federal deficit of $1 trillion.

Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined FOX Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” last week to discuss the flawed logic and resulting frustration of touting “taxing the rich” as the way to solve our economic problems. Check out this dynamic interview with Fitz-Gerald.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Tom Roberts Sr. | November 29, 2012

    Anyone making over a million dollars a year in this country should be paying 50% back to the country they earned it in. You complaining rich boys make me sick as you whine about paying more taxes to the very place you make your riches. Get real rich boys.

    • Mark R | December 4, 2012

      Apparently you dont make million a year….so how about anyone who makes money in this country should pay back to the country they earned it in…everyone needs to have skin in the game…stop being so jealous. Oh and by the way i dont make a million either but seem to have to pay over 50% of my income to govt …fed..state…get real.

    • william fleming | December 7, 2012

      Tom Roberts Sr: And why should you not pay 50%? Just because someone is ambitious enough to earn a million doesn't mean they should pay a bigger percentage than you and I. And, by the way, the upper earners pay the biggest percentage of the taxes. Get educated ok?

    • hazmat | December 7, 2012

      Jealous? These millionaires you dislike so much pay a huge percentage of their income to charities. Because of the envy and jealousy you and your kind foment, these charities will suffer the most. Thanks for nothing!

    • Deborah G Flynn | December 17, 2012

      I absolutely can't stand the people who think what someone esle has is theirs because the want it? Why in the world SHOULD anyone who has made it simply GIVE 50% back to the country who is hell bent on giving people who don't deserve it get someone's fruits of labor for free?

  2. Robert Sands | December 1, 2012

    Excitement about taking money from the rich is a type of "inverse moralism" where it is deemed moral or even superior thinking to keep taking, taking taking from producers. It is personalized (they won't miss the cash) rather than economically interpreted. The rich are objectified both as a class and as individuals and seen as someone to exploit. The core issue of "what is the economic effect of siphoning off money from the rich" gets buried by the moral glee of "getting more". The envy and hate of the rich blinds the "takers" from seeing it makes no sense to transfer more money from producers to non producers. Emotion (envy, hate, power lust) trumps reason and reality. Envy is a primal and powerful emotion that obviously rules reason. Tom's comment reveals not a hint of guilt over "taking more" and no awareness of the real economic effects of this taking. It is a personal, emotional desire, regardless of real negative effects.

  3. John L | December 1, 2012

    Tom Roberts Sr. is clearly not a rich boy, nor does he ever want to be rich. Why do you whine so much about trying to tax people with more money than you? Why can you shut your pie hole all wish them well… maybe thank them for driving innovation and job creation. Why don't you whine about the government destroying our economy. That is a real issue. I'm not even close to being rich, but I love the fact we have wealthy people in the country.

    This country needs to rid our land of people like Mr. Roberts… the social justice, takers and complainers, life needs to be fair for all. When you tax the wealthy beyond a certain level, you end up with less. Just ask, France, New York, California….. list like could go on and on and on. Taxing income at high levels is a very poor idea and clearly does not help economic growth. I'm not sure how anyone can re-educate this misguided belief. As Europe drops into a deep recession because they tax too much and spend way too much, people like Mr. Roberts will learn nothing. Clearly a lack of understanding. How sad for all of us if people like Mr. Roberts and Mr. Obama continue to make policy!

  4. b | December 3, 2012

    Did you ever hear of the " Luxury tax " of the early 1990's ? It wound up hurting blue collar workers and the economy.

    • Leaf | December 5, 2012

      Yes, I was working for a company that built yachts for very rich people to buy. They had a very good business and treated all of their workers well (read good pay and benefits). After only two months the company filed for bankruptcy and after six closed their doors forever. The rich weren't affected but the people who worked for our company (not rich) all ended up in the unemployment line

  5. Julio Cárdenas Avilés | December 3, 2012

    Hay una realidad los ricos son los que producen la riqueza de cualquier lugar porque son los que invierten para multiplicar su riqueza. Esto trae una serie de beneficios para la sociedad, mayor empleo, investigación, desarrollo y mayores impuestos. ¿Será justo castigarles más por solo el echo de ser una alta estadística?

  6. Jeff | December 4, 2012

    I quess I'm "un-patriotic" for having a vegetable garden. Shame on me for not sharing 50% of my produce with my neighbors. Yeah, I think I"ll keep all of my produce for my family's benefit because I'm greedy that way. The government can stick our ill spent taxes up their behind.

    • Deborah G Flynn | December 17, 2012

      there are smart ways not to pay taxes. the reality is they waste more than they do good with. You need to have a good advisor even if it is just someone who has made money help you. I have saved all my life to watch these theives want to take it and hand it over to losers. I got out of all my investments and have decided not to produce any more and live a very modest life. I'd rather not have a lot to spend then spend it on losers.

  7. BILL | December 6, 2012


    • anonomus | December 7, 2012

      Obama only has his own to care for. His two cute little girls and his lovely wife. He takes from the Poor and gives to the Rich, like any Fool can plainly see. This is a basic axonom of of Capitalism and he's only doing his Sworn duty to serve a capitalistic state. We have to be more careful what we wish for because we may get it. So what more can you say?

      • Deborah G Flynn | December 17, 2012

        Obama will also get his salary for life and benefits. It's easy for him to say "take from someone else. BTW his money is in tax advantaged MLP's and offshore investments. Like he's patriotic the hypocrite. he and the rest of his liberal buddies simply write a check any time they want to the treasury.

    • Alberto | December 17, 2012

      Agree with you

  8. Kathleen | December 6, 2012

    I see rich people, those who have accumulated the power of labor into capital, as gardners planting seeds. They invest their dollars in our economic garden and let the "invisible hand" of self interest grow their seeds into jobs that nourish the lives of the workers and produce more seeds for the next planting. Taxes reduce the number of seeds that can be planted because the govenrment has an inherently inefficient collection, decision and distribution system. If we want to have more in our garden, we need to give the seeds to the best gardeners.

    • constance harris | December 15, 2012

      I'm far from wealthy and I agree with your statement. Put the seeds in the hands that will cultivate the garden and multiply the fruit. However, don't wipe the shit off your ass with that "invisible hand" that fertilizes that garden, that hoes that garden, that waters that garden, and that pulls the crop out of that garden. It's a lot more work to a garden than just dropping a seed in the ground. And "the hands" who work that garden, "the laborers," should be compensated justly. Someone tell me why hasn't minimum wage been raised to at least $10.50/hr? Wouldn't that be an effective stimulus to the economy? That would level the garden as well. Non producers make up a high percentage of the population, but non producers will work. Workers need to be relieved from the stresses of labor whether it be entertainment, relaxation, or shopping. How can one be relieved if all they're money goes to taxes and living expenses? Why should people have to work 2jobs to make ends meet! It's 7 billion folks in this world, not one person should be working 2 or more jobs just to eke out an existence for themselves and their families. Something is very very wrong with this world!! And it has been for thousands and thousands of years.

  9. Larry | December 7, 2012

    Ladies & Gents, When someone, as an individual speaker says, "Yes, tax the rich", he is stealing money from someone else. Yes, the legislators that imposed the new tax did it legally, but it is still a theft. Last night on Fox News, a simple chart was posted to show that 87.5 Million people are are public assistance or work for government, but only 109 Million people are workers generating some of the money to support themselves and the "Takers". But, over $1 Trillion dollars are now required to make up the difference between what the "109 Million Makers" provide and the total US Dollars required to PAY those 87.5 Million "Takers" on public assistance and government workers. That formula cannot mathematically continue. If the interest on the National Debt goes up even 1/2% we can never repay any of OUR National Debt. NEXT, even if Obozo gets his higher rates on the Makers, it will be just like what happened in England. There were 16,000 persons that made high incomes before the tax increase. After the tax increase, there are now only 6,000 high income earners. The British government acutally lost – total tax revenue went down – just like the Republicans/Capitalists predicted. THE ONLY REASON OBOZO WANTS MORE TAXES ON THE MAKERS IS TO BUY THE VOTES OF THE TAKERS. HE IS NOT A STATESMAN, HE IS A COMMUNIST. This is simply class warfare. But, now that over 50% of the voters are TAKERS, this country of self-determinists is lost. So, Mr. Fleming, please do not listen to your thoughts on why this country should tax the Rich/ Makers, please listen to the math. Higher taxes result in less tax revenue. Less revenue for the medicare payments to your mother and father. Will you be able to make up the extra $50 to $600 dollars out of your pocket each month to directly support them when they retire or are laid off at 58 years old and cannot find a job?

  10. anonomus | December 7, 2012

    I don't have anything further to add.

  11. Dean | December 7, 2012

    Never forget that greed created this mess and now the greedy have to pay along with everyone else.

    • hazmat | December 7, 2012

      the greedy includes those who want everything for nothing. I don't see them paying their fair share.

      • Deborah G Flynn | December 17, 2012

        of course you don't the liberals think only the Fair Share they spew is for the other guy not them

      • Deborah G Flynn | December 17, 2012

        I say TAX BIG BIRD he is a multi million doallar a year entity why doesn't he pay his fair share or get support in the way of tax free staus? Crony Capitalism OBAMA picks winners and losers the winners? Unions, Hollywood millionaires, Liberals and people who grab our money.

  12. Bob | December 10, 2012

    The people in Washington need to be held responcible for mismanagement of this country. The spend money like a drunk sailor on leave. Quit funding other countries issues, they don't have to be like us, heck they don't want to be like us. We don't need to buy friends we have enough already. Get us out of wars for oil. How many billions a month is that costing? Make the politicians have the same health care and retirement programs as the rest of us. And make it so they can't vote them,selves a raise. Who wouldn't vote for a raise if you could for ourself. Duh Get a grip if you and I ran our home budget like these clowns do the countries they would put us in jail.

  13. Ann | December 10, 2012

    WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET TAX REFORM?!?! Tax reform (flat tax) and across-the-board consumption tax will end the finger-pointing once and for all. And please don't tell me about all the IRS people who will lose their jobs. They can be re-educated to count beans somewhere else, and I'd be happy for my tax dollars to help them in that regard. I'm certainly not rich; I quit my job this year to move home and take care of an aging parent — which is saving Medicaid a BUNCH of money. I don't understand why Congress can't/won't address this realisticly. Must be something in it for them to not get this going.

  14. BILL | December 11, 2012

    if you that voted for the loser fault. im older i dont care but you idiots that wanted that black s o b are gonna be in trouble i dont pity you at all sometime you wish comes true. when you are hungry an broke come see me, j got lead swanches you can eat, or i will force feed you. some of the mgst ingorance people ive ever seen. god help us the blacks are gonna riot when he screwes them. as least im prepared to go as long as i can the h ill with you stupid voters

  15. Kris K | December 15, 2012

    "The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful."
    – President Calvin Coolidge

    "Some should be rich shows that others may be rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently to build one for himself."
    -President Abraham Lincoln

  16. Deborah G Flynn | December 17, 2012

    A bit raw but fairly accurate.

  17. Bone | December 17, 2012

    I get somewhat unerved listening to people putting Obama down. If Mitt would've been elected, the rich would just get richer at he expense of the poor. When are people going to realize that the republicans are all about loopholes and squeezing more money out fo the economy. Please do some research on the Koch brothers and how they are trying to control government; then maybe you'll have some insight. Flat tax across the board, (no loopholes) is the only way to straighten this quagmire out!

  18. Allen Novotny | December 17, 2012

    Warren Buffet wants the laws changed! He knows if he pays more in alone, it won't make a difference. In 1964, the top tax rate was 70%! This country got along just fine and the rich got richer anyway. Money pooled and invested together is what creates jobs, not hoarding it like the rich are doing today! How many of the 58,000+ secret Swiss bank accounts that our government found out about are owned by the poor and middle class? You guys make me sick with your greed.

  19. Allen Novotny | December 17, 2012

    By the way, that rich guy you had on your show probably made his money long before we were over 6 trillion in debt. The problem is NOW. We have to do something. Maybe we should go over the cliff if that is what it takes.

  20. dennis metz | December 17, 2012

    obummer is all about helping blacks and muslims, he could care less about this country
    why do you think you never hear democraps asking what can be done for the country it is all about helping the welfare h*** that breed like rats and dump all the trash on the taxpayer so the dems can keep increasoing the taxes

  21. Alberto | December 17, 2012

    The government wants to tax the rich, well let's start by reducing the salaries of all government employees and polititian to a minimun wages. That will be a fair thing to do. Taxing the rich, to spend more money will not solve the problem.

  22. Alberto | December 17, 2012

    Have any of the people who write in this foro, think about a Consumption "Flat Tax"?. This will be the solution to every problem we have. Second, get rid of the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Income tax system. There is where all the problems started. Finallyl, do not spend more than what is collected.

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