-- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr
The pattern-setting union gains made in the 1950s and '60s were second only to the GI Bill in creating our strong, vibrant middle class.
And this is only one of the many factors leading to the growing inequality in our society, which today is greater than in any other developed country
TAXES ARE GOOD FOR US
I put particular emphasis here because virtually everything we've heard about taxes for the past 30 years is about cutting the "nasty things." It's easier for us to see what we pay than what we get. As a result, Grover Norquist and other conservatives have had a field day with their threats to destroy any politician who votes for a tax increase.
Progressives have fallen down on the job of making the case for taxation. Moreover, the anti-tax campaign hasn't stopped the government from growing as Bush II decisively proved. It certainly won't stop the population from growing, the baby boomers from aging, our infrastructure from crumbling, or healthcare costs from rising.
The case for taxes was nicely stated by Jill Lepore, a professor of American History at Harvard, in a recent "Tax Time" piece in the New Yorker:
Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, for modernity, and for prosperity. The wealthy pay more because they have benefited more. Taxes, well laid and well spent, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare. Taxes protect property and the environment; taxes make business possible. Taxes pay for roads and schools and bridges and police and teachers. Taxes pay for doctors and nursing homes and medicine. During an emergency, like an earthquake or a hurricane, taxes pay for rescue workers, shelters, and services. For people whose lives are devastated by other kinds of disaster, like the disaster of poverty, taxes pay, even, for food....
Taxes are a pact. That pact needs renewing.So sock it to me! Raise the tax on capital gains at least back to 20 percent, from the Bush 15 percent. Reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits, delay eligibility, and charge more based on income.