Victor Davis Hanson writes in the National Review 4/21/11
Make the Rich Pay Or how about the Cabinet?
the now-demonized top 5 percent account for almost 60 percent of all federal income-tax revenue — a higher percentage than anywhere else in the Western world.
If the president wishes to raise revenue, he might first close loopholes. That would ensure that those who owe taxes actually pay them. He could start with his own Cabinet. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, who oversees the IRS, at one point did not pay his Social Security and Medicare taxes and took improper writes-offs. Attorney General Eric Holder, the nation’s top law-enforcement official, did not pay long-overdue property taxes on a house he co-owned until recently chided to do so by the media. The husband of Labor secretary Hilda Solis had overdue tax liens on property that went back 16 years. Cabinet nominee Tom Daschle withdrew from consideration due to past unpaid taxes.a
So before raising taxes, the president might first urge the super-rich to pay their taxes at the income-tax, rather than the capital-gains-tax, rate. Next, he could remind his own Cabinet officers to pay all the taxes they owe. Then, he should offer to pay more of the first family’s costs when they jet to luxury spots such as Martha’s Vineyard, Costa del Sol, or Vail. And finally, he might ask the nearly 50 percent of Americans who now pay no income tax to pay at least 5 percent of their income in federal taxes — to ensure that they see their government as a taker as well as a giver.
Great point #1- grouping the uber rich with those making $250,000 is absurd. By eliminating the loopholes and deductions that favor the super rich they will pay much more than if you merely raise their tax rates- but then the government does not get to play favorites.
Great point #2 – is leadership by example. When the top cabinet officials do not properly pay their taxes and the president practices conspicuous extravagance at the taxpayers expense during a tough economy it promotes cynicism among the less privileged
Final Point- if you want laws to be respected then make them respectable.