Rich can bear the load

Brent Buchanan - University student

While I do agree with Josh VillaâÄôs Feb. 3 column, âÄúDonâÄôt fear spending and tax cuts,âÄù that education spending, along with any government spending, can be misused, it does not necessarily follow that we should cut spending. Misuse should only give us concern about how we spend money, not how much we spend, especially with something as important as education. Government oversight is key, regardless of who is in power.
Nowhere in his column did Villa mention higher education. When I hear that America must have a competitive workforce but only 25 percent of Americans have a bachelorâÄôs degree, and then that we cut money from higher education, I can only imagine grave consequences in the long term.
Deficit reduction is important for MinnesotaâÄôs health. However, VillaâÄôs solution is counter-intuitive. While, yes, the rich do produce jobs to an extent, Villa has the argument wrong. What would need to happen is for the state to decrease or stagnate spending and increase government revenues, not decrease spending while simultaneously decreasing revenues. That is like taking the very large hole that is the deficit and moving it somewhere else.
Additionally, if the rich receive tax cuts, they are more likely to sit on them and invest at a better time or save them to compensate for future tax increases or unexpected expenditures. This would bring up the question of the effectiveness of government intervention, but at least with a tax increase on the rich we are guaranteed improvement in some form.
Taxing the rich more can be completely justified. Apparently, having a progressive tax system is âÄúunfair.âÄù But when the top 20 percent in this country control 85 percent of the wealth, you can see that there is a little room to negotiate. Villa claims that the top 1 percent of income earners will pay 21 percent of all federal taxes, when in fact they own 34 percent of the wealth in this country. The very wealthy will be willing to pay higher taxes because they can, and most Americans canâÄôt. Even if the rich do make investments, who gets all the returns? Let me assure you, the rich will be fine. The rest of us, however, will be picking up the pieces.