The Founding Fathers did not intend our nation to become a class society ruled by an aristocracy, as in England. But that’s where we’ve drifted over the last few decades, with the greatest wealth inequality since the Great Depression continuing to expand, the cost of a college education skyrocketing beyond the means of many middle-class families, and American corporations stampeding overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes, sticking the rest of us with the bill.
The wealth of the top 1%, especially the top .01%, has grown astronomically in the last 20 years, while income increases for the lower to middle classes have been negligible at best. One reason is that capital gains—the main revenue stream of most billionaires—is taxed at lesser rates than the paychecks of salaried employees, or cash register receipts from a small business. Why should a Thurston Howell, cruising the Caribbean in his yacht while watching dividends grow on his iPhone, be taxed at half the rate of firemen, police, EMTs and soldiers?