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Lavish, even outlandishly lifestyles occurred among the millionaires and billionaires in a period of our history more than 100 years ago, just as some of the rich are overly extravagant today.
According to the book, “From Hayes to McKinley” by H. Wayne Morgan, one millionaire of the past, had his teeth drilled and filled with diamonds, so he literally flashed a million-dollar smile,
Few were more ostentatious than the mansions at Newport, Rhode Island. They were described at the time as Newport’s “froth of castles.” They often had more rooms than large hotels.
The wealthiest people of the time had between three hundred and four hundred times the capital of the middle class, probably the “greatest wealth gap between the rich and the middle class the nation has ever witnessed,” according to “A Patriot’s History of the United States.” The number of millionaires in this country rose from a handful to more than four thousand. As ridiculously ostentatious as some of the rich were, it meant that more than ever America was the land of rags to riches. Then, as today, most of the very rich were self-made.
Obama’s attack on millionaires and billionaires sends this clear and mean-spirited message: The Republicans don’t care about the “middle class” and want to benefit those most advantaged (the rich/elite). He continuously rails against “millionaires and billionaires” to separate that population from mainstream America.
The obvious baseness of this argument coming from the president of the United States is important. The amount of true millionaires and billionaires are so few in number, that taxing them more – as Obama wants to do – will not help with any significant deficit reduction.
History shows us that higher tax rates result in less – not more – tax collections.
With the reforms of 1986, President Reagan reduced tax rates to 28% in exchange for eliminating tax shelters. As a result, the amount of federal income collected was more at the 28% rate and a clean tax code than at 91% and tax shelters. Why take additional money from those taxpayers who have been able to create wealth and employment successfully and give it to the government to mismanage and squander?
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