Bernie Sanders has a point, but after listening to him over the entire primary campaign, I am beginning to believe that the rich and the super-rich should not be taxed at all. I am saying this out of self-preservation.

As a prospective super-rich person, I expect to get millions of dollars because every week, I buy a lottery ticket. My chances of hitting the Mega Millions is as good as anybody else’s. I do not want to pay taxes on my acquired wealth, because it would be used for people who are unable to lift themselves from the gutter they are in.

When I look at Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, I get a thrill. One of them did not get any delegates, and the other got six delegates from American Samoa. But one thing they sure proved: They know how to spend money. Steyer and Bloomberg did it because they had the dough. If they were taxed to the brim, the way Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed, the country would have lost two role models for spending money. In all fairness, were the rich and super-rich burdened with high taxes, then all the voluntary contributions they make to buildings and organizations to put their names on would dry up. We need their names.

There was a time when rich people did not boast about their wealth when they wanted to represent their fellow citizens. Nelson Rockefeller, for example, wanted to be president of the United States. When Gerald Ford chose him to be his vice president, he agreed to come to Washington because it would keep him only a breath away from the presidency. Compared to his mansion in New York, the vice president’s residence was like a barn. Everyone knew he was rich. But he presented himself as a common man, an ordinary Joe.

In the last 40-plus years, our values have changed. Rich people are no longer embarrassed to flaunt their money before ordinary citizens. They even say they have much more than they actually have. As aspiring politicians, they want to be recognized as financial wizards. If they know how to acquire so much money for themselves, then they can teach others how to do the same. Politics, like business, is all about taking advantage of a given situation. Unfortunately, every one of the citizenry did not go to Harvard or Wharton or had a father who could shell out a couple of million dollars to see his offspring get a solid start in the private sector. All of us would love to be rich. That is why great institutions like Trump University spring up to show us the way. Their ghostwritten books become best-sellers just through the hype.

We are told that corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes. The statement is unfair. Leaders of corporations make campaign contributions liberally and through that they help people of their choice to serve the country. Their money brings the best possible legislators to Washington and state capitals. They continue to protect our Second Amendment right to shoot each other.

The good book says that a camel may pass through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man can get to heaven. But a rich man sure can live in the White House. President Trump has proved it. He is not only rich in money, he has proved to be rich in ideas as well. The coronavirus has created havoc in the country. He goes by his hunches to solve the problem. When everybody is worried about the disease and the government’s response to it, he talks about changing his chief of staff. When the Centers for Disease Control asks elderly people to stay home and not expose themselves to a crowd, the president creates a big rally for them to attend. He has already cut taxes for the rich. We must thank him for helping us.

“Blown Away” is Anadi Naik’s third book of fiction. He lives in Frederick and can be reached at acnaik @aol.com.

(37) comments

The Grape of Wrath

I see a few CEOs posing for the cameras while they announce they are foregoing their salary this year. Such a horrible sacrifice. Their typical salary is about $100,000. Their bonuses average about $55 million, and have been so for years. Such a sacrifice.

The Grape of Wrath

Excellent letter. Yes, the rich are poor, so poor. They pay far too much in taxes. They pay so much in taxes they need a tax break every year just buy food. Just ask them. They just need another tax break and everything will be fine. Same goes bur business owners. Oh how they struggle under the burden of taxes and safety regulations. They're just so overtaxed and overburdened with regulations they cannot earn any money. Just ask them, they'll tell you. Ask the Chamber of Commerce, they'll tell you too. They just need another tax break and then they will be fine.

Moon otter

[thumbup] love the sarcasm

Obadiah Plainsmen

Well I don't qualify for any COVID19 virus money and I pay a whole lot of taxes, at least Mr Naik doesn't consider me rich.

Greg F

Cry me a river.

Obadiah Plainsmen

And I shall build a bridge over it.

sofanna

Self centered and appalling. Not the American way!

DickD

Anadi, you are so far right that you have left some of us.  Don't worry, the far righters will agree with you.  Jsk will write a long rambling comment that will leave us all wonder as he supports someone that is against all of his religious principles. 

Apparently, the cult is stronger than religion.That reminds me, Trump says we can go to Easter services.  Jim, you and the other righters really need to go.  Trump says it is okay! Lol

gabrielshorn2013

Dick, I believe that Mr. Naik was being facetious.

DickD

No kidding. Lol

hayduke2

Dick - I believe this was a "tongue in cheek" post... Satire....

Dwasserba

"As a prospective super-rich person, I expect to get millions of dollars..." Americans respect the self-made rich, it's part of the culture, the dream is that could be any of us, and everyone I know knows someone like that. Yep some aren't rich before holding office but get rich during. Run for office.

Blueline

One point not mentioned in the article are the people who become politicians with average means, but acquire tremendous wealth from their avocation.

TomWheatley

If Maryland cared about the little guy, they would allow us to chose between the standard and itemized deduction on MD taxes independently of what we used for the Federal form. Been burned 2 years now being forced to use the standard State deduction because we used the standard for Federal.

dabittle

I iy iy...where to begin. Facts: The top 1% of income earners pay 38% of the total Federal tax bill. The top 5% of income earners pay 59% of the total Federal tax bill. The top 25% of income earners pay 86% of the total Federal tax bill...and rounding out the bottom, 50% of "taxpayers" don't even pay taxes--None! Zip! Nada! Furthermore, it is those at the top of income earners who have taken the risks, built the business and do the hiring. So, Mr. Naik, as a Maryland State government bureaucrat I don't imagine you built any businesses, took any risks nor worked any weekends or 16 hours days. Yet you you spend you time maligning those that have build this country you now enjoy! Yes, as a Maryland State government bureaucrat you produced nothing! But by all means, enjoy your taxpayer funded Maryland State government pension!

threecents

Trump is a billionaire, and we know that some years he did not pay income taxes. Warren Buffet, the 4th richest person in the world, said his secretary pays more in taxes than he does. The wealthy hire creative accountants and lawyers to avoid paying taxes. It is a game for them.

gabrielshorn2013

No three, Warren Buffet claimed to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary, not lower taxes. Those "loopholes" are available to everybody, but you have to spend a lot of money in order to qualify for them. The fairest tax is a flat rate. Everybody pays the same rate with no deductions, and no upper limit. Make more, pay more. Make less, pay less. Everybody has skin in the game, and contributes.

threecents

OK Boomer, thanks for the correction, but Buffet's secretary payed more than Trump payed - at least during those years when Trump payed nothing. If your point is that a simplified flat tax with no deductions would fix things, I won't argue with that, except to say we could eliminate the loopholes and still have a progressive tax system, which I consider more fair, in the sense of the pain that paying taxes causes those who are less well off.

threecents

Sorry for the imprecise use of "loopholes" and "deductions."

gabrielshorn2013

Three, so what if she payed more than Trump. That was not the statement. Buffet payed far more in taxes than his secretary, and that is a fact. As for Trump, is the fact that he may not have paid income taxes for any given year illegal or unethical? Does the IRS not know what his taxable income is, and what his payment status is? Do you not use whatever legal means you have to reduce your tax burden? You would be foolish not to do so. Did you know that reinvestment of your profits into the business reduces your tax burden? Giving to charities does the same. I will assume that you are not a business owner, so the first issue is off the table, but do you not do the latter, and then claim the deduction? I sure do. I challenge you to get the annual reports, which are audited by a fiduciary accounting firm, for any corporation you'd like, and look at their expenditures and taxes paid. It's all there. Private tax returns are not a public record, so there is not much you can get there. As for the progressive tax you support, how is that fair? You should be familiar with the percentage of taxes paid by the top 1%, the top 5%, the top 15%, and the top 50%, as they have been presented here many times. The fact is, these folks provide the vast majority of the Federal income tax revenue. Now maybe eliminating the Social Security cap would make sense, and keep SS solvent for a long time to come. But people paying NO income tax while others do is not fair. If you want to have a threshold of say $15K, and then the flat tax kicks in for income over that, it's not ideal, but OK. A flat tax makes everyone have some skin in the game as to how their income is to be taxed, and how it is to be spent. That is fair...for everyone.

threecents

Gabe, Looks like both of us have made our points, and we are talking past each other again. The point that I confused tax rate with tax amount has now been made four times (not including now), so let's move on.

bosco

I've never worked for a corporation started by a billionaire's secretary.

The Grape of Wrath

Buffet actually said his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he. So even if his tab was millions, her rate could still be higher than his. And it probably was.

threecents

The wealthy also hire politicians, in the form of donations to PACS. Why else would the Trumps have held fund raisers for Corey Booker and donated to the Clintons? Google those if you don't believe me.

hayduke2

Bitter and not accurate... Tell me how much tax Amazon, Trump, Exxon, etc. paid..

BTW- I believe this is satire... The MD State government pension is not funded by the taxpayer - it is funded by contributions and investments. It has also been raided several times to support government and has not been reimbursed.

dabittle

"The MD State government pension is not funded by the taxpayer - it is funded by contributions and investments." Really? Actually, Maryland government employees do not make contributions to their pensions...thus their pensions are funded, entirely and all together, by taxpayers! BTW, Amazon, Trump AND Exxon all pay more taxes than your liberal/progress friends tell you they do. Perhaps you should do your own homework instead of listening to your favorite MSMBC talking-head! Don't just be a voter...be an informed voter.

Moon otter

dabit hate to say this but state employees pay into their retirement. In fact two years in a row we paid into a retirement and the state yanked a percentage a stuck into the general fund. So we were in essence paying a double tax. Think about that. Our pension is in the stock market. State matches what we put in.

gabrielshorn2013

Hay, get their annual reports and tell us. You and dabittle seem to be splitting hairs about the pension system. Do you contribute to your retirement pension? Yes, I believe you do. Does your employer contribute to your pension with either a set amount, or a matching contribution? Yes, I believe they do. Since your employer (and those of other public employees) is funded by taxpayers, a part of your pension is funded by taxpayers. Is that a fair assessment? Please correct me if I misunderstand.

gabrielshorn2013

What did Mr. Naik do before he was a retiree contributor to this newspaper?

Reader1954

quit giving all the exemptions to the rich. Make it a flat rate on gross income - period. The size of the irs & its regulations is just crazy. A flat percentage the same for everyone means the rich pay more because they don't get all the exemptions.

Kelpfarming

The awful Rich produce things, employ people and from all that generate tax revenues for the Hard working government workers to enjoy their grotesque benefits and job security. . So its a tad hilarious that this same old boring hymn of "the rich the rich" still goes on. When 50% of the nation pays NO federal income tax who are they to ever lecture about how much is too much. Unless they want that finger in their faces. You know, like WHya re buying cigarettes or netflic or how do you afford those clothes and those phones. When you are lounging in the cart stop asking about the mules pulling it. Mkay. Cheers

olefool

It might startle you to learn that more than 50% of corporations and most members of the 1% class do not pay any taxes whatsoever. Cheers.

gabrielshorn2013

Got a citation for that information olefool?

marinick1

[thumbup]

joelp77440

I smell a racial overtone/innuendo to your comment. Stop it.

threecents

Joel, People like Blue Eye need scapegoats for their world view.

DickD

Kelp, go to Church Easter Sunday. Your cult leader, Donald Trump says it is okay.

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