According to a new poll by HNW Inc., a marketing firm, 50% of those who’s incomes are in the top 1% in the United States do not view their income as being in that category. 44% of those who earn top 1% wages feel that they already pay too much in taxes.
The issue isn’t income inequality. I don’t care how much money you make. I care that I have to pay 27% of my income in taxes while someone who makes almost 10 times the amount my family does only pays 14% AND 44% of those people, according to HNW, feel like they still pay too much in taxes. And why do they have this ability to pay a lesser percentage of their income? Because they have the money to influence politics while I have only my words, thoughts, and ideas.
I have no doubt that many in the top 1% have worked hard to get there and for that I congratulate them. With great power comes great responsibility, however, and that is where they and our country has failed everyone else. How many in that 44% have started endowments to help those less fortunate or help those who’s life circumstances have beaten them down? How many in that 44% have given more than 10% of their income to charities to help the underprivileged? My educated guess is that there are very few, as they feel that they already pay out too much of their money.
Many of us who speak up don’t want a handout - we want a fair shake of the stick. One simple illness can set back a family for 10 years because of enormous cost of health care in relation to decline salaries. In my family, we’ve had to take a 3% pay decrease, forego an additional 3% raise, and starting in January we will have to pay an additional $144 per month to keep our health insurance. In real numbers, that’s $4,000 that I have this year that I won’t have next year. Do you have any idea what I could do with an extra $4,000?
And before you start telling me that I’m part of the problem, our family is almost debt free. We’re down to medical bills and student loans. We’ve eliminated over $100,000 in debt in 3 years. I know how to invest, budget, grow finances. In 30 months I took a company from $500k to over $2 million. Why did we have so much debt? From me losing two jobs over a period of two years, draining our savings accounts and using credit cards just to survive. When there are no resources or my resources are continually cut, eliminated, or taxed even more, my hands become tied.
Believe what you want to believe about Occupy, but what it is really about is removing those ties from our hands that were placed there against our will and letting people like me do what we do best - support ourselves, support our families, and support our communities.