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Dave Ross

A little pep talk

Even FDR backed increased tax rates for the rich, and Dave Ross says that wasn't the disaster many Republicans predict. (AP image)

Republicans need a little pep talk because it looks like they’re going to lose the argument on tax rates for rich people.

And it stings. Raising rates is odious to every fiber of their being. But look who else was once was against raising rates: Barack Obama himself!

“What we said was give us $1.2 trillion without hiking tax rates but by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions,” he said when he was pushing a deal back in 2011.

So even Barack Obama has been forced to accept Barack Obama’s insistence on higher rates.

But here’s the deeper reason for Republicans to accept the higher rates: even FDR backed them.

“I do not think that any American citizen should have a net income of in excess of $25,000 dollars after taxes,” he said in a speech.

There was a war on, and he raised the top bracket to 94 percent for households making over $200,000.

Of course $200,000 then would be about $2.5 million now.

But here’s the point: FDR’s tax rates set up 60 years of tax cuts – tax cuts which didn’t actually cost the government money because as you cut rates, inflation bumped more people into the next bracket. It was perfect.

So why are Republicans trying to stop a Democratic administration from raising tax rates? Let them go to 94 percent, blame the Democrats, and set yourselves up for a free ride that could last the rest of the century!

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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