PRO: Wealthy should pay more taxes in new "fiscal cliff" deal

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Jan. 6, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.

For the majority of American taxpayers in middle- and lower-income brackets, the American Taxpayer Relief Act will have a minimal effect on their wallets.

Under the new law, tax breaks for about 98 percent of average wage earners are projected to sustain income tax cuts, and those receiving unemployment benefits will continue receiving funds.

Kelli Gill, Victoria Democratic Party chairwoman, said even though the legislation placed the majority of the tax burdens on the rich, she said the bill was fair for Americans overall.

"It really was a victory for middle class," Gill said. "I think it was a fair decision. I think it's patriotic for the rich to pay their fair share of taxes."

Gill said wealthier Americans are not excluded from using government services, and it is often these services, such as government loans for education and business opportunities, that have allowed them financial successes.

"Unless you've been living in the mountains somewhere and you're entirely self-sustained, you didn't get there on your own. We're all beneficiaries of tax dollars," she said.

Obama said in a news conference following Congress' late-night passing of the bill last week that the tax increases on the wealthy are projected to reduce the debt with $620 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households in America.

Gill said that was a substantial figure to gain from a small percentage of American taxpayers, who can likely afford the increases more than middle-class Americans - many of them still rebounding from a sluggish economy.

"If we didn't do something, it was going to throw off the whole worldwide economic scale," Gill said.

The bill sequesters future discussion on spending cuts for two months. At that time, Congress will resume discussions on government spending cuts to help increase the debt ceiling further.

An Edward Jones partner and financial adviser in the Victoria office, Kenny French said there is no way to accurately estimate whether one economic class will suffer more than another.

"It's really tough to say right now because we're too early," French said. "A lot of it is unknown. Right now, it's too early to tell."

Gill said she wanted to see how the new spending cuts would affect middle-class Americans, though she's confident the outcome will be fair and just for all.

"I'm interested to see what the Dems are going to do about cutting spending and how that's going to affect the middle class," she said. "But I think the bill was a good compromise between Republicans and Democrats on the Hill. It truly set a precedent for bipartisanship, and the compromise we will have will be a positive one."

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CON: Penalizing only rich goes against American ideals



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