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Connor Brien

Mrs. Cramer

Comp Pd. 27

7 November 2018

Unfair and Outdated: The Issue With Modern Day Taxation

Most people would be shocked to find out that the majority of the massive 24 trillion

dollar US debt is being paid off by those with the least amount of income and the least capable,

but this is indeed the case with modern day taxation in America. A greatly important issue is

about and the progress towards solving it is slower than ever. It is beyond unreasonable to have

the crippling debt put on the shoulders of those who are near incapable of paying it. Those who

can hardly afford to care for themselves should not have to care for the rest of the nation. It is not

only unjust to the lower class, but it is also unjust to the rest of the taxpayers in America1. The

upper class must pay more taxes in order to aid in the U.S. national debt crisis, fulfill a cause

they are more than capable of, and work towards a society with true economic equality for all

citizens.

The national debt crisis is practically destroying the economy2. The bottom 95% of

earners are currently being held responsible for paying one trillion dollars of the U.S. debt, while

the top 5% of earners are only paying about 630 billion (Lazear, 1). What this means is that those

with the least amount of income are paying off a significantly higher amount than those with the

most wealth to spare. How anyone could expect such is beyond most beliefs. On average, those

1
Euphemism – Rather than saying “the poor”, using “the lower class” is more polite and favorable.
2
Hyperbole – This is an exaggeration that highlights the severity of the debt.
with low quality housing and living conditions pay about 27% more than those living

comfortably (Albouy, 1). American economy is built upon the foundation of capitalism. In order

for capitalism to work properly, people must have equal opportunities, and in order for people to

have equal opportunities, everyone must put in equal effort towards being debt free. A society

cannot function properly if only a certain amount of citizens are paying off the national debt,

especially if those not paying the debt are more than capable of doing so. The debt is severe, and

the solution to the issue is plain and simple.

The upper class are well able to fulfill the needs of the national debt. The GDP claims

that giving the bottom 95% less economic responsibility would be one of the best first steps

towards paying off the debt (Quartz, 1). Though studies like these provide more than enough

evidence that at least attempting a new method of taxation would be worthwhile, many still argue

these ideas, stating that America has gotten this far with this method of taxation, therefore there

is no need for change. However, as a Yale study points out, America has seen forms of taxation

that rely of income and consumption, but never one that is based of wealth, meaning that there is

really no evidence that suggests such method would not prove effective (Warren, 3). Many of the

Americans in poverty are in their conditions simply because of unfair taxation brought upon

them. Taxation on the lower class acts as a double negative. It keeps the lower class in their less

than favorable financial situations, while also just neglecting the responsibility of debt put upon

all citizens of America3. The upper class really should be paying more taxes and have a higher

economic responsibility in order to better the entire country, its economy, and citizens.

3
Antithesis – This connects the main idea of taxation being unfair for the lower class with the idea that it is also a
burden on the rest of America.
Many would argue that the same taxation on everyone is only what is fair in perspective

of the constitution. True, this perspective is easy to get behind being that it is what American tax

has consisted of since its formation.What these people do not take into consideration is the fact

that variables like property and state tax is different for everyone (Warren, 7). That is a very

wide gap that exists within something that should be consistent. Two people of the same original

income could have completely different financial situations simply due to them living in two

separate areas with different tax policies. Even though it may not be possible to change this, it

should still be strongly taken into consideration. Another popular argument that is often brought

up in taxation discussion is the belief that those rich enough to be taxed at a higher amount will

just plain and simply move away because they can afford to do so. Real life examples of this

occurrence however, is hard to find. It is a seldom occurrence and it is all in all just absurd that

an argument as such exists. The upper class would not move away because if they did, they

would lose their fortune. The reason some people are wealthy is because they found profit or a

way to obtain in America. If the rich move away, they will not be rich anymore. Simple logic can

support this. Though it may be true it is possible in many cases to run a company from another

part of the world, this is a hassle and would require a lot more resources than to just run a

company traditionally. The upper class has gone far too long without properly representing what

they owe to the U.S. economy and the rest of their fellow citizens. It is clear to see that the only

real solution to such an issue is higher taxation for this group of people. Despite its difficulties

taxation like such would be possible through proper reformations, legal work, and support from

the government.

America has an issue that bears a lot of weight yet is fixable in one key way. The upper

class should be taxed at a higher rate in order to aid in the payment of the national debt,
contribute to society in a way that is well within their reach, and take the nation one step closer

the true equality and well being it has longed for. The current national debt is crippling to the

U.S. economy and in result harmful to a mass amount of Americans facing poverty. This

problem could easily be fixed at the expense of the upper class. By doing so, this country would

be closer to the freedom it proudly boasts. Society will certainly not last long if the government

allows the debt to wrongfully effect so much of the population and benefit so little. With the

answer in sight, many would be left to wonder what steps they could take to do their part in the

advancement of a better country. One answer rings clear to this question as well: be an active

American. Being an active American is being a better American. What this means is anything

from simple action like informing others about the current crisis the U.S. is facing, to voting and

participating in local and national elections, or even taking part in petitions, community events,

rallies and other productive actions. Americans must encourage others to do so too. It is very

important to note that this sort of action is most effective when completed with a chain of others.

The current U.S. taxation policies are in a bad place for many Americans, but with the help of

others, America can function as a nation and do something greatly important for all of its

citizens.
Works Cited

Albouy, David. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation." Chicago Journals,

Chicago UP, 2009, pp. 1-5.

Alvin Warren, Would a Consumption Tax Be Fairer Than an Income Tax?, 89 Yale L.J. (1980).

Hatgioannides, J., Karanassou, M. & Sala, H. (2017). Should the Rich be Taxed More? The

Fiscal Inequality Coefficient. Review of Income and Wealth,

Kopf, Dan. "Economists aren’t usually political—rising inequality is changing that." Quartz, 11

Sept. 2017, qz.com/1072089/economists-arent-usually-political-rising-inequality-is-changing-

that/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2018.