Everybody Wants to be a Millionaire (No Tax, Please)

Everybody wants to be a millionaire.

Because when they try to raise your taxes, you just cry out “No fair!”

In both Minnesota and New Jersey, efforts to pass a millionaire’s tax failed, with different results.

In Minnesota, the government has shutdown for the second time in a decade after, as Care2′s Robin Marty writes,

Republicans turned down a last minute deal that would eliminate the proposed new top tier tax rate on the richest Minnesotans – originally the top 2 percent of all earners, which was instead reduced to only those who make more than $1 million per year, a total of 7700 Minnesotans.

The reason Republicans have made it a priority to protect those 7,700 Minnesotans (0.03 percent of the state’s population) from a tax increase is because, as Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (the former Secretary of State under Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty) says, why impose such an extra burden on “those who’ve actually worked hard”?

Ah yes. If you (single parent, recently-laid-off office worker, individual with disabilities) are not reeling in the big big bucks, clearly you are not working “hard.”

A similar “antitax extremism,” as a New York TImes editorial says, is behind New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s vetoing of the millionaire’s tax, in keeping with his no-new-taxes pledge. The extra pain a Jersey millionaire would feel from the millionaires’ tax is far less than others — including the low-income families, single working mothers, urban poor — are feeling after Christie’s massive budget cuts. As Mary E. Forsberg, research director for New Jersey Policy Perspective, wrote yesterday in the Star-Ledger:

How much do [Jersey's millionaires] pay in state income tax on $2.8 million? About $231,368, or 8.4 percent of their income.

How much would it be under the “millionaires’ tax” that was proposed by Democrats? About $262,863, or 9.5 percent of their income.

The difference of about $30,000 is what plenty of Jerseyans affected by the budget cuts make per year. But that amount is just about what the “average millionaire filer” makes in one week. As Forsberg points out,

Cuts had to be made. The state saved $45 million by reducing the state Earned Income Tax Credit. That meant the poorest workers in the state got what amounted to a $300 reduction in their benefit for the year. That’s about one week’s wages for a single mother with two children working at minimum wage. See how that works?

That $300.00 has to go quite a long way. NJ Transit (again) raised its ticket prices so the round-trip ticket that cost $12.75 last year is now $17.00. Also, if you now earn more than $5000 in New Jersey, you very well no longer qualify for FamilyCare, a state insurance program for those with low incomes: New Jersey is planning to cap eligibility at $5000.

Millionaires have their expenses too, of course, and one can imagine that having to pass on $30,000 more to the state could be annoying, given the costs of the shore house, country club membership, tuition at private or religious schools, the mortgage, saving for the private out-of-state colleges your kids will clamor to attend (only losers stay in Jersey for college unless they get into the one in Princeton), etc., etc.. Etc.

As Forsberg points out, Jersey’s millionaires benefit a lot from being here, in close proximity to New York and Wall Street. The state’s taxes don’t exactly seem to be keeping them away:

Among all states, New Jersey has ranked at the top in terms of median income and number of millionaire households for years. That’s why one needs to be skeptical of the claim that a mass exodus of wealth is taking place. These wealthy people probably also understand that marginal tax rates are different than effective tax rates, but that would go against their self-interest. (You may remember that Gov. Christie’s income in 2009 put his family in the 10.25 percent marginal tax bracket, but their effective tax rate was actually 6.2 percent — big difference.) Clearly, these are the people who are doing the best in New Jersey.

No argument that they’re doing “the best in New Jersey.” But like the governor who’s clearly looking out for them (after all, he is one of them), they’re not all doing what you might  call “the best for New Jersey.”


Related Care2 Coverage

Minnesota Shut Down – State Senator Demands Governor’s Resignation

California Has A Budget – Minnesota Has A Shutdown

NJ Senate President’s Anti-Christie Tirade: Too Little, Too Late

Photo by magerleagues


W. C
W. Cabout a month ago


William C
William Cabout a month ago

Thank you.

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

I'd like to be a millionaire too.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson6 years ago

The state of Minnesota is officially "Shut Down"as a result of the Republican Legislature's refusal to raise taxes on Minnesota's 7700 ( the top .03 % ) residents who make more than a million dollars a year.The rest stops throughout the state,the payments to social services,the highway construction and State Park campsites are shuttered but I understand that those millionares,who ,of course, work hard, have no reason to expect higher taxes. I'm disgusted by the lack of reason in recent politics. Pawlenty left our state finances short by insisting on NO NEW TAXES.All over the state EDUCATION has suffered--and seen cuts BUT our rich people are happy to send their children to private schools. The rest of the country needs to take a GOOD look because the Republican plan for you is already in effect here.

Mike Chrissie
Mike Chrissie6 years ago

1 - Corporations do not pay taxes, individuals do, raise taxes on corporations they will do 1 of 2 things, raise prices or cut expenses, either way you pay.
2 - It's a free country, you don't like the company you work for you can move to another company or start your own business, it's up to you so stop whining.
3 - You received 12 years of free education paid for by others, there are trade schools and community colleges that offer job training and/or classes to help you start your own business. You don't have skills blame yourself, stop whining, and go get some training.
4 - a family of 4 making $50,000 a year pays no income tax, 10% of americans pay 70% of the income taxes, 47% of americans pay no income tax, so stop your whining about taxing the rich, they are already carring you. Do not punish success, go out and figure out how you can be successful.
5 - we live in a country where anyone can make a lot of money, so stop whining and figure out how you can be successful, oh and the downside, successful people usually become republicans except for lawyers.

Danny W.
Danny Wilson6 years ago

We don't need less government we need less corporate CEO. The real tax is the money we never got in pay raises for the last 30 years to keep up with inflation. That is a "corporate stealth tax" on Americans, but it's smarter than actually taxing people, just don't give them the money in the 1st place. Eventually there may be another 'Boston Tea Party' but it won't be about the government and taxes, it will be about the new 'lords in their castles' most of whom are now richer than any king ever dreamed of. Pretty sneaky really.

Britin Jackson
Past Member 6 years ago

Duncan- I object to you trampling on my opinion in a derogatory fashion, I have not attacked you nor your ideals, I just don't agree with them. I wasn't aware that I had to and that if I didn't you would bludgeon me with them...

On that note: I apologize if I was bludgeoning others with my opinions and will try to refrain in the future....

There are always three sides to every story and you are entitled to your side as I am to mine. Somewhere in the middle is usually the "truth"...

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

"On a side note, the money I earn comes from a company that uses my skills to make a profit, so who's money is it really?"
-- The money YOU earn is YOURS. The money the company earns is theris!

"Did the "company" have the skills to create this profit?"
--Yes! Else there would be no company!

"No people did and do so why is it other "people's" money that I supposedly want to take away?!"
--In one respect the money you take away, in the form of your paycheck, is other people's money. It is money that the company has agreed to pay to you for your services. Said money coming into the COMPANY from the customers.

"Again companies aren't individuals,"
--No one has ever said companies are individuals. Corporations are a unique animal. Legally in a company you can not sue the company, you must sue the owner. That is not the case with a corporation, the corporation itself may be sued with any cost related to the suit coming from the corporation's assets rather than the owner's.

"(T)hey are made up from many and only the top get a living wage anymore"
--I hear this adnauseum! Are then going to be the first person to actually explain, in concrete terms just what you see as a "living wage"? You seem to imply that a living wage can only be what the owner of the company makes!

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

"(Prove that they actually pay even that percentage on their TOTAL wealth and I might change my mind...)"

The IRS has already done that for you! Where do you think theses figures come from? People on the left like to pretend that the IRS data does not include everything. Have you EVER filled out your own taxes?? The AGI is what is left afteer all the additions & subtractions have occured. That is the figure that everyone pays their taxes on. for the very wealthy it includes all the things the left sees as wrong, like dividends & interest, investment earnings ( I guess that means your landlord is an eville "rich" person).

If you's like a real picture of the situation I suggest you review, "Taxpayers with the Top 400 Adjusted Gross Income". I have found nothing more explicit in what comprises a set of returns, and represents the top 1.3% of returns.

Money "spent" does not change anything. It is money invested that makes thigs grow. The owner of the local Mom & Pop food store "invest" their money in a property & inventory. When that inventory moves out the front door Mom & Pop "make: money on their investment. Unless you want to call that "investment" "spending", but then you would have to say Mom & Pop are "stealing" from those taking the goods out the front door - since Mom & Pop charged more than they "spent"!

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

The rich share of income is 20%. The rich share of taxes is 40%.

Therefore they are paying twice their "fair share"! (source: IRS Data Book)

Now it is your turn to show me how this so-called "billions of dollars from hard working American's" was "stolen"?

"Some, not all of the rich ARE NOT paying what they should." Who is to determine what it is they "should" be paying. In a manner of speaking the Government has done that with publishing the rules of the tax system. But you seem to think that those rules are insufficient. Yet the current rules are making the "rich" pay a shar of taxes that is twice their share of their income. As to the basic intent of the comment is is exactly backwards. And the exact same thing happens at every level of income!

The "jobs" situation is related strictly to the actions being, or planned, taken by the Government. Those plans directly effect the functions of every business in the land. Would you really risk your money, your livelihood, when you are unable to gage what the business climate is going to be, or what the costs are to be levied on your business by the Government?

I wouldn't, the risk is too great!