As a financial advisor, I work with a lot of small & large business people. Some are very successful. Some are less successful. None of them fit the description of the cliché dog-eat-dog business man we hear so much about in the progressive media. Most want to give back to their communities and help other people become more successful.
I also work with teachers and policemen, nurses and CPAs, tech employees and non-profit founders. These folks don’t generally fit the picture of “liberals getting by for free” that conservatives often paint. Most of them understand how hard it is to build a company from scratch and don’t really want to take away anyone’s hard earned success.
I fall somewhere in between, but I am also one of those fabled 1%ers.
I wasn’t always in the top percentile of earners. I worked day and night at my job for 17 years before I crossed that 1% threshold, but it was never a goal I had. I just wanted to be able to provide a great life for my family in the wonderful but expensive small city of Berkeley, CA. It took a long time to ramp-up my small business, and it wasn’t until 6 years ago that I started to believe success might actually be possible. Then, it took another three years for it to finally happen. One day I woke up in exactly the place I had worked so hard to reach. My financial ducks were finally in a row. I had dug out of all the holes, paid off all my legacy debts, and was able to start saving far more for the future.
Now I am 3 years into an incredible chapter of my professional life, and Congress is offering to give me an attractive bonus in the form of a substantial tax break. But, I don’t want it.
I can see why many business owners do want it. I can understand why some entrepreneurs feel they deserve it, and I don’t hold it against them. Necessarily. I know from personal experience that it takes an enormous amount of work and an enormous amount of energy and sacrifice to get to the place where you can benefit from the tax-cuts.
I also don’t think that making it easier for those of us already making plenty contributes much to the greater good of our interdependent society.
I believe we should leave the tax code the way it is. The only change I would make would be to add that 41% tax rate tier on incomes over $1 Million. Of course it’s easy for me to vote for this, because it won’t affect me. Yet!
But I do believe it will affect me one day. And on that day, if paying those higher taxes strengthens the social safety net, helps more families have decent healthcare, and ensures more kids get a good education, I’ll happily foot my share of the bill.