I'm too busy to write something this morning, so I'll just pose a question. In most cases (except when the state has some resource that pays for everything--oil, for example), taxes seem necessary to run a country. A country like ours is based on a social contract. The people establish government to "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty."
So our taxes support the police and the army, provide "general welfare" works like education, social security, and potentially health care, etc. These structures reflect the fact that no one in a country of this sort has absolute rights, including rights to property. The goal is to maximize individual rights and common benefit at the same time, in some maximized give and take. We all surrender some of our rights for the benefit we receive by not having to protect ourselves and potentially for having fall back networks for such a time as we cannot take care of ourselves. I believe a good deal of the current furor either has lost sight of these aspects of the Enlightenment context in which the Constitution was formed or never knew it.
So the question of going back to the previous tax rate on those earning over $250,000 a year reduces to one question and one question only. It is not a question of morality. After all, it's the way the rate was 10 years ago and no doubt better than what the rate was under Reagan. Definitely better than the rate under Nixon.
The question as far as I can see it is a purely economic one. Yes, reinstating this tax level will generate much needed money for the economy with incredible deficits. But given free market dynamics, does it economically do the economy better to keep this money flowing in the hands of such individuals? I really don't know. This is the key question I don't hear anyone discussing.
So I am posing an economic question today, not a moral one. Which course would be better for the economy--raising the money through taxes or keeping that money flowing in the hands of such individuals?