President Barack Obama’s health-care reform is facing critical opposition from conservative “blue dog” Democrats who reject the idea of using a surtax on the rich to help cover the costs for making coverage more affordable for many other Americans.
However, as economist Richard Wolff notes, taxes on the wealthiest Americans have dropped sharply over the past three decades (because of tax cuts pushed by Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush) while total taxes on many middle-income Americans have actually risen.
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Wolff also disputes the view of some conservatives that rich Americans are the nation’s golden goose and that lower-income Americans represent “parasites” infecting “the host.” According to Wolff, the true wealth of a society resides in the health of its people and their ability to work and produce goods and services.
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