“The only way the states and the federal government will succeed in fighting the budget deficit is by raising taxes on the wealthy and stopping the corporate welfare. The middle class has no more to give: it is time for the wealthy to step up to the plate. It is time for the corporations who are sending jobs overseas to bring the jobs and the money home.” K. Harris’ comment to P. Solman’s The Business Desk
P. Solman: Your point about the unsustainability of benefit cuts is a good one, Ms. Harris, and an example of what economists often call the law of unintended consequences. Take people off Medicaid and they’re less likely to go to the doctor, meaning less preventive care, worse health, overcrowded ERs — greater costs in the end. That has long been the economics argument for covering the uninsured.
As to the issue of “cutting taxes for the rich,” it is, well, a rich one. I can’t find the data you ask for about states, but I’ve found a chart from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center of the top marginal Federal (not state) income tax rate for individuals.
For a more graphic visualization, try this, through 2003. To bring it up-to-date, just extend the line at 35 percent.