During these difficult times, when so many are out of work, it's easy to point the finger, as President Barack Obama does frequently, and suggest that the rich are not paying their "fair share" in taxes.
Never mind that the top 10 percent of wage earners pay 70 percent of income taxes. What harm would there be in raising their taxes?
For years, I have worked with a number of top wage earners on Hilton Head Island. They have waterfront homes, nice cars and boats. They can afford to pay more in taxes. But take thousands more from them in taxes, and they will be forced to tighten their belts elsewhere.
They may delay or cancel plans for home renovation, or do without myriad other services provided by small businesses in our area. In turn, the small businesses that depend on these wealthy customers will not be hiring new workers, nor will they be purchasing supplies and services from other area businesses, who will be forced to cut back on personnel.
Raising taxes on the rich means the money that would stay in our local community and enrich the lives of all its residents will go instead to Washington, where little of it is likely to return. That leaves the poor and unemployed dependent on government handouts instead of a paycheck and an opportunity for a better future.
Younger workers and African-Americans are hit hardest by the unemployment that results from raising taxes. Does that sound fair?
Hilton Head Island