"This goes to the heart of the philosophical divide between the left and right. The left points to the fact that rates for the rich are at multi generational lows, that the country's economy did very well in the past when rates on the wealthy were higher, that a Congressional Research Service study shows no ill effects of higher rates, that the rich have done extraordinarily well over the last 30 years due to preferrential treatment in the tax code, and that at a time of need those who can best afford it should be willing to sacrifice for the good of the country. The right points out that, well, you said it best.......they want to keep their money. In order to justify feeling this way the right has created a false construct whereby they view the "47%" as the "takers" from society, or more specifically taking from the hard working "makers." We all know this is dog whistle language, the sub-text being blacks and Hispanics are living off the sweat of the industrious white folk. Aside from its inherent inaccuracy this attitude is the height of hypocrisy. Because the white middle and upper class people complaining about tax unfairness is the same crowd supporting policies that send manufacturing jobs overseas, attempt to crush unions seeking a living wage and decent benefits, are against raising the minimum wage, are against allowing for the poor to have access to health care, and generally have favored policies contributing to the gradual destruction of jobs which enable the working class to be able to provide for their families. That is why so many people pay no federal income tax. Their wages have fallen to a point where they are not required to according to the tax code. THESE PEOPLE ARE STRUGGLING TO GET BY. They are the people working two or three part time jobs trying to make ends meet and still need assistance from programs like food stamps in order to feed their kids. These are the people the right targets, claiming they should be paying some tax to the federal government so that the wealthy can expand their wine cellars.
Just as important in the right's construct is the objectification of "government." As though it was some abstract entity to be vilified when in actuality we, collectively, make up the government. The government is made up of people, responding (when it isn't being bought by corporate money) to the will of the people. As of today the people's will is that people making less than $250K in taxable income should have their rates remain low and those over that level should pay more. The goal being to bring the country's finances in to greater balance. Along with increased revenue the Obama admin has acknowledged spending cuts must be made. A year and a half ago Obama offered far more in spending cuts than he would get back in revenue but the teabaggers refused to go along with any tax increases. Guess what, the majority has spoken and those tax increases are coming. Those and cuts in spending will ultimately make for a stronger country financially and therefore make for a potentially better future. Which is what all of us wants."