Many people who file tax returns with large amounts of income, such as selling a business for $10 million, will have a multi-million capital gains amount. It’s not that the higher income earners have some sort of capital gains loophole, but it’s really that the wealthy have done something well to attain the American Dream. And when they do strike it rich through their effort, part of their wealth is treated as a capital gain and it gives those earners a chance to keep a part of it. Knowing that there is a low capital gains rate is an extra incentive to work hard and be successful.
Many of my clients are wealthy, and I have experienced time and again that they will come to me and ask the question: if they are successful, can they keep the majority of their money?”. This is because they know that government wants to take more from the highest income earners who have proven their success, while at the same time, the government is quite happy to let them lose on their own on their particular endeavor.
Most in the top echelon get there from a one-time income-producing significant event. To punish such success by raising the capital gains tax only serves to drive a deeper wedge between the have- and have-nots in an attempt to level the economic playing field.