The most prosperous times in American history were marked by a far, far higher marginal tax rate for the rich. In the fifties and sixties, the super-rich paid as much as 90%! (you had to be real rich for that)
It didn't do any of the bad things that some people here fear (I'm looking at you, rattler). What it did was spread the wealth a bit and subsequently we had a thriving middle class, great schools, and public services. It made an atmosphere in which people had a little money to spend - our economy is in the crapper right now because nobody can afford to pay for anything. Businesses don't have customers. But, ironically, the rich just keep getting richer and richer. The only other time we had this big an income disparity between rich and poor was in the great depression. It is not healthy - we need to stop thinking that you can get rich with lower taxes. YOU CANNOT.
In fact, if you look around the world, the most prosperous countries (and some are surprised to find out it's not us) have uniformly higher tax rates than we do. Of course, in return, everyone has health care, everyone get a good education, and everyone has access to robust public services. Denmark, one of these "socialist" countries, produces more millionaires per capita than any nation on earth. Rich people do not leave such places because they are better to live in than a country where you can get super rich, but must live among impoverished people. Additionally, creating a huge underclass the way we have means you have more crime, more hopelessness, and more people just giving up rather than making an unworkable wage for a soul-less corporation. You want a vision of no regulation, low taxes for the rich, and underfunded services? Go visit Calcutta.
Unlike some liberals, I personally am a staunch capitalist. I've run my own businesses since college, and I've succeeded in getting rich. I'm a CEO. I've employed a lot of people for a long time at high salaries. I'm not some free-loading lazy bum who's looking for a handout. I have three homes, a boat, and plenty of money. But I have a tiny fraction of what a lot of these crazy CEOs we see on TV make. They make more in one bonus than I"ll see in my lifetime. And we're going to protect THEM from higher taxes? I'm begging you - tax the rich. Tax ME more. It is vital for the health of our society, for our economy, for your kids' futures. Don't believe the hype. You have a better chance of getting rich in an economy where the rich are taxed more. It may be counter intuitive, but the more the schools decline, the lower the median income gets, the more people are struggling to make ends meet, the worse everyone's opportunities get. It is not healthy to aggregate wealth in the hands of an elite few. That's what happened before the Great Depression, and it's been happening now. Stop worrying about the rich! We're rich already! Worry about the family that's struggling down the street. They are the future - and their kids will either end up in universities or in prisons based on the decisions we make today. Worry about them, not Bill Gates. Bill Gates doesn't give a damn about his tax rate - I guarantee you.