Their, not there. Sorry, couldn't resist.
The rich have the most to gain in this country and capitalism in general (at least in this country, anyways) works to their advantage more than it does to any other "class". So I don't think that it is unfair at all to expect them to pay a larger % of their earnings back into the system in the form of taxes as long as we have any system of taxation to begin with.
I think the last 8-10 years, and especially the summer/fall of 2008, would pretty much invalidate the theory that lowering taxes for the rich leads to some sort of trickle down effect that is good for the economy as a whole. But the rich keep telling us that this works and that they are essentially "entitled" to take home more of their taxes than other class groups.
In the days of Eisenhower the rich used to pay more like 80% of their income back in taxes. I don't like this option anymore than I like the Bush-era tax cuts. But the bottom line is that the rich have it better in this country than they ever have before. In dire economic times they still have it better than ever before. Given that we are basically taking in less than we spend, it doesn't make sense to give the tax cuts to the rich at this particular point in time.
I'd like to see taxes lowered across the board, but this is not the time to do so. The country as a whole has to make some sacrifices, and it is the rich who are best in position to do this. Besides, ending the Bush-era tax cuts isn't really a raise in taxes as much as it is a return to a previous level. They'll still be much lower than they have been in general in the last 50 years.
We are slowly turning into a two-class system at the expense of the middle class and at the expense of future generations. It is the lower and middle classes that NEED the tax cuts. The rich will be just fine paying 38% instead of 33% or whatever the figures are. But the lower and middle classes would not be. We are a service-based economy now, and regardless of what tax rates the rich pay, they will continue to use and enjoy these "services" because they can afford to, whereas it is the lower and middle classes who will be forced to curtail their use of these services. Like I said before, I'd like to see taxes cut for everyone, but it is just too unrealistic to expect NOW to be the time to do so. I think Warren Buffett was right in his assessment of these tax cuts/hikes.