This seems like a no-brainer to me: if the government needs money to meet its obligations, go to the people who have the money and make them pay up.
Dylan Matthews has provided a visual answer to where those rich people who could pay more taxes are located. Here's the map. The yellow and lighter greens have more rich people than the median; the blues less.
Watching television and listening to politicians who want to cut taxes, you'd think an awful lot more of us than those small percentages belonged to upper income brackets. But apparently not, according to census data.
Matthews pointed out another notable fact about where the rich are located:
Apparently cutting taxes for the rich is not a winning stance for politicians from the places where higher percentages of the rich reside.
Andrew Gelman has done the job of showing that rich people are more reliably Republican voters in poorer states than in richer states. That might help explain this apparent discrepancy, that anti-tax Senators come overwhelmingly from states where their rich people would benefit less from continued low taxes.
The contemporary Democratic coalition is often charged with being based in elites. Gelman has pointed out that it is the heavy preference among college educated voters with incomes up to around $75000 that lets those who wish to do so make that claim. It's true; doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, and office workers do tend to be Democrats in all states. Their earnings do exceed the national median income. But they aren't the rich. They are the successful middle class whose allegiance makes democratic government work. Democrats are the party of the educated, not the rich.