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What collecting interest means here?

Richest, their tax rate was far higher than what it is today. Now, wealthy Americans finance the federal government by lending it money, and collecting interest payments on those loans, profiting when the rest of us pay them back.

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Interest is the profit earned by "selling" money. You borrow $500 from the bank. They sell you that money for a profit, like any company sells products for a profit. We call that profit "interest." Sometimes, if people don't have the money to pay back on the amount of the loan, the principal, they are permitted to pay on the interest. It looks like the rich people are collecting the interest on the loans, rather than a portion of the loan along with the interest. The point here is that if the richer paid higher taxes, the public wouldn't have to borrow money from them and then have to pay back the loan and the interest on top of that. It's an argument for raising tax rates on the rich.