Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tax the Rich... Classic Class Envy

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

And the class warfare goes on, and on, and on. The progressive Moonbattery {following} continues.

You can tell something’s happening in the economic policy debate when you start reading more things like AEI’s Arthur Brooks explaining that it would simply be unfair to raise taxes on the rich. Harvard economics professor and former Council of Economics Advisor chairman Greg Mankiw has said the same thing. And of course Representative Paul Ryan is both a fan of Brooks and a fan of the works of Ayn Rand. Which is just to say that we used to have a debate in which the left said redistributive taxation might be a good idea and then the right replied that it might sound good, but actually the consequences would be bad. Lower taxes on the rich would lead to more growth and faster increase in incomes.

Now that idea seems to be so unsupportable that the talking point is switched. It’s not that higher taxes on our Galtian Overlords would backfire and make us worse off. It’s just that it would be immoral of us to ask them to pay more taxes even if doing so would, in fact, improve overall human welfare.

If that sounds remotely plausible to you, you might have a lucrative career ahead of you working as an apologist for said Galtian Overlords. If not, then congratulations for possessing a modicum of common sense.

The idea that the wealthy ought to pay more in taxes, IE: a higher marginal rate, is simply morally wrong. The belief that those who are more successful economical should be taxed at a much higher rate {in other words punished for their success) defies objective logic. It is the product of class envy and is the rallying cry of the progressive socialists and neo Marxist in our society.

Each individual is entitled to reap the maximum benefit of their labor and industry. The fruits of that labor ought to be taxed at the same marginal rate regardless of income generated or received. Lets, for the sake of argument use the following example using a 15% rate to keep it simple.
  • Income earner #1 - $50,000 income @ 15% = $7,500 income tax
  • Income earner #2 - $250,000 income @ 15% = 37,500 income tax
  • Income earner #3 - $1,000,000 income @ 15% = $150,000 income tax
  • Income earner # 4 -$2,500,000 income @ 15% = $375,000 income tax 
What is needed is a reformed tax code where everyone is taxed at a reasonable {and same} marginal rate. Loopholes that benefit the wealthy and businesses should be closed. This would generate significant revenue that is now lost through loopholes and government subsidies. And yes, with respect to businesses, the idiotic argument of to big to fail needs to be removed from our lexicon.

The real issue, the one progressive conveniently chose to ignore is this, it is indeed immoral for the governemnt to extract a greater share of the labor and industry of the very successful at the point of a gun held to their head just because they have achieved greater financial success.

Simplify the tax code and close the loopholes. And by the way, cut unnecessary and duplicative spending, cut the defense budget, reduce foreign welfare, and restructure entitlements. It's that simple, yet remains complicated for some.

More at Modeled Behavior.

Cross posted to the Left Coast Rebel

Via: Memeorandum


  1. I was really hoping that one of the liberals would go first but, hey, I guess that I'll have to take a stab at it. First off, Les, I don't really consider myself a tax the rich/class envy kind of a guy (just ask whirling dervish). But with a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit and a 14 trillion dollar debt, I ultimately concluded that allowing the top rate to go back to 39.6% wouldn't be the worst thing in the world (maybe up the threshold to $300-500,000). I just don't see how we can cut (OR tax) our way out of this situation. Following the advice of the Simpson-Bowles commission (Kent Conrad, also a sold contributor) probably wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

  2. There's whole lot more of us poor suckers than there are rich ones, so there's no possible way they can pay their fair share and ours too. Plus, if we bankrupt the rich, who's going to hire the rest of us? Any child can understand that logic, but too many adults want to live in Never-Never Land. Envy IS the word.

  3. You could tax "the rich" at 100% and still only reap around 1 Trillion. You can't get there from here.

    An interesting factoid is that tax collected as a percentage of GDP does not change much regardless of tax rates...

    Spending should be targeted to match the natural tax collection numbers

  4. Will - My position is well known and published as per link on subsequent post at RN Sunday afternoon. While I do believe some rational compromise {as in trimming the defense budget} is in order, taxing the right, no matter what the marginal rate may be won't solve the roblem. It will add to the class warfare currently taking place as we post and comment.

  5. Gorges - On this I could not agree with you more. Your comment is spot on and, well, simply right!

  6. Silver _ As usual your well researched comment is a curate, and your closing remark on the mark.

  7. Hmmm...

    I don't know, guys. I mean, what if we actually forced our elected officials to learn how to do what they can with what they already have, and run the Nation's economy like we all run our own houses? I mean, simplistic, yes, but come on, now...

    If I cannot trust you to properly handle a dollar, how in the hell can I expect you to handle a trillion? ("You" being our elected officials, of course.)

    I have made budget modifications for the survival of my house. I imagine many of us have. We have had to do this because of OUR actions, or because of the actions of an elitist FEW? Yeah. I thought so.

    Tax the rich? Why? Any money raised from this would fall into the dimwitted control of a bunch of financially incapable morons. We would be better off giving a book of matches to an arsonist since he has told us he promises NOT to misuse them.

    Donald in Bethel, CT

  8. In regards to the 1st Anonymous:

    Donald, yes some of the decisions you've made regarding your personal finances are, in fact, reactions to the actions of an elitist few. Look into Goldman Sachs' manipulation of commodities markets.

    You cannot expect a government to run like a corporation in the midst of corporate capitalism. Of course, it seems you can't expect democracy to work all that well either.


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 3/4/18 Anonymous commenting has been disabled and this site has reverted to comment moderation. This unfortunate action is necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or irrelevant to the post subject.

While we appreciate and encourage all political viewpoints we feel no obligation to post comments that fail to rise to the standards of decency and decorum we have set for Rational Nation USA.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.