The Most Misleading and Disingenuous 1,000 Words Online Right Now
OK, so I exaggerate, but here’s the image:
- If virtually half of Americans pay no income taxes, then it is impossible for them to “receive the gains” from any income tax reductions. And when we have a progressive tax system, it is virtually impossible for reductions in taxes to be progressive, they have to be regressive.
Of course, charts like this are particularly nauseating because the implication is that the greedy folks at the bottom appear to be taking what is not theirs – and taking it out of the mouths of some other more deserving group.
- So what’s it gonna be Mr. Progressive, are US taxes progressive or not? If they are not progressive (enough) like many Progressives have argued, then you wouldn’t observe this pattern of gains from income tax changes (well, that’s not entirely true).
- It’s high time someone stands up to defend the rich. I am nowhere near the rich. Our family is in the group where the 1.9% “gain” would come from. Maybe one day we’ll be higher, maybe not. But unless you wish to spend a few paragraphs showing me how all of the wealth of the rich is ill-gotten, I refuse to take seriously the implication that there is some sort of injustice being imposed here. This is money that was taken from them in the first place, and isn’t is just so wonderfully nice of some young ideologues in DC to suggest what the right amount for them to keep is. Of course, at least this chart isn’t linking to the recent thought experiment that the rich are no happier than the rest of us and so therefore the morally appropriate tax rate on them should be 70%. But it’s a pretty short step from here to there.
So here goes, the way to get oneself uninvited from one last dinner party: I support tax cuts for the rich. So while that will make for a nice campaign slogan, I think the right ought to embrace it. And remind folks that there are as many people on the left with high incomes as the right.