Friday, March 6, 2009

Tax Breaks and Bar Stool Economics

One of our readers (who knew we had readers already?) anonymously posted this comment:

"You rich people have been getting tax breaks since the beginning of time. Why not others?"

Reserving judgment on whether the poster is entitled (see earlier post) to call us "rich" (it's in exceptionally bad taste to speculate publicly on another's income), we suggest that:
  1. The tax breaks available to "the rich" are available to "ordinary people" (as the President insists upon calling us) as well. They're available to everyone and anyone. Equal protection under the law and all...that pesky old Constitution keeps cropping up in these arguments.
  2. Equal protection notwithstanding, the old "bar stool economics" parable is an excellent reminder of what really happens when there's a progressive tax...and how those who pay a higher tax rate and a higher share of the overall tax bill find themselves mightily screwed.
"To each according to his needs and from each according to his abilities" was a philosophical takeaway from Marx's Communist Manifesto. Let's not leapfrog socialism too quickly...

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