Monday, July 23, 2007

Tax that Guy Behind the Tree

Don't tax you.
Don't tax me.
Tax that guy
Behind the tree.

That little bit of doggerel popped into mind when I saw a headline in the Financial Times about a global backlash against globalization. The article stated, "In response to fears of globalisation and rising inequality, the public in all the rich countries surveyed – the US, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Spain – want their governments to increase taxation on those with the highest incomes. "

If the public had been asked, "Do you think we should increase your taxes?" I'm sure they would have come up with a different but no less confident conclusion. Even better, we should have asked them point blank, "Are you rich?"

In the United States for 2004, to be in the top 1 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI), you needed to earn $309,160, according to Arnold Kling at Econlib.

An awful lot of working couples and small business people make more than $309,160. They don't think of themselves as rich. Comfortable, maybe, but not rich. But of course, a campaign to "tax the comfortable" wouldn't get very far.

Beware those who want to "tax the rich." They may be talking about you.

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