I say the rich pay much more than their fair share of taxes. Matt Schuster disagrees. But in his disagreeing he moved the goal post. The argument was originally tax rates. He changed it to wealth ownership…a very different thing.
One reason they don’t represent the same thing is that invested wealth produces growth in the economy and things for all of us to purchase and use. Tax revenue, though necessary for the maintenance of the modern state, is often squandered as inefficient and unproductive government expenditures.
Matt, you lament that a Minnesotan with an income of $450,000 pays a combined income, sales and real estate tax rate of 9%, and someone with an income of $10,000 pays 22%. Real estate taxes are hard to form a good comparison with between the two individuals, however, identical sales tax extends to everything that money is traded for within any particular location. Now surely you wouldn’t ask the rich to start paying 45 times as much tax for an identical item as a poor person. If so you would be destroying the economy, as the luxury tax of years ago indicates would happen.
In the second chapter: “Proletarians and Communists,” of his Communist Manifesto, Marx argued for 10 things he considered generally necessary in advanced countries to bring about his ridiculous utopia. Point number two, right behind his call for the abolition of private property, is: “A heavy progressive, or graduated income tax.” Heavy and Progressive – that’s commie-speak for “The rich need to pay their fair share.”
Today’s progressivism, a co-opted propagandistic term, as though it represents social and historic progress, is at home in a statist control of the people. Marx could well have said: “Progressives of all countries… unite!”
Rod Bergengren, Cambridge