Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Taxes Please

In its continuing clarion call for higher taxes, the DMI's Amy Traub does a post on their website yesterday that sites a number of polls indicating that there is "growing support for progressive taxation," and that "two thirds of Americans believe wealth should be more evenly distributed."

Leaving aside the methodological accuracy of the polls she sites, it would be instructive to examine the consequence of following the ideological path that the DMI recommends. In the first place, what we have seen time and time again, is that the definition of what constitutes the wealthy is extremely malleable. So much so, that many of those who might respond favorably to a poll question on redistribution would be shocked to find, a little ways down the road, that they had somehow managed to also find their way into the wealthy category.

We've already seen this with the Alternate Minimum Tax, a measure designed to insure that very wealthy folks didn't get away with not paying any tax at all. This tax, originally limited to a few hundred thousand tax payers, is now applicable to millions, with no discernible limits as more and more people fall within the parameters of the ATM.

These tax debates, when fought out in the heat of a political campaign, generally don't end up benefiting the tax hikers, as old Walter Mondale will tell you. In addition, the policy consequences of following the Drum roll are, in our view quite grave. It will lead to bigger government and less economic productivity.

And if you don't believe us just take a look at, let's say, France, where the GDP has fallen as the state has expanded. Beware of the Statists and their tax raising acolytes. The money you save may be your own.