"Why I quit teaching; why it torments me"
"Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution"

"The 'Tax The Rich' Con"

This is very well done.

This narrative conveniently ignores three inconvenient truths:

--Personal income taxes are levied on income, not wealth.

--The rich can (and do) shift most of the burden of higher tax rates to the middle class.

--Over time taxes targeted at the "rich" today often are broadened to reach into the pockets of the middle class tomorrow.

Part 2 here. (Further discusses an important bit of economists' wisdom: taxes don't necessarily stay where they're put.)

Part 3. Presents some very relevant history:

The "tax the rich" mantra was at the heart of arguments for a federal income tax. Passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913 was the culmination of a two-decade campaign for a progressive income tax that, the American people were told, would reduce the economic power of the wealthiest American families.

The initial law imposed a tax rate of 1% on families with incomes above $4,000--equivalent to about $88,000 in today's dollars--and a top tax rate of 7% on incomes over $500,000--or more than $11 million today. Three years later the base rate was doubled to 2% and the top rate was increased to 13% on incomes above $2 million.

Today the base rate is 10%. And families with that same $88,000 in taxable income have one-fourth of their income above $68,000 taken by the federal government.

This story of transforming a tax aimed at the rich into a levy on the middle class is one of many. The Alternative Minimum Tax passed in 1969 targeted 155 high-income households that had eliminated their income tax liabilities through the lawful use of deductions and other tax benefits. Today, absent Congressional action, 28 million taxpayers are subject to the tax--82% of whom have incomes of less than $200,000.

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