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Comment of the week

Methinks writes about the top 2% paying for the increase of almost a trillion dollars flowing mostly to the other 98%:

I'm in the target group to do the paying. I won't do it.

I own my business and, unlike an employee, I have the option to work as much or as little as I like. At some tax rate, the marginal dollar won't be worth earning. I'll fire some employees, scale down the business or retire altogether and stick my money in tax advantaged muni bonds and do all the traveling and relaxing I can't do now. The tax advantage of muni bonds will NEVER go away because municipalities will scream bloody murder. If I'm not ready to retire and the tax rate gets too high, I may just immigrate to another country because it's very easy for me to get almost instant citizenship in any other country. I respond to incentives and I'm not incentivized by enslavement and neither is anyone I know. The specialness of this country is the lack of totalitarian regime and individual liberty. Once that's gone, this country is no longer all that special. You can call me evil or "not doing my part" because I'm not willing to work myself into the grave for your family instead of mine, but the reality is that unless you plan to start a Gulag, you can't make me.

The question is, why should I be expected to work and risk more than you to provide you with the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed?

Yes, it's sustainable to raise taxes on the most productive. However, it's not sustainable at a high standard of living. It's sustainable only at ever decreasing standards of living. France and Germany are good examples.

There's a difference between the natural altruism that occurs between family members and confiscation by the state. I feel great when I donate to charity. I feel really crappy when I write the check to the IRS. Maybe I should figure out how to receive one instead. Seems a lot less time consuming.

What empirical evidence do we have about the responsiveness of high earners to tax rates? What is the reliability of that evidence? Either way, a tip of the hat to Methinks for the eloquence.