Why did Thomas Jefferson want to punish success?

Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. — Karl Marx Thomas Jefferson (1785).

A couple weeks ago, Matt Yglesias made the astute observation that since conservatives can no longer argue that low tax rates on the rich produce widespread prosperity, they’ve had to switch gears and claim that progressive taxation itself is immoral.

One of the many problems with this view is, by that standard, most of the American Century — which saw the greatest expansion of the middle class in world history — was one big exercise in immorality.

But right on cue today is the CBO Director during the Bush administration and John McCain’s 2008 chief economic advisor, Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

The bottom line is that a small minority is paying for all of the government Americans enjoy. Why is it fair that they be required to pay more?

I don’t know about you, but the unfairness of those poor Galtian Overlords collapsing under weight of supporting all of us lazy moochers and freeloaders keeps me up at night.


This leads me to the sad conclusion that the only reason that taxing the rich has to be “on the table” is pure jealousy. Is jealousy really a good public policy?

Remember, if McPalin had won the election, this dickish Randoloid would have an office in the White House right now.

Mark Thoma has more on the right’s “taxing the rich is immoral” meme.

Blue Texan

Blue Texan