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October 22, 2007 - 4:46 am

It seems that Robert Reich, the former Labor Secretary in the Clinton Administration a href=”http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2007/10/how-to-be-redistributionist.html”has proposed a redistributionist/a tax strategy for “the rich:”br /br /blockquoteWhat’s fair? I’d say a 50 percent marginal tax rate on the very rich (earning over $500,000 a year). Plus an annual wealth tax of one half of one percent on net worth of people holding more than $5 million in total assets….If the Democrats stand for anything, it’s a fair allocation of the responsibility for paying the costs of maintaining this nation./blockquotebr /br /Reich calls it a fair allocation, I call it highway robbery–taking 50% of someone’s money at gunpoint (and face it, that’s what the government does, don’t believe it? Try making a lot of money and then not pay tax on it and see what happens) is basically theft. It’s not fair allocation, it’s not “redistributionist” strategy, it is theft, plain and simple and it should be illegal. Sure, I’ll go along with citizens having some obligation to pay a modest share of taxes (what about a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060875496?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0060875496″the fair tax/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0060875496″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / to accomplish this?) to pay for roads, national security and other government necessities but the idea that one can be taxed at such a high rate deserves a swift and severe response from those in this country who believe in economic freedom; luckily there are some people out there who realize this type of tax is more than about money, it is about the freedom to practice one’s profession without penalty for success. a href=”http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/10/robert_reich_suggests_a_new.php#comment-721126″A commenter/a at Megan McArdle’s blog points out:br /br /blockquote….Let’s face it. A patent attorney makes big bucks because there aren’t that many folks that are very good electrical engineers or PhDs in chem/bio, plus have a law degree, but the market demand for good ones is very high. Supply is tight, demand is high. Same for other highly paid professionals.br /br /Between the two of us (my partner and I), we make close to $500k/year. But we both came from lower middle class families (we both worked our way through school and had huge student loans…our families too poor to help), so it isn’t like we’re “fat cats.”br /br /You start banging us any harder in taxes, we’ll quit working so hard. Might just say “f— it” and retire. We won’t be the only ones. That’ll make our talents even more scarce and increase the wages of those that remain.br /br /Moreover, what is the incentive for a young kid today to work like a dog, go into debt to learn the skills needed to provide what the economy needs so badly as shown by market wages.br /br /And we’ll sit here and wonder why China and India leap ahead of us and our economy/standard of living stagnates…. /blockquote br /br /Another a href=”http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/10/robert_reich_suggests_a_new.php#comment-724114″dissenter at McArdle’s place/a has the right idea:br /br /blockquoteI’d sell my business and retire (at 42) if such taxes were enacted. I’d forfeit my citizenship and move to Ireland or the Cayman Islands, too./blockquotebr /br /Where is Milton Friedman when you need him? Is this a premonition of what is to come if the Democrats are in power? I sure hope not or it may be time for another Boston Tea Party of sorts by those of us who believe that economic freedom is imperative to a free society.

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