February 24, 2013

VIA ROGER KIMBALL, a modest tax-reform proposal: “It was at this point that my friend ventured his modest proposal. How about, he suggested, we have the top 7 or 8 percent of filers pay all the federal income tax? In exchange, such filers would get a larger say in determining such things as entitlement payments, what sort of things the federal government should be paying for, etc. What do you think? The proposal would, of course, make official something that has been in place unofficially at least since so many tax filers were taken off the tax rolls during the Bush administration (that was the price the Democrats extracted in exchange for the Bush tax cuts). I mean the bifurcation of American society in two classes, the makers and the takers.”

This is precisely what Jerry Pournelle foresaw in his future history, where Americans were divided into Taxpayers and Citizens, with the former having privileges that the latter lack. It is not a very attractive world — though at present, it pretty much seems like we’re being governed by Greg Tolland’s rather thuggish People’s Alliance already.

UPDATE: Reader Richard Anderson writes that I should link the books. So here’s High Justice, and West of Honor. Those are the two that take place in the world I describe.