In my post earlier today about Paul Krugman’s winning the Nobel Prize for Literature–I mean, for Economics–I noted that it was some small consolation that, although Krugman is now $1.4 million richer, if Obama is elected (a big “if,” but still . . .), he might well “start nosing around that ‘windfall’ profit” and take a good bit of it for his various “social” programs. Now a friend informs me that proceeds from the Nobel are tax exempt. Drat! This same friend, however, had a cheering suggestion that should be implemented by the candidate who wins the election. It is, for once, a truly innovative idea that deserves enthusiastic bipartisan support. He calls it:
The Krugman Tax for Undeserved Prizes
The rate would be 200 percent.
And people say I am against increasing taxes! Not at all. It’s just that I believe tax increases should be fair and support the common weal, which this tax surely would. Considering the number of undeserved prizes around–the Nobel Prizes represent only the tip of a very large iceberg–I expect it could net the U.S. Treasury a tidy sum–and Lord knows they need it! 700 billion here, 700 billion there: pretty soon you’re talking about real money!
Anyway, I encourage a bi-partisan grass-roots movement to support The Krugman Tax for Undeserved Prizes and let’s do it now so that the inspiration for this piece of social justice can have the benefit of helping those he pretends to care about.
[UPDATE: Alas, my friend was wrong. Unless the recipient donates the proceeds to a qualified charity, money from the Nobel Prize is taxable. I continue to think that in Paul Krugman’s case, the special Krugman Tax of 200 percent whould be considered.]