The lefties on my radar were enthusiastic this past week about a stump speech on taxes from "consumer advocate" and 2012 senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Warren's statement, which can be read by clicking the image at the beginning of this post or heard in the video at the end, does a great job of dismantling an argument that no one is actually making.
If I find someone arguing that rich people shouldn't have to pay any taxes, I'll be sure to send them to Warren's Den of Intellectual Dishonesty. But as it stands, she is getting a lot of mileage with empty rhetoric.
From The Economist:
Of course, not unlike a tea-party Republican making the case for small government, Ms Warren paints in over-broad, simplifying strokes. It is not actually true that "the rest of us" paid for the roads, the education of workers, or police and fire protection. Some of us paid for them, and some of us paid a lot more than others. Rich people, for example, have paid and continue to pay more than the rest of us.I hear on NPR almost every morning the debate phrased as "should the rich have to pay a little more." Did I just wake up in Estonia? We already have a progressive tax structure, where the rich pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes, but the left seems to forget that detail and acts as if taxes are flat.
I understand and respect the progressive tax viewpoint. Wealth brings diminishing returns to someone's quality of life. In effect, the rich can afford to lose a bigger percentage of their money. That's a reasonable position.
But just how unbalanced are they willing to make the tax structure? Is there a point where they will be satisfied the rich has paid enough? We want details, not vague hand waving. I understand there are many other types of federal taxes than income tax, but the rich are already paying more of the taxes than anyone else, and here's Elizabeth Warren acting like they don't pay any.
Warren's rhetoric is a cover to justify arguments that unchecked amounts of wealth belong to the government because the government made a limited contribution to its creation.
So not only did the rich help pay for it, they paid for more of it than anyone else.
Keep a big hunk of it? Just how much are we talking about? This is drivel, and I have no idea what she means by "pay forward for the next kid that comes along" either.
Everyone should pay taxes Liz, not just the rich, and for all the reasons you mentioned.