Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Do We Want? A New Top Marginal Tax Bracket on Income Above One Million Dollars! When Do We Want It? Now!

This is the kind of chart that everyone can understand.
Unlike attempts to assuage liberals by reducing the number of years prescription drug manufacturers have exclusive marketing rights, the idea of ensuring that the top 0.1% of income earners pay a higher tax rate than those in the middle of the income distribution is the kind of policy that everyone intuitively understands. Which is a big part of the reason why the White House is putting the Buffet Rule as front and center as they possibly can. The fact that it means that Mitt Romney has to explain why he ought to pay an effective income tax rate on an eight figure income is certainly another part of the equation.

At one level, it's a sad state of affairs that the leftmost position in American politics is an alternate alternate minimum tax on income in excess of $1 million. While the Buffet Rule would make a bigger difference than anything Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan have proposed on the tax or spending side, there simply aren't enough super-rich to fund all of our current priorities purely through raising taxes on them. On the other, the fact that Ronald Reagan managed to collapse the political interest of the upper class, upper-upper middle class, and truly rich into a single tax bracket is a mistake that really ought to be undone.
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