April 18, 2005
It is at times like this that I start to believe the supply siders, even though the empirical evidence for their propositions is pretty shaky. Book reviews look a lot less attractive when I net 47 cents on the dollar--why not have my evenings and weekends to myself, instead? Why not move to New Jersey, where I can get rid of my city tax, lower my state tax, and pay less sales tax to boot? Or if my parents hadn't weighted me down with all these middle American ideas about obeying the law and playing it straight and narrow--and I didn't have a morbid fear of going to jail--I could take the "poor man's tax shelter" and ask my employers to move my income off the books. This is what economists call deadweight loss, and as Zimran Ahmed points out, estimates are that the United States government burns about 25 cents this way for every dollar it raises in taxes.
I've no doubt that the liberals who read this will think "Waaa! waaa! Poor educated white professional girl has to pay her taxes." But I was against marginal rates this high before I had to pay them. There is some level at which taxation becomes confiscation, and I'd argue that when you are working more hours for the government than you are for yourself, we have crossed that bright line. By what moral right does the government tell anyone, from Warren Buffet on down, that it has a right to more than half their life?
I believe that the question isn't one of moral authority, but rather the fact that government has lots and lots of big effing guns. Morality doesn't enter into it.
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