‘National wealth tax’ doesn’t add up to a solution

In response to last week’s letter calling for a “national wealth tax:” it’s neither a new nor a good idea.

Question: a 10 percent tax on everyone worth more than $10 million – just once? Every year? What?

What gives us the right to do that, because it will only affect 1 percent of us? Or is it because the majority can get politicians who will vote for it? It’s not their money to take.

The top 1 percent already pays over 30 percent of all income tax. And they won’t sit still for an additional 10 percent butchering – they’ll move. Or bank their money overseas. Or hire lobbyists to carve out exceptions and exemptions – at events like the recent Puerto Rico beach “shmooze and booze.” They have ways.

We could take every dime the top 1 percent has and the federal government would burn through it in several months. Then what?

The rich don’t stuff their money in mattresses. It’s far more productive in their hands than in the government coffers. They invest it, putting people to work. They buy planes, houses, boats, buildings, etc., putting people to work. Those people earn money, and they pay taxes on it.

Finally, no matter how much tax revenue is taken, it’s never enough. Inevitably, the bar will inch downward from $10 million to $1 million to what, maybe $100,000?

And, as always happens, the bill is handed to ordinary wage earners.

– Ted Reinhart

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