All-Time Whiners

There seems to be an amazing amount of whining among the very wealthy lately, about the prospect of a 3.6% marginal increase in top-end tax rate.

First there was the University of Chicago law professor (linked to a response, because the original has been taken down) who, on income of upward of $300k (six times the national median income), said, "After all, we can afford it, and the world we are now living in has that familiar Marxian tone of those who need take and those who can afford it pay. The problem is, we can’t afford it."

Ignoring that "those who need" are not the ones in any position to "take", the fact that he is investing some of his income is undeniable proof that, in fact, he can afford it.

Next, there's the incorrigible Ben Stein acting put upon because of those tax increases. Ignoring Paul Krugman's takedown of the inheritance claim in there, the simple answer to Ben Stein's question is that the economic policies he supported (Stein's ties to the Republican party go back to at least the Nixon administration, for whom he was a speechwriter) put too much stress on the government's cash flow in the form of debt, and that stress needs to be relieved.

If he wants to consult history on how onerous that tiny tax increase is, he might want to refer to the Eisenhower era, where the top marginal tax rate was 90%.


  1. Let them whine.The amazing thing will be when the Economy is stimulated after the tax increase the stock market will soar above 18,000 and the wealthy elite will make money.The same prosperity that happened in the 50s can happen again without the racism.It seems as though the BUCK may stop at Obamas desk when he pulls off a landslide victory followed by real change in the whole sytem of oppression starting with The Prison system now.The incarceration rate has increased 700 percent since the inception of civil rights.This was the new civil rights issue. The Drug War failed and created THUGS who make money from drugs in it's wake.Now they must unwind a system full of dangerous citizens due to conditioning and years of oppression.Great Job US Empire.

  2. I agree with some of that. Certainly, if the economy turns around, they'll still make plenty of money, but the rest of the population will make money as well.

    What we have right now is every bit as unsustainable as the current deficit (although while still on shaky ground of recovering is really not the time to worry about it). 85% of the money cannot continue to go to only 20% of the population.

    And it's a certainty that if the economy finishes its turnaround before the next election (it won't, though, the GOP will dig its heels in and refuse to do anything if that appears likely), there's no possible way that anyone could unseat Obama.

    And yeah, the incarceration rate is also unsustainable. Unfortunately, to go along with the Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned us about (although didn't actually do anything about), there's no a similarly powerful Prison Industrial Complex. Not sure what to do about it, especially as it seems not to have even hit the radar of anyone in Congress except Jim Webb (and he hasn't managed to do much, alas).

    Certainly, the more I learn, the more I think that this War on Drugs must end. There are no winners from it; we all lose (especially those innocents killed by knockless-raids).