Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Class warfare? Really?

Posted by Victor Fleischer

I see from Paul's posting below that Professor Postlewaite has entered the carried interest debate with "Fifteen and Thirty Five: Class Warfare in Subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code."  Professor Postlewaite is hardly generous in how he reads my work.  Instead, he offers readers a cartoon version of Two and Twenty that is neither fair nor descriptively accurate. 

I probably shouldn't complain about rhetorical excess; I've also been known to employ an artful phrase to make a point.  Postlewaite makes some arguments that deferral and conversion are hard-wired into the Code's treatment of human capital, and while I disagree about the normative implications that follow from his descriptive claims, Postlewaite's article is surely worth a read.

But I do hope that readers will also go back and read Two and Twenty, and not rely solely on Postlewaite's takedown for an understanding of the other side of the debate.  Or one might read one of the many other recent contributions, e.g. Cunningham & Engler, Gergen, Bankman, Schler, Abrams, Abrams (Tax Notes), Weisbach, Knoll, Sanchirico (Tax Notes), Sanchirico (Chi L Rev).

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Vic --

Absolutely correct. Don't waste time dithering over rhetorical excess where Subchapter K is concerned. For heavens sake, it's a subchapter of the Code, not a welfare handout for any greedy S_of_B who can afford to pay a tax lawyer to deliver self-serving sophistry. Those who want handouts from the Treasury should go file TARP applications. Postlewaite is off base.


Posted by: Jake | Nov 26, 2008 8:56:19 PM