Paul L. Caron

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams: How to Tax the Rich

Dilbert Weekend Wall Street Journal, How to Tax the Rich:

Try giving them perks and privileges (an extra vote?) in return, says 'Dilbert' creator Scott Adams.

The president was too polite to mention it during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but here's a quick summary of the problem: The U.S. is broke. The hole is too big to plug with cost cutting or economic growth alone. Rich people have money. No one else does. Rich people have enough clout to block higher taxes on themselves, and they will.

Likely outcome: Your next home will be the box that your laser printer came in. I hope that you kept it. ...

If we accept that the rich can be taxed at a different rate than everyone else, we can also imagine that there could be other differences in how the rich are taxed. ... I can think of five benefits that the country could offer to the rich in return for higher taxes: time, gratitude, incentives, shared pain and power.

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Mr. Adams underappreciates the coercive nature of tax. Nobody pays a tax because they want to.

Posted by: anon | Jan 30, 2011 4:58:49 PM

Loved this article! However, I don't think extra votes based on taxes paid is a bad idea. The approximately 49% of our population that paid no income tax has no skin in the game and will vote every time for more benefits. Graduated number of votes to go with graduated marginal rates is a sensible idea - it would reward the productive and give an incentive to others to get in the game.

Posted by: MochaLite | Jan 30, 2011 4:09:24 PM

This week a cartoonist gives his views on taxation, next week a circus clown gives his views on nuclear energy.

Posted by: anymouse | Jan 30, 2011 3:44:13 PM