‘Billionaires On the Warpath’?
The GOP needs to address the class-warfare argument in moral terms.
by William McGurn @ the Wall Street Journal
What might a more robustly moral argument look like? For one thing, it would address head-on the rhetoric of greed. One of the Seven Deadly Sins, greed is usually described as an insatiable desire for wealth. If that is true, when taxpayers who want to keep their hard-earned money are compared to politicians who want to take it from them to feed their uncontrolled spending, whose appetite better warrants the word insatiable?
In fact, the desire for higher taxes often seems to justify itself solely by the motive to level down. Mr. Obama suggested as much during a televised campaign debate in April 2008. ABC’s Charlie Gibson asked the candidate why he wanted to raise capital gains tax rates even though the experience of the past two presidents—Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—showed that “in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money.”
Mr. Obama’s answer: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
That’s the way with most tax-the-rich rhetoric. For all the talk about “fairness,” Mr. Obama, Mr. Sanders and their fellow Democrats never really tell us what the magic number for fairness is. Is it 35% of income? 50%? 75%? Though they never commit themselves to an actual number, in each and every case we get the same answer: Taxes should be higher than they are now, for their own sake.
Americans are a more hopeful and less envious people than that.
Yes. Again, in order to believe that the incomes of neurosurgeons, successful entrepreneurs, technology magnates, and other productive citizens should be punitively taxed, you have to believe that these people did not come by their wealth honestly — and that is simply not true.