Friday, June 08, 2007

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Bastiat said that the essence of government is to rob Peter to pay Paul. Someone also once said that a politician who robs Peter to pay Paul can always rely on the support of Paul. Democrats seem to have taken that to heart:

House Democrats looking to spare millions of middle-class families from the expensive bite of the alternative minimum tax are considering adding a surcharge of 4 percent or more to the tax bills of the nation's wealthiest households.

Under one version of the proposal, about 1 million families would be hit with a 4.3 percent surtax on income over $500,000, which would raise enough money to permit Congress to abolish the alternative minimum tax for millions of households earning less than $250,000 a year, according to Democratic aides and others familiar with the plan.

The AMT was a bad idea when it was introduced and it is still a bad idea, but why should one set of citizens be forced to pay the tab for another set? So much has been written about income inequality in this country and the consequences. I think those who worry about the poor rising up and causing problems because of inequality of income are worrying about the wrong thing. What happens when the rich finally tire of paying the tab? Who will Democrats tax when the rich finally get fed up? Who will the Democrats tax when they've taxed away the wealth?

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