I just read an excellent article on the Investment U website (http://www.investmentu.com/). Apparently, Ben Stein (the Buhler guy who had some game shows and stuff) wrote an article/column in The New York Times on Sunday discussing why he thinks the rich need more taxes. I always thought he was a political conservative, not an advocate of wealth redistribution and big government. Sad.

Anyway, the article on the IU website discusses why that idea (that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes and that they need to, as Stein put it “pay up”), is just wrong for several reasons. (See http://www.investmentu.com/IUEL/2006/20060508.html for the article itself.) I especially like the argument that throwing more money at the government doesn’t change anything if they can’t stay within a budget like the rest of us. And I’d like to add one argument for why I believe Ben Stein is just plain wrong: psychology.

See, if you tax the rich more, what incentive do people have to get rich? Even with today’s system, the more you make, the more the government takes. Why work harder for the same after tax take home pay? Pretty soon we’ll be like our European neighbors, where it’s easier to sit around and get subsidies from the government than it is to work hard and take home maybe 20% of your salary after taxes. It’s crazy – you destroy the American dream of wealth and financial independence if you tax wealthy more than anyone else, and you encourage people to move elsewhere when they have money or if they hope to get money.

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