Tax the rich!

You can tax the wealthiest more without ruining the economy. This assessment comes from the
International Monetary Fund and shatters the neoliberal shibboleth that increasing taxes on the top 1% would hurt growth. The IMF’s experts found that between 1985 and 1995, redistribution through the tax system offset 60% of the increase in inequality caused by market forces. But this broke down between 1995 and 2010 as inequality soared.

In Britain the findings will increase pressure on Theresa May ahead of next month’s budget, as the chancellor, Philip Hammond, proposes the usual tax cuts to higher earners and raises the top tax threshold (The Guardian, October 12,2017)

In America Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has propoosed raising the highest tax rate to 70 percent on incomes of $10 million or more. A majority of registered voters, 59 percent, supports the idea. Women support the idea by a 62-38 percent margin. A majority of men back it as well, 55 percent to 45 percent. The proposal is popular in all regions of the country with a majority of Southerners backing it by a 57 to 43 percent margin. Rural voters back it 56 percent to 44 percent. Increasing the highest tax bracket to 70 percent garners a surprising amount of support among Republican voters. In the Hill-HarrisX poll, 45 percent of GOP voters say they favor it while 55 percent are opposed to it. Independent voters backed the tax idea by a 60 to 40 percent margin, while Democrats favored it, 71 percent to 29 percent. Meanwhile, Republicans are responding to these encoraging results by misrepresenting the proposal, implying that the congresswoman wants to tax all income of the richest Americans at 70 percent. A normal day’s work!

During the 1950s and 60s, the wealthiest Americans were taxed at a rate in excess of 90 percent, and growth was uninterrupted. As for supporters of Epicurus, i suggest that they would not hesitate to level the playing field and reduce the outsized influence of the super-rich, whose control over lawmakers is obscene.

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