The myth attached to raising taxes on the super-rich

“When state governments consider raising taxes on rich people, rich people in those states like to claim that if their taxes are raised too much, they’ll just pack up and leave for another state with lower taxes. If this were true, states raising taxes on rich people would end up losing tax revenue at the end of the day, making it seem like keeping tax rates on the rich low is the best option. But it’s not true, even if it so widespread as to seem like common knowledge. It’s so pervasive that it has stopped even the most vocally progressive Democratic leaders from taxing the rich in any substantive way. So we need to dispel the myth once and for all.

“Despite a couple of high-profile cases of cowardly millionaires fleeing their homes for states with no income taxes, the overwhelming majority of millionaires don’t leave when their tax bills go up. It turns out that all those rich people threatening to leave are almost crying wolf. For years, study after study has shown that millionaires don’t leave in significant enough numbers to affect state revenue when their rates change.

“This makes sense if you think about it. If you’re a rich person, a slight increase in your tax rate doesn’t actually affect your day-to-day life or standard of living all that much. Most rich people can afford to pay more without much trouble, especially considering that many already avoid paying their fair share in both federal and state taxes thanks to a dizzying array of loopholes, tax breaks, and special privileges that help many of them pay a lower tax rate than working class folks. Tacking a couple extra percentage points onto a state income tax isn’t even going to make a dent in their overall wealth, and they’ll likely still be paying disproportionately less than ordinary Americans.

“If anything, rich people are less likely to move for financial reasons. While rich people might like to live in a low-tax state, they’re not going to uproot their lives to avoid paying slightly higher taxes. Their homes are there, their businesses and professional connections are there, their families are there, and their friends are there. That’s a lot to give up for a negligible financial loss.”.  (Patriotic Millionaires, 22 Sept 2020).

My comment: I like Patriotic Millionaires.  It’s very existence shows that not all the super-rich are selfish, greedy so-and-so’s, and it’s opinions have more credibility than the blatherings of the corrupt.

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