Be Serious, There's No Such Thing As a 70% Tax Rate

Be Serious, There's No Such Thing As a 70% Tax Rate

The late Jude Wanniski used to scoff at reports of abnormally high country unemployment, particularly in poor countries. He knew better. Even in the richest ones it's rare that over 20% of the working capable population can afford to do nothing. In the poorer ones work (often of the backbreaking variety) is generally a necessity for all who are able-bodied. Wanniski knew large swaths of the population weren't not working as much as high rates of taxation have a tendency to push a lot of work underground.

Which brings us to revived talk of a 70% top tax rate. The latter was the rate in the 1960s, and unserious people who will not be mentioned here are talking legislation meant to bring it back. It's not just that these attention-seekers aren't serious, it's that they deep down know they're not. This is all about publicity, so they will get none. Only their droolings will be addressed. There's quite simply no such thing as a 70% top rate.

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