Paul Krugman Engages in Class Warfare

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 28, 2011

There. I wrote it, and it is a warranted description of what Krugman is up to in his latest column. The demand that we exceed even pre-Clinton levels of taxation for high-income earners is a clear and obvious sop to the Occupy movement, whose support Krugman craves, and it plainly punishes people who are successful in the name of engaging in class warfare. And it does nothing to solve the deficit problem. Note that Krugman does not explicitly say what tax rate he would want to set for the very rich, but he tips his hand by telling us that “before 1980 very-high-income individuals fell into tax brackets well above the 35 percent top rate that applies today,” which is what Krugman advocates we return to. The top tax rate at that time was 70%. Yes, you read that right. 70%, and if Krugman actually thinks that the rich will be motivated to make enough money so that 70% of their income will be confiscated–thus allowing us to reduce the deficit by as much as he claims we will–he is either living in a fantasy world, or lying to you. As it happens, we know that Senate Democrats want to impose a 3% surtax on income over $1 million, which would make combined state and federal taxes on high earners of 62%. Again, who in their right mind will bust his or her hump to pay between 60-70% of his or her yearly income to the Man?

Then there is this about taxing financial transactions, another Krugman favorite:

. . . it’s instructive, too, to note that some countries already have financial transactions taxes — and that among those who do are Hong Kong and Singapore. If some conservative starts claiming that such taxes are an unwarranted government intrusion, you might want to ask him why such taxes are imposed by the two countries that score highest on the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.

Um, the answer is quite obvious; because Hong Kong and Singapore are able, in other ways and despite the presence of financial transactions taxes in those jurisdictions, to achieve greater levels of economic freedom than what we find in the United States.

Here’s a better question: Why does anyone still take Paul Krugman seriously?

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