Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes: The Forgotten Man

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And about those tax hikes….

by Amity Shlaes
November 10, 2008

Over at Carpe Diem host  Mark Perry has two revealing graphs on the marginal tax rate that TFM confronted in the Great Depression. Prof Perry  (University of Michigan/Flint) has both top marginal rates and lower rates. In this period the income tax was not a “mass tax” it was a “class tax” but what you can see from this is that just about anyone beginning to succeed paid and paid.

We used to contrast today with then, noting that now the income tax was a mass tax. But that is becoming less so as more and more go off the rolls. Lots of useful material in wonderfully timely tax tome, The End of Prosperity, by Steve Moore of the WSJ, Art Laffer, and Peter Tanous. The top 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of the taxes. In other words, the wealthy really are an isolated part of the herd against which it is easy to make class warfare. Easy as it was in the 1930s.

1 Comment

  • Posted by Rien Huizer

    That is nonsense. Poor people pay sales tax, excise etc and probably some other taxes as well. That may be a sizable portion of their incomes. I wonder how that statistic looks for countries in Europe, with much higher sales (VAT) taxes and excise on fuel, tobacco and alcohol. And in those countries healthcare, education and a host of family services (like childcare) are cheaper. This looks like a pretty ideological work to me.