As long as we agree that governments have to collect some taxes, for civilization to continue, so the police and firemen can continue to get paid, so the schools will remain open and the teachers continue to teach, so the garbage will be collected and pothole will continue to get filled, even if not always in as timely a manner as we would like, then all we are really arguing about is the amount of those taxes.
If you do not agree that governments have to collect some taxes, then our views of civilization are divergent enough that you might as well stop reading now. I’m not going to convince you of anything.
What Bernie Sanders is suggesting is a 4% increase – 4 pennies on the dollar – on incomes of over $250,000 a year. It’s very modest.
It’s not punitive, as I’ve heard some people say. Punitive would be throwing people in jail for making that much money, and nobody’s suggesting that. It’s not even confiscatory, as I’ve heard others argue. If someone is making over $250,000 – a quarter of a million -a year, and they don’t want to spend the extra 4% in taxes, all they have to do is re-invest that portion of their annual income over $250,000: open a new branch, buy a couple of new trucks for the fleet, hire a few people. They’ll still have the wealth, just not in paper form, and the economy will still get a boost, so everybody wins, either way.
The other new tax he is proposing is one half of one percent on stock market transactions. So, if you buy $10,000 worth of stock, you’ll have to shell out a $50 transaction tax. That’s dinner and drinks and, for those guys, not even an expensive dinner. I don’t think it’s going to chill the market.
Sander’s is not asking for a lot, and we’d get universal health care, a better education system, and badly needed repairs to the infrastructure. Repairing the infrastructure would provide jobs, which would reduce welfare and, overall, improve the economy.
Socialism? O.K. It sounds like a good deal to me.