Taxes Are the Price We Pay To Wreck Civilization
Taxes and Politics
by Thomas Sowell
Someone once said that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. That may have been true when he said it, but today taxes are mostly the price we pay so that politicians can play Santa Claus and get reelected.
That’s not the worst of it. We may think of taxes as just a source of government revenue. But tax rates are a big political statement on the left, whether they bring in any revenue or not.
For more than 80 years, the political left has opposed what they call “tax cuts for the rich.” But big cuts in very high tax rates ended up bringing in more revenue to the government in the Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush 43 administrations. This included more – repeat, more – tax revenue from people in the highest income brackets than before.
That was because high-income people took their money out of tax shelters like municipal bonds and invested where they could get a higher rate of return, after these returns were not being taxed as much. This has happened repeatedly, over so many decades, in administrations of both parties, that you might think this would put an end to the “tax cuts for the rich” demagoguery.