Everyone, answers Kevin Williamson in NRO. Except those who are billionaires.
The more interesting question, continues Mr. Williamson, is where does a millionaire want to live?
There are a lot of nice places in this world to live and do business. The question for the United States is whether it wants to be a declining, has-been, wealth-repellant country such as Greenwich (CT) or a growing and dynamic wealth-magnet such as Florida. Taxes are not the only part of that, but they are a part of it. What tax revenue is spent on matters, too, as any American can see for himself when visiting places as different as Zurich, Madrid, and Hong Kong.
The question is not who wants wealth but where wants wealth. The place that welcomes the people who have wealth, the businesses that create it, and the institutions that sustain that creation is the place that has a future. “Soak the rich” is a 19th-century idea that fails to account for 21st-century realities, one of which is that if you’re leaning on the wealthy for your tax revenue, then you’d better be giving them something of value for their tax dollars, because they have choices about where they live.
There is a reason Senator Elizabeth Warren is proposing to build a financial Berlin Wall, locking in jacked-up tax rates alongside a slew of new taxes on wealthy and high-earning American households in a patently unconstitutional property-seizure scheme.
The U.S. government already is disproportionately reliant upon tax revenue from high-income people, whose share of tax payments far outpaces their share of income: The top 1 percent of earners make about 20 percent of the income but pay about 40 percent of the income tax; the top 5 percent make 37 percent of the income but pay 60 percent of the income tax.
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