So “The IRS plans to crackdown on millionaires” (Reading Eagle, Sept. 9). That sounds fine doesn’t it? Make them pay their fair share. Except that there’s no such thing as a tax on the rich. Truth is that taxing millionaires more inevitably results in taxing everyone more.
Taxes confiscate money —eventually from everyone — and they disincentivize whatever behavior is taxed. No matter if that behavior is something good or bad. Conversely, despite usually honorable intentions, subsidies tend to make more of whatever behavior is subsidized … good or bad. And, subsidies rarely make recipients less dependent; that is, unlikely to need future subsidy.
If governments had their citizens’ best interests in mind they would do their utmost to only tax negative behaviors and only subsidize positive behaviors. But, who decides what’s good or bad? Aye, there’s the rub! Regardless, before any taxing or subsidizing, we payers-of-taxes absolutely deserve three things: transparency, accountability, and diligent curtailment of fraud, waste and abuse.
Coveters beware. Most of us are not millionaires but Uncle Sam essentially treats all not in poverty as rich — enough to be taxed. Alas, the only “fair tax” may be lotteries, which fairly tax all those who fail to understand statistical probability.
David A. Hagginbothom
Editor’s note: Hagginbothom is formerly of Muhlenberg Township.
Source: Berkshire mont