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Jon Jewett
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Posner's observation that the concern that additional tax revenue may be squandered on unproductive governmental activities "disappears" if the additional revenue is "earmarked" for deficit reduction seems naive. Revenue is revenue, and such "earmarking" is more likely to simply enable more deficit spending. The discussion also seems to assume that ubut for the negative incentives that would be created society would benefit from a transfer of wealth from individuals to the government. This ignores the fact that the great educational, cultural, and charitable institutions that contribute so much to our society exist because the individuals who created and sustain them were allowed to accumulate great wealth. The University of Chicago, which employs both Posner and Becker, exists because of the beneficence of John D. Rockefeller and Marshall Field. Who believes that society would be better served if the fortunes accumulated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were given to Congress to spend?
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Oct 15, 2012