Over at the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne Jr. praises British "Conservative" Prime Minister David Cameron for proposing an increase in the value-added tax to 20% from 17.5%. Mr. Dionne also wants to raise taxes on those Americans making more than $250,000, claiming that "the simple truth" is that they "are undertaxed compared with everyone else."
Among the points Mr. Dionne ignores are that nearly half of Americans don't pay any federal income tax at all, compared to those high earners he claims are "undertaxed." Among the other points he ignores is that those high earners pay a far greater share of the taxes than their share of the population (see here) and a somewhat greater share of the taxes than their share of the income. And another point is that at least some of the spending of the federal government. on things like Pell Grants, subsidized housing, food stamps, and Medicaid, flows to the lower-income folks but not the higher-income folks Mr. Dionne says are undertaxed.
The Dionne column runs under the headline "In American politics, stupidity is the name of the game," which at least one FutureOfCapitalism reader-participant watchdog-community member-content-co-creator, the one who sent me the link, suggests is unintentionally accurate when applied to the columnist, or the column.
It's worth noting that Mr. Dionne has a regular National Public Radio gig "opposite" David Brooks of the New York Times. At least on taxes, this isn't much of a debate, because Mr. Brooks also favors raising a tax on consumption and has praised Mr. Cameron's idea of a 50% top tax rate on income.
If NPR wants a real tax debate, it could have a two-on-one debate with Mr. Brooks and Mr. Dionne on one side, and Peter Ferrara on the other side. Mr. Ferrara has a humdinger of a piece in today's Wall Street Journal: "Cut the federal corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%—which would restore international competitiveness for American companies—and adopt a 15% flat tax for individuals. Close loopholes for both individuals and corporations. Keep capital gains and dividends taxes at 15% while abolishing the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax."