A paper issued earlier this year by Dirk Krueger, who is a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania and the interim chair of the economics department there, finds "the optimal marginal tax rates on the top 1% of earners is indeed very high, in excess of 90%."
I don't find the paper particularly convincing, but what made me chuckle was the acknowledgements, in which the authors thank "the Philadelphia Fed lunchtime seminar" and in which "Krueger thanks the National Science Foundation for support under grant SES 1123547." That was a grant of $269,550 covering three years from 2011 to 2014, according to information from the NSF website.
No wonder the guy favors a 90% tax rate: The money flows to him! It's something to think about the next time some college president or scientist starts mounting a high horse about the need to fund basic scientific research (or the next time Penn (which is a tax-exempt non-profit) calls asking for a donation). The "National Science Foundation" turns out to fund not just particle physics or molecular biology, but papers calling for 90 percent marginal tax rates on upper-income earners. As someone who is actually sympathetic to government funding for genuinely basic scientific research, I've got to say I find it disappointing.
Link via Alvin Rabushka's Thoughtful Ideas blog.