JONATHAN CHAIT JUNE 1, 2011
The usual right-wing line on increasing the tax burden on the affluent is that it's all "class warfare," the pathetic jealousy of peons like us trying to confiscate the hard-earned wealth of our economic superiors. When very rich people endorse higher taxes for the rich, though, the line has to change. Now these rich people are actually, despite their claims, trying to shirk their tax burden by foisting it onto people less rich than themselves.
Professional spreader of voodoo economics Veronique de Rugy goes on television to explain that when rich people like Mark Zuckerberg say they endorse higher taxes, they're just pretending to favor higher taxes:
de Rugy's argument is that very rich people like Zuckergberg make most of their income from capital gains, so they wouldn't pay more if the income tax rate was raised. "When Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook says he's cool with increasing the income tax rates," says de Rugy, "he's really cool with increasing taxes on people who make much less income than he does."
So de Rugy's premise completely false. I know -- shocking! If you can't trust people going on television to defend the economic interests of the rich, who can you trust?
(If the headline makes no sense to you, the reference can be found here. And while I mock her intelligence, the truth is it takes real insight to move to a new country and immediately read the political culture well enough to grasp the career benefits of endlessly peddling supply-side tripe. Other immigrants have come here dreaming that they could achieve fame and fortune as a public intellectual specializing in, I don't know, transit policy, only to spend their lives toiling in obscurity.)