One of my pet peeves is that many people in power regard wealth as static-you have it, or you don’t.
This fails to consider that some years you earn a heck of a lot, perhaps through some venture, increased effort, or what have you, while other years you make a lot less.
“ThewealthiestAmericans,” as the president calls them, aren’t like the rich guy with the monocle on the old Monopoly game board. Many are folks who have a few good years, are temporarily well-off, and, because of the tax system, aren’t as able to save as much from the good years as they should be.
Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent piece on the transience of wealth:
The president is not interested in nuances. He does not care that 40 percent of Americans pay no income taxes, or that the top 1 percent of earners pay 40 percent of aggregate collected income-tax revenue. Yet many of the people in these brackets were not always so rich and probably won’t be for long. Top incomes are transient. Millions of Americans strive to reach them for a few years to provide for retirement, or college expenses, in the expectation that they will fade quickly. A quarter of a million dollars in annual compensation is great money in North Dakota, rather less so in Manhattan or the Bay Area.
The current administration and Congress seem to regard wealth as “unfairly allotted, ill gotten, and ill spent, and therefore should not be entirely one’s own.”
That world view is partly what drives our tax system.