An argument that will not die

There seem to be two very crappy albeit popular arguments against increasing marginal tax on people making over a certain very high dollar figure (let's call it "the Buffett rule").  I am not aware of any good arguments against the idea, but if you are, feel free to direct me to them in comments.

One argument involves denying that the Buffett rule will solve the debt problem.  Another argument consists in pointing out that no one has voluntarily given extra money to the US Treasury.  The first argument is something of a weak or hollow man, depending on how it's deployed.  It's a weak man if someone makes this claim among many others; it's a hollow man if no one, as I suspect is the case, has actually made this specific argument.

The second of the two arguments, a textbook tu quoque, got another shot at life yesterday from the ever clueless Chris Wallace:

[I]f I may, David, the question I have for you is: if the president feels so strongly about tax fairness, is he going to he contribute money to the Treasury and they have a special department just for this, to help with the deficit?

What would make the President a hypocrite in this circumstance is if he advocated for higher taxes on earners such as himself and then refused to pay.  Not, as Wallace seems to suggest, that he isn't currently just donating money to the Treasury. 

I don't know how this stuff gets into people's brains.  But Wallace gets paid a lot of money, and he went to Harvard.  Doesn't Harvard owe us some kind of apology?

3 thoughts on “An argument that will not die”

  1. Be careful what you say about the Harvard people. Don't you know they are better than us? Plus they run everything.

  2. Harvard owes us SO MANY apologies.
    There is no debt problem. All U.S. debt is in dollars, we issue dollars, no problem. When inflation hits due to the deficit providing too much spending power (public debt = private savings), we can talk tax increases/spending cuts. That is a long,long way off.
    I should think the impossible (a currency issuer defaulting on debts in the currency issued) would be the kind of logical fallacy called "the impossible."
    The only argument I've seen against the Buffet rule that begins to make any sense is that state/local bond rates will go up (adding pressure to state/local fiscal issues) to offset the income loss due to higher taxes. I haven't research that one enough to evaluate it completely, but it passes the smell test, at least.

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