Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the Harry Reid's Millionaire Surcharge
Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid's plan to use a millionaire surcharge to fund President Obama's jobs bill went down to defeat in the Senate Tuesday night. But that doesn't mean that Democrats are going to abandon their soak-the-super-rich rhetoric going forward, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in her latest column at The Daily. If anything, they will drag the country through a new era of class warfare.
The Reid plan would have left everyone else's taxes essentially untouched. But super-rich people faced an additional 5.6 percent tax on every dollar of their unadjusted gross income beyond a million, pumping $450 billion into Uncle Sam's pocket over 10 years. Obama at least felt the need to soft-pedal the soak-the-rich aspects of his plan by trying to spread the tax burden as widely as politically possible. Reid experienced no such compunctions.
Separating the rich from the poor always involves some arbitrariness. But the Reid tax schema completely dispensed with ordinary understanding, classifying folks earning $999,999 among the middle class subject to ordinary tax treatment while labeling super-rich those earning $1 more…
[M]ost Americans expect to move several quintiles up the economic ladder during their lifetimes. Only the rarefied top seems out of reach. Placing people who occupy that spot into a separate political class is the only class-warfare strategy that won't generate widespread opposition.
Read the whole thing here.