William McGurn writes in the Wall Street Journal Taxing Kim Kardashian (12/27/11). His article is about a class warfare activists group pressuring Kim Kardashian to pay more taxes than is leaglly required and to support a higher tax on the wealthy.
The point here is that faith in the millionaires tax has moved beyond argument. It matters not that even if the state sucked every last dime from Ms. Kardashian and those who share her tax bracket, it still wouldn’t fix California’s troubles. Nor will believers be swayed by evidence that our governments have been spending more and more for vital public services and getting less and less in return.
They will not be swayed because they are not being driven by their economics. They are being driven by their conception of immorality: the idea that millionaires have more than they should—and that any wealth they have is not something they have earned but something the state has allowed them to keep. It says much about the progressive Puritanism of our age that what these folks really find most sleazy about Ms. Kardashian is not her sex tape or her marriage, but that she’s unembarrassed about making money.
Many years ago in these pages, Irving Kristol famously wrote that the liberal paradigm “has led to a society where an 18-year-old girl has the right to public fornication in a pornographic movie—but only if she is paid the minimum wage.” Today, women like Ms. Kardashian make much more money exercising that right. The only question progressives ask is about the size of the government’s cut.
At what point will the fangs of class warfare aim for their side of the aisle? I am reminded of how the guillotines of the French Revolution were eventually used on the perpetrators of the reign of terror. I am also reminded how Goldwater suggested that it was the liberal side that saw man as primarily an economic animal, and often ignored the moral qualities.
The class warfare is a form of prejudice that seeks to irrationally blame a group for problems they did not cause. There is an underlying premise that you did not earn your money from your own effort or luck but that you were PERMITTED to earn your wealth by the state and therefore it is for the state to ultimately decide the ultimate distribution of your wealth.
There is much worthy of consideration in the realm of tax reform, but to target the wealthy for special retribution will not solve the problem of reckless spending and will only send the wealthy packing to a more receptive state.