From Kevin Williamson at National Review, Elizabeth Warren’s Financial Berlin Wall:
The cynical among us might also suspect that the proposal, which will produce a great deal of angst and wailing, is intended to produce a great deal of angst and wailing, which will distract from the fact that if there is anything to be learned from the Scandinavian example it is that putting a Scandinavian-style welfare state on stable fiscal footing requires Scandinavian levels of taxation. And that would mean imposing a radical tax increase on the American middle class: Sweden’s top income-tax rate, about 57 percent, kicks in at around $70,000. Its second-highest rate, about 52 percent, kicks in at less than $50,000. A U.S. taxpayer with the equivalent income currently pays a marginal federal income-tax rate of about 13 percent.
The American people, or at least some of them, are currently in thrall to a vicious, envy-driven ideology that says certain rich people “should not exist.” Italy is inviting them to go right on existing, preferably in Italy, where they’ll be good for 100,000 euros a year in tax. If the United States were not governed by morons, and if our political culture were not effectively suicidal, we might one-up the Europeans’ offerings. Sanremo is lovely, but there are more business opportunities, and more opportunities of other kinds, in the United States. Our Democratic friends are awfully solicitous of low-income illegal immigrants but increasingly hostile to the high-income legal ones. Whatever that’s about, it isn’t about the national balance sheet and making sure that there’s enough revenue to fund needful federal programs.
When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can count on Paul’s approval, but you can also count on Peter moving to another more friendly place. When you try to build a wall to keep Peter in, you also discourage Peters from moving here, and you encourage young and enterprising Peters to move away BEFORE they become wealthy enough to be worth robbing. Disturbing the free flow of capital is a sure path to secondary economic status.
Warren’s policy is as destructive of our long term financial health as any policy we can imagine, and she is a leading contender for the nomination of her party.