For fun, let's define "wealthy" at $100 million of "net worth." Now let's include in that net worth all the donations these gazillionaires make to their own (tax-exempt) foundations and trusts; and let's tax all that at a rate of 90 percent. I wonder if Gates and Buffet would be so wild then about the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy?
Or we could just do away with withholding for, say, one month a year. That way, we won't destroy national cash flow. (Oh, I forgot that the feds can just print cash on demand.)
If we stopped withholding for one or two pay periods, we'd probably see that 40 percent polling number drop. People would figure out quickly enough that they are being taxed, and how.
My guess is if tax time meant that everybody had to reach into his or her own bank accounts for the full tax amount owed, there would be a new mindset about taxes.
Why don't we try it? If John McCain can propose a gas tax holiday, why not a payroll withholding holiday?
Here's why not: Because if people don't think about the fact that they have to pay taxes, then they won't march to Washington, pitchforks in hand.
If they did march that march of anger, their unhappiness wouldn't necessarily help either political party. Yes, the people would blame the Republican administration for letting spending get out of control. But their support for Democrats -- who never met an entitlement they didn't like -- would wane as well.
But hey, never mind already. As the song goes, "It's just a fantasy it's not the real thing." This is just a thought experiment, after all; it's not the work of an intellectual.
Then again, maybe that's a good thing.