Thomas Sowell

 Ronald Reagan's policies did that, even while he was being denounced for "tax cuts for the rich."

 There is also a lot of sloppy thinking about what "rich" means. Income is not wealth and income taxes do not apply to wealth.

 People who have high incomes without much wealth are not rich. If they lose their jobs tomorrow, they are up the creek if they cannot find another job that pays as well. But these are the people who get hit with high income tax rates, often paying far higher rates than genuinely rich people.

 High-tax liberals like John Kerry seldom define what they mean by "rich." When they do, it is almost always expressed in terms of income, not wealth.

 The income of most Americans varies greatly over the course of their lives. Most of the people who are in the bottom 20 percent at one point are in the top 20 percent in later years.

 A family income of $100,000 a year does not make you rich. A couple earning $50,000 each probably did not start out making $50,000 each. People usually work up to their peak income after many years of effort and struggle -- and they may not be that far from retirement time, when they will have to give up that income and live on their savings and pensions.

 Most Americans are likely to become "rich" -- as defined by high-tax liberals -- at some point in their lives. So when liberal demagogues start talking about taxing "the rich," send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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