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The Perils of Tax Rate Nostalgia

1960Republican Wrote: Dec 05, 2012 2:44 AM
I have paid income taxes, since 1954 -- lots and lots of income taxes. From beginning yearly earned income of $1,200, to a top earning year of $375,000 -- $90,000 of that going to fed and State income taxes. I never gave the taxes a thought. I considered myself lucky to be born in America. See, the deal is, if consumers don't have extra money to buy more stuff, the government does. All the money is spent consuming, one way or another. The issue really is, few workers today produce a product for sale, either to consumers, or for sale to the government. "Social Services" costs produce nothing, but maybe help keep the peace. But, there must be a limit to the cost of peace. We need to find that limit, and let the rest "eat cake."

A version of this column appeared originally in USA TODAY.

Americans have always reveled in nostalgia about the music, fashion or favorite foods of bygone eras, but a sudden yearning for the high tax rates of yesteryear represents a startling new development. While some opinion leaders pine openly for the tax system that once claimed a big majority of income from top earners, their cozy, communitarian vision offers a deeply distorted view of those good old days.

In his defiant "Twinkie Manifesto," professor Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in economics, affectionately cites "the '50s — the Twinkie Era"...