Forbes: A Tax Both Ralph Nader and Ayn Rand Could Love

6 Dec

December 6, 2012
POLITICAL CAPITAL OP/ED

A Tax Both Ralph Nader and Ayn Rand Could Love

Here is a puzzler worth pondering as Congress scrambles to find enough tax revenue to feed its insatiable appetite for spending. Can you come up with a tax that both uber-communitarian Ralph Nader and uber-individualist Ayn Rand could support — a tax both progressives and libertarians could get behind?

In order to meet Rand’s criteria for justice, a tax must be voluntary, that is, collected without coercion. In order to meet Nader’s criteria for “fairness” it must be progressive, that is, the rich must pay the most while the poor pay little or nothing.

In order for this voluntary progressive tax to gain market share and achieve a sustainable equilibrium it must be tied to the provision of a government service that can be alternatively supplied by private institutions. It’s not necessary for the private services to be an exact replacement, just close enough that taxpayers could choose the private option if the government tax rate, sure to grow over time, becomes egregious.

Figure it out yet? Here’s a hint.

To read the rest of the column click here.

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