Forbes: Grover Norquist & The Tax Fairy

29 Nov

November 28 2012
POLITICAL CAPITAL      OP/ED                                                                      

Grover Norquist’s Gnomes Duke It Out With The Tax Fairness Fairy

No one seriously believes that federal spending is going to be brought under control any time soon. Regardless of what deals are cut during the lame duck session of Congress, Uncle Sam is expected to continue gobbling larger chunks of our economy while imposing new regulations on the rest. The media, treating this like an inexorable state of nature, have made it clear that Washington’s top priority should be making sure that “the rich” pay their “fair share.”

After all, so the narrative goes, the American electorate was offered a clear choice and the tax-the-rich tribe won, so let the search for tax fairness begin!

If only it were that simple. The tax fairness debate is fascinating because it doesn’t look like extracting the maximum number of tax dollars from the rich with the minimum damage to the wider economy is the real goal. What matters is creating the perception of the rich genuflecting before the altar of “fairness”—a conveniently flexible political concept if there ever was one.

So what exactly is the “fair share” of taxes the top 2 percent, or anyone else for that matter, should pay?

Read the rest of the column here.


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