Recently NPR went in search of small business owners who would declare, in support of Republican talking points, that the “millionaires’ tax” Democrats have proposed (to pay for extending the 2011 payroll tax holiday) would discourage hiring. But the business owners didn’t cooperate, saying instead that their hiring depends on demand for their products and services, not on the amount of personal income tax they have to pay.
True, that’s anecdotal and not scientific evidence. But it only stands to reason that taxing a business owner’s income has no effect on whether a new hire would increase the business’ profits. And in any case, according to a Treasury Department analysis, less than one half of one percent of small businesses earn over a million dollars a year anyway.
Republicans also claim that raising state taxes on the wealthy causes the wealthy to decamp for lower-tax states. According to a study reported by the Wall Street Journal, that isn’t true either; it seems rich people live where they live for the same reasons everyone else does – lifestyle, family, proximity to work, and in the case of wealthy retirees, the weather.
It will be interesting now to see what new excuses the right wing can concoct to support special tax privileges for the already-rich, and perpetuating the extreme income inequality currently unbalancing our republic. I have a few suggestions:
Increase taxes on the wealthy, and…
…a phalanx of angry, newly-unemployed pool boys will track mud and leaves all over our living rooms! On purpose!
…the Greek economy is bad enough already – cut back on yachting, and those historic islands will sink under the Aegean Sea!
…third-home sales will plummet, causing a real estate crash and a New Depression!
I could go on, but I guess that’s enough exclamation points for one post.