Regarding tax progressiveness, Bruce, does that include all levels and forms of taxation, from income tax to federal payroll taxes, plus sales taxes, state income taxes, etc? Sure, the income tax is progressive, but FICA taxes are most certainly not, just to pick an example, and that certainly changes the overall distribution of the tax burden.
As for me, I'm for progressive taxation not so much because I see it as fairer although I certainly do see it as fairer. The real reason I'm for progressive taxation is simply because we can. Sure, I've never heard of a poor man creating jobs, as the right likes to say. But I've also never heard of a poor man paying $250,000 in taxes for one year, either, and the money to pay for all that we demand of the government has to come from somewhere.
And on the question of fairness/social justice, a rich man is simply better able than a poor man to part with a quarter of his income which in turn connects to the "because we can" answer.
I fully acknowledge that this introduces economic distortions and can have some bad effects if we take it further than necessary, but at the end of the day it remains necessary. If we truly want lower and flatter taxes, then to be honest we should first start demanding less of the government. You've of course noted that starving the beast is a sham, and only creates additional problems. So first make the case to genuinely shrink the government, then come back with the tax cuts later.
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