Don't Tax the Rich -- Just Stop Giving Them Stuff

by Conor Friedersdorf

The progressive blogosphere cannot understand those who oppose funding Barack Obama's domestic agenda by levying a surtax on the rich. Rather than rehash the arguments against that plan, let me propose an alternative that should appeal to left and right alike: rather than raise taxes on the richest Americans, why not pass a law that freezes them out of receiving federal largess?

Whether measured by income or net worth, those falling above a certain threshold could be means tested out of Social Security, Medicare, farm subsidies, the ability to deduct interest paid on their mortgage, federal higher education grants and subsidized loans for their children, NEA grants, vouchers to subsidize the cost of transitioning to digital televisions, etc.