There has been some good back and forth in the comments over the ABC News article and the follow-up. It's made me think a lot more about taxes and, in particular, something Chait wrote in his original criticism of the ABC piece:
Obama is not proposing a tax system whereby somebody who goes from $249,999 to $250,000 suddenly becomes poorer. Nobody has ever enacted a tax hike like that in the history of the United States.
Are there really no examples of tax hikes like this? After all, the tax code is pretty complicated, and the history of American taxation is pretty weird (it took a civil war and a constitutional amendment just to get an income tax!). And it's certainly possible to imagine taxes that made you poorer as your income went up, though it isn't possible to imagine your income going up for very long if that's the case. My first thought was that it might be possible to become poorer with a larger income under the Alternative Minimum Tax, but when I started reading the relevant tax documents I was overwhelmed by a desire to tear out my eyes and needed to stop.
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