Growing up in the Midwest, one occasionally hears stories about the notorious 19th-century outlaw Jesse James. My favorite such tale is about James’ reply when he was asked why he robbed banks. He replied – allegedly, amorally and unashamedly – “Because that’s where the money is.” True, then as now, banks had money, but would any reader have accepted that as justification for James to have gone there and taken the money by force? Hopefully not, but essentially that same rationale is being used in this 2012 campaign season to justify “progressive” income taxation, i.e. raising Americans’ income-tax rates as their incomes increase, without ever articulating exactly why higher-earning Americans supposedly owe the government a higher percentage of their higher earnings.
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