Vivek Ramaswamy’s Brief Thought on Taxation

And my brief response. Ramaswamy has said in the past that he favors an estate tax as high as 59% on his theory that passing wealth from parents to children breeds inequality and “hereditary aristocracy.” Stipulate that’s reasonably accurate: he needs to show that he’s considered other means of preventing that aristocratic development and how those alternatives are inadequate to the task.

More importantly, though, is this underlying theory of his:

I do believe in a vision of bringing income taxes as low as possible, if one could collect it back on the back end[.]

Collect what back, exactly? The money in question belongs solely to the one who has, or had, the income. Money being retained by its owner rather tautologically leaves nothing for government to “collect back” at some later time; government has lost nothing and so has nothing to regain.

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