Argument: Other means than tax policy should be used to help the poor

Issue Report: Progressive tax vs. flat tax


Andrew Sullivan. “‘Progressive’ Taxation”. The Daily Dish, The Atlantic. 27 Jun 2008 – “Government’s primary concern is to raise money as efficiently and as leanly and as equally as possible. I’m happy with the government then setting up programs to assist the poor, to provide better education for those at the bottom, safety-net healthcare and better policing. i.e. to gear spending toward social ends that might help the poor the most. These are measurable, practical goods. What I’m not happy with is the assumption that tax policy should really be about redistributing wealth, and engineering substantive economic outcomes. Yes, of course, at lower income levels, a 20 percent flat income tax will be more onerous proportionally than at higher incomes. So what? Why should that even concern a government that is not aiming to socially engineer more substantive equality? and the alternative – skewing taxes to target success – is an absurd set of incentives to put into a growing society.”