That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

You Can’t Tax Happiness

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You have to admire John McCain for his ability to be one of the common people.  Sure, he’s married to a wealthy heiress and he wears $5000 shoes, but the man doesn’t go in for pretense.  He’s so unconcerned with the trappings of wealth that the man literally doesn’t know or even care how many homes he owns.

When asked to define rich, John McCain makes a great point.  I define rich in other ways besides income,” he said. “Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if they’re billionares.”

I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ A Chirstmas Carol. In this story we meet Scrooge a man who is one of the wealthiest men in London, but finds his money gives him no happiness.  We also meet Bob Cratchet who is poor (and raising a handicapped child without government assistance I might add), but Cratchet has a loving family and could indeed be called rich.

Does it really make sense to make Scrooge, who is already miserable pay more for the same government services as the Cratchets?  Of course not.  Scrooge should be taxed less because despite having more money he is poorer than the Cratchets.

I hope that John McCain will continue this train of thought to its logical conclusion.  Let’s adopt a flatter tax that is less punitive on those who happen to have a lot of money and make up the budget shortfall by taxing those things which we know statistically bring joy.  Families, churches, and people in careers with a high degree of satisfaction should be taxed at a higher rate to make up for their increased happiness.  Only then can we truely have a less regressive tax structure.

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Written by thatsrightnate

August 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm

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