Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about how important it is to keep taxes low on the rich. Not, as we all might suspect, because all the Congressmen saying it have taken somewhere in the neighborhood of five hundred grand in “campaign contributions” from very rich people who generally don’t tend to part with money unless they think they’ll get something out of it; instead, it is because these people are the “job creators” who drive the economy and if they have to spend all their money in taxes then they won’t be able to spend any on creating jobs.
Now, one might…one just might…point out that we’ve been cutting taxes on the rich for the last decade and all we’ve gotten to show for it is a net loss of five million jobs and a small group of very rich people who have gotten much, much richer…but instead, I think we should take all these people at their word. I think that we should treat these people as the job creators they really are, just like the Republicans in Congress say. And to that end, I think we should do exactly what the Republicans insist is the best solution for the economy, the best solution for just about anything. Let’s let the free market handle it.
Specifically, I think we should tie the top income tax rate to the unemployment rate. Say, a baseline tax rate of twenty-five percent, with a baseline unemployment rate of five percent. Every percentage point below that, the top tax rate decreases by thirteen percent (down to a minimum of one percent, a purely token rate.) And of course, every percentage point the unemployment rate goes up above five, the top tax rate increases by thirteen percent (up to a maximum of ninety-nine percent; after all, nobody should be denied the right to make a living.)
Naturally, the specific numbers could be haggled a bit, the tax loopholes closed here and there to make sure that they’re not shirking their duties as job creators, the exact unemployment figures that we use to calculate this tax rate precisely detailed to avoid fraud. But in theory, this should be exactly what the nation’s captains of industry want. They have an incentive to put the nation’s unemployed back to work, we have a way to balance the budget in times of economic stress, and the Republicans get to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to free-market economics and their worship of America’s ultra-wealthy as the people who make America great.
I don’t know why, but something tells me they won’t go for it…