Soaking the rich (redux)

SOAKING THE RICH (REDUX)…. Hilzoy had a great overnight item on the odd conservative complaints about President Obama’s proposal to raise the top marginal tax rate to 39.6% — where it was under Clinton, and where it was intended to be in 2011 based on George W. Bush’s plan. Hilzoy compared a 39.6% against other major capitalist democracies, and just as importantly, against other modern U.S. presidents.

Hilzoy concluded, “All in all, it seems as though we’ve been suffering through an awful lot of socialism and class warfare all over the world, much of it at the hands of people conservatives claim to admire. If a top marginal rate of 39.6% is enough to make society’s producers and creators go on strike, then Galt’s Gulch must be getting pretty crowded.”


Quite right. But I also thought it would be helpful to add a visual element to this.

John Cole posted this graph a few days ago. See that column on the far-right edge? That’s where Obama proposes the marginal top-rate should be.

It’s also the rate conservatives believe is so outrageous, that they’re accusing the president of “socialism” and talking openly about the “Going Galt” scenario in which wealthy and industrious Americans would deliberately make less money to spite their country.

It’s all quite silly, but the graph adds some helpful context to drive the point home.

Obama is proposing a top rate lower than Reagan’s first term, lower than Nixon’s, lower than Eisenhower’s, and lower than FDR’s when he pulled us out of the Great Depression.

So, really, try not to hyperventilate.