Bill O’Reilly Threatens to Strike

The moon-loving talk show host announced:

My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I like my job, but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Is the country really entitled to half a person’s income?

O’Reilly is soooooo out of it on this one. Wasn’t he paying attention when economist Greg Mankiw pointed out that the marginal tax rate is not 38%, not 50%, but 90%? (Even had Republican John McCain been elected in 2008, Mankiw projected a marginal tax rate of 83%.)

If O’Reilly thinks he’s paying only 50%, he’s got a long painful conversation with his accountant in his future.

(To be serious for a minute, I think it’s silly to think that O’Reilly is working because of the marginal dollars he’s making. As with Mankiw, I think he might actually enjoy what he’s doing, or at the very least feel a civic duty to give his views the prominence they get from being on national TV.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

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Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.