France did very little to close loopholes, which you treat as a mystical problem with no ability to be solved.
It’s not. Sure, they have the smartest accountants, but a collection of economists can surely work out where tax revenues are leaking from.
The Laffer curve is real, and it’s good economics. But it doesn’t fit perfectly against the landscape of a progressive tax code with a series of different levels. Simply applying the curve to a single highest level is an approach anyone with a solid economic background will tell you misses the mark — the only data you’re getting has already been filtered through several previous tax brackets.
Further, you have repeated a woefully incorrect claim that is a central talking point to those that reject high tax rates, be it because of personal greed or their fears of ‘socialism’: that people will simply work less hard to avoid slipping into the top tax bracket.
Because a progressive tax bracket only applies to incomes above the threshold, ‘slipping’ into the next tax bracket never costs you money. If the threshold is $1M, and you make $1,000,100, only that final $100 is taxed at the highest percentage. It doesn’t apply to your entire income.
As your article is pretty well written, and you seem to have a good grasp on some major economic issues, I want to give you the doubt that this is an oversight. But, with the years of seeing the Shapiro/Crowder crowd argue this point aside the Laffer curve, I fear you are just regurgitating what someone else has told you.
A top tax rate of 70% isn’t unusual, nor is it disruptive. With the relative value of a dollar considered, it’s not even unfair. You’re correct that without addressing the tax code to make aversion much harder and more costly it’s a futile move, but the solution isn’t to abandon the idea and let the rich off the hook.
How can the working classes ever overcome the wealth disparity if our best course of action is to feebly admit ‘the rich will never pay taxes’?
Be it 70%, 50%, or 20%, if it is cheaper to evade taxes, the rich will. Look no further than U.S. corporate tax law which sees major corps consistently pay next to nothing. We HAVE to make that as hard as possible, and punish those we find violating tax law in ways that actually hurt them (not the current models where fines levied are an acceptable cost of doing business).
And once we’re able to set a culture where tax evasion is treated as seriously as it should be, penalties willing individuals and businesses into compliance, 70% on the top brackets will work just fine.