Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Exciting New Taxes Are So Much More Awesome Than The Old Ones

According to Ezra Klein, the unelected man who is now in charge of stealing your social security, Pete Peterson, thinks maybe we should have a consumption tax and a carbon tax. Leaving aside the merits of these ideas and focusing purely on the politics, I'm always struck by the fact that Washington elites constantly imagine that they can sell Exciting New Taxes to the public while bumping up the top marginal income tax rate by half a percent or increasing the gas tax by a nickel are politically impossible. Obviously resistance to income tax increases by elites is there because they'd have to pay it, while most exciting new taxes are regressive. Still they also blather on about VMT taxes, because adding a whole new somewhat regressive tax is much more awesome than simply nudging up the gas tax.