Mankiw on taxing the rich

Cite this Article
Larry Ribstein, Mankiw on taxing the rich, Truth on the Market (October 10, 2010),

I suppose that the Obama tax plan is something this blog should stay away from.  But I can’t resist a note on Mankiw’s NYT column

Mankiw makes all the “correct” disclaimers:  he’s being “narcissistic,” yes he can “afford to pay more in taxes,” “I don’t have trouble making ends meet,” “I am almost completely sated.”  In other words, you can’t blame him for being whiny rich.  

Alas, for the supporters of Obamatax, there’s a sticky issue that still remains:  the tax will affect Mankiw’s incentives, because like a lot of rich people he can choose how much to do and how much to make.  Read the article to see how, and why. 

In other words, it’s not Mankiw that has a problem — it’s the people outside of his family who depend on him.  He notes that even if you don’t care how much an economist does, what about surgeons, orthodondists, singers, novelists? 

He concludes:  “Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that when the government taxes the rich, only the rich bear the burden.” 

I would add: but don’t expect people to stop trying.