Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Billionaires for Democrats

The GOP is often parodied as the party of the trust fund set, but it may turn out that the wealthy are just as likely - if not more likely - to support Democrats. I suspect there could be a lot of reasons for this, but one possibility may be that there is a point at which taxes - at least at the marginal rates that are likely to be in play in the US - become irrelevant to one's lifestyle. When you make millions, the government can take quite a bit away and you still have plenty left. Since selfless champions of the poor like Ted Kennedy and Jon Corzine don't champion a wealth tax, they are unlikely to be affected much by the policies that they propose. Asking others to sacrifice, then, becomes a cheap form of sactimony.

Of course, plenty of wealthy people do try to minimize their taxes which is one of the reasons that tax revenues go up in response to tax cuts. In additon, very few people make millions and we can't fund the government by restricting high tax rates to them. The tax increases that Jon Corzine proposes may have little impact on him, but they will have a significant effect on those who have not already got theirs.

2 comments:

amazon said...

You can prove anything with anecdotes, Shark. That's what the NRO article tries to do.

But large N surveys show that the wealthy really do prefer Republicans. In the upper income quintile the GOP leads 38% to 27%, with the other 35% unaffiliated. See the Pew Research Center report at http://people-press.org/commentary/display.php3?AnalysisID=114

True enough, some rich folks are liberals. If they didn't donate to the Dems, the USA would be an authentic oligarchy. It's close enough as is.

Rick Esenberg said...

But the upper quintile are not bilionaires or even millionaires. You can call us wealthy (and I admit that I am well within the upper quintile) but I am neither of those.