Mark Gisleson caught a FairTax apologist on MPR today, a fellow from the aforementioned Cato Institute. The gist of the arguments, as always, is that the wealthy pay the most in taxes and take the risks that create jobs for the little people. They deserve their big paychecks and reduced taxes.
There was another version of this partial truth playing at MPR yesterday, too, in covering a celebration of inadvertent Watergate burglary financier Ken Dahlberg.
The "don't tax the rich because it kills jobs" line runs so incessantly that otherwise sentient reporters and editors in the "liberal media" just let it go by without a challenge.
Well, call me a traitor to my class, but boys and girls, here's a more typical story of how the top 1% of earners invests — and it isn't to create jobs.
I was pedaling back with a load of pet supplies today and noticed a Free Brochure box that had fallen over in the snow just down the road from my driveway.
The flier inside says, "This lot has a beautiful building envelope, with panoramic views of the Valley." I know the 19.55 acres well because we used to own it.
In 2006, we sold it for nearly three times what we paid for the land in 1999. Now the owners are asking twice what they paid us. If they get something close to their price, they'll clear a quarter million dollars after paying the realtor commission. All for having enough spare money lying around to park it in undeveloped land for a couple years.
Job creation? Well, maybe like us, they'll put their profits toward building a house they were going to build anyway. If they're able to build a bigger house, that will temporarily create work for a couple extra laborers who most likely slipped over the border from Mexico.
Personally, I just shut up and paid my taxes on the windfall, but there are plenty of folks who think otherwise. They'd rather give their money to create jobs at the Cato Foundation.