Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Personal Delusions Affect the Policies of Taxation

FINANCIAL TIMES - For many international observers, John Kerry's tax proposals seem like an easy sell - roll back the tax cuts on the richest 2 per cent to fund new tax breaks for the middle class. . . But when Americans are asked whom they trust to handle tax policy, they consistently opt for George W. Bush over Mr Kerry. So what accounts for Mr Kerry's failure to persuade a majority of Americans that his tax plans would benefit them?

. . . A key reason may be that many Americans believe they are rich. In a US survey by Time Magazine in 2000, 19 per cent of respondents thought they were in the top 1 per cent of earners and another 19 per cent believed they would be one day.

. . . "Many Americans cherish dreams that they could be the next Donald Trump," says Karry Katz, a Harvard economist. "And this is quite a powerful antidote to class envy."

[Good article.]

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