The Case for More Tax Brackets


The salaries of your heroes of capitalism:

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: $850,000
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit: $1
Morgan Stanely CEO John Mack: $800,000
State Street Corp. CEO Ronald Logue: $1 million
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis: $1.5 million
Bank of New York CEO Robert Kelly: $1 miillion
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon: $1 million
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankenfein: $600,000

Meanwhile in the United States the floor of the top tax bracket is at a scant $337,551. But these guys have salaries that are two, three, or even four times higher than the tax floor. Under the circumstances, why should the 35% for income above $337,551 be the top bracket? Why not more brackets with slightly higher rates at $450,000 and $550,000 and $650,000 and so on and so forth up the spectrum? People who start earning this kind of big-time CEO money would, I think, almost literally not miss the money. Must of what you’re buying with your extra cash at that point is luxury items whose prices are bid up by the fact that there all are these other people also earning huge salaries. No matter what you do with the tax rate, only the richest people in the country will be able to afford large apartments with direct views of Central Park. If you make the rich systematically poorer, those apartments will just get cheaper. And mitigating the “wealth cascade” effect will have some positive impact on the well-being of the middle class. And the government will get some revenue.