Should Retired People Pay Higher Taxes?


Joining of course in general denunciations of Anderson Cooper for saying that 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes, I think people raising this alleged issue need to be asked a rather pointed question: Do you think retired people should pay higher taxes?

After all, the largest single class of people with no current federal income tax burden are retired people. They don’t pay federal income taxes because they don’t have taxable income. They’re not moochers, they’re largely people who paid federal income taxes in the past. So is the idea that they should be paying more now? Maybe they should. I, personally, would gladly support a carbon tax even though imposing one would be a hardship on some elderly people. But I don’t get the sense that conservatives are clamoring for this. So what’s the issue?